Wolfers Lighting Blog

Should You Make the Switch to LED Lamps?

Posted on Apr 14, 2018 by Andrea

Are you thinking about retrofitting your home with LED bulbs, but wondering if making the switch is worth it? The benefits below are sure to convince you that making the switch makes a whole lot of sense…

1. Energy efficiency. LEDs continue to raise the bar in terms of energy efficiency. Previously, a 60-watt incandescent lamp would emit about 800 lumens. Today’s 9-watt LED lamp emits the same number of lumens. In other words, same brightness, but a lot less energy. Score!

2. Energy savings. Energy efficiency is great, but it’s even better when the efficiency results in real savings. LEDs do exactly that. Here’s a good example: many cities and towns are saving millions of dollars switching over their streetlights to LED (although, as the article points out, the switch isn’t without controversy). Even on a household scale, swapping out regular incandescent lamps in key areas can lead to additional energy savings

  • Pro Tip: Audit your highest traffic spaces (for example, your kitchen, hallways, living room, etc.). If there are portions of your home that have the lights on most of the day, LED lamps can mean a large reduction in energy consumption.

3. Low maintenance. The LED’s longer lifespan means less time replacing bulbs (and the less time spent fussing around on a stepstool or ladder, the better). Where an incandescent lamp lasts 1,000 – 2,000 hours, LED lamps have projected lifespans of 25,000 to as many as 50,000 hours.

Not only that, but LEDs are a solid state lighting source, meaning that, unlike incandescent lamps with a filament, LEDs are low profile and can be composed of non-glass materials. They can also withstand hot and cold temperatures. As such, LEDs can be used in many locations that incandescent or florescent lights might be a nuisance, such as outdoor lighting, areas that experience lots of vibrations (think ceiling fans), or uninsulated areas (like cold garages).

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Staff Favorites from Hubbardton Forge

Posted on Apr 06, 2018 by Andrea

Vermont-based lighting manufacturer Hubbardton Forge is one of our favorites, for good reason. As “modern American blacksmiths,” Hubbardton has taken traditional forging into the 21st century. Think revolutionary designs combined with impeccable quality and customer service, not to mention that Hubbardton unveiled two new brands in the last year: Vermont Modern and Synchronicity.

Vermont Modern embodies stylish, inspired, well-made lighting—their contemporary take on handmade fixtures are playful and gorgeous.

Synchronicity plays with crystal, specifically only the finest Swarovski crystal, and combines it with gorgeous forms of metal and light. Part sculpture, part art, these pieces are destined to become family heirlooms.

While you can’t go wrong with anything from Hubbardton Forge, here are some of our current staff favorites:

1. Synchronicity’s Artemis Pendant. Described as “elegance with an edge,” this pendant’s soft gold arms hold boomerang shaped Swarovski crystals, creating a showstopper piece. See it in both showrooms.

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Tunable-White LEDs: Taking Over Classrooms (and More!)

Posted on Mar 30, 2018 by Andrea

 

We talked about tunable- white LEDs in an earlier blog post, which covered the basics. Now, let's dig deeper into the benefits of using tunable-white in places like schools, office buildings, and hospitals.

First, a quick recap. At its simplest, a tunable-white fixture uses LED "color mixing" to create different shades of white with varying color temperatures (i.e., warm tones, cool tones).

Why does this matter? More and more studies suggest that the lighting in our environments affects us. This isn't a big revelation, of course. All we need to do is think about how we feel in the fall when it gets darker earlier—we find our energy waning as well. Or during the summer months, we tend to have more energy, thanks to the longer days.

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A Wolfers' Guide to the Internet of Things (IoT)

Posted on Mar 24, 2018 by Andrea

You've likely been hearing about the Internet of Things (IoT) more and more, thanks to the explosion in smart home technology. But what, exactly, is the IoT?

 

The best way to explain it is through examples. Do you wear a Fitbit that counts the number of steps you take each day? Can you turn your home's security system on and off through your smartphone? Have you programmed your thermostat to your perfect "wake up" temperature? Or maybe you have electric shades in your bedroom that open and close depending on when the sun shines. Or maybe you work in an office building that tracks who's entered—and when—and adjusts room temperature accordingly.

These are all examples of the Internet of Things—connected devices that produce dizzying amounts of data. Consider this:

  • Cisco reports that by the year 2020, the IoT will comprise of more than 30 billion connected devices.
  • According to this article in Forbes, the Boston Consulting Group says the IoT market will reach $267 billion 2020.
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Outdoor Lighting Tips for Spring

Posted on Mar 16, 2018 by Andrea

Finally, the days are getting longer and spring is in the air! Here are three springtime tasks to add to your to-do list. Trust us—come summer, you'll be glad you did.

1.Audit your outdoor lighting. Before you know it, you'll be doing more entertaining outside. Think hosting backyard BBQs, making s'mores around the fire pit, and lounging by the pool. While we're all looking forward to extended daylight, you should still consider your outdoor lighting. (Not to mention that adding the right outdoor lights can instantly improve your home's curb appeal as well.)

  • Check existing fixtures to make sure they cast enough light for guests to see up the driveway and/or along any paths that lead to the front door.

  • Check to make sure your patio lighting is sufficient to entertain/eat/relax outside after the sun goes down.
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New Product Alert: Minka-Aire Ceiling Fans Just Got Smarter

Posted on Mar 10, 2018 by Andrea

Picture this: it's springtime in Massachusetts. You're lounging in the family room on a lazy Sunday morning. Maybe you're reading a book, doing the Sunday crossword, or binging on your favorite Netflix show before heading outside to play soccer with the kids.

But the air is feeling stuffier and stuffier…yet you don't want to get up to turn on the ceiling fan. Wouldn't it be great if you could just tell Alexa to handle it? Or tap an app on your phone?

Why, yes it would.

The good news? You can.

Last month, we discussed some of the great new products at Lightovation in Dallas, including fixtures and fans that integrate with smartphone and tablet apps, adding to the growing number of connected devices that make up the Internet of Things (more on the IoT in a future article).

Today, we're here to talk about one of these awesome integrations: Minka-Aire and BOND Home by Olibra. We've written about Minka-Aire's excellent ceiling fans before. Now, you can control your new (or existing) Minka-Aire fan with BOND's system and app (available for smartphone or tablet). And this technology is coming soon to our Waltham showroom.

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Designer Lighting Showcase: Artemide

Posted on Mar 06, 2018 by Andrea

We've spoken at length about some of our favorite American designer lighting brands, such as Hubbardton Forge and Tech Lighting. But now we'd like to shine the spotlight on one of favorite Italian lines: Artemide.

Established in 1959, Artemide specializes in lighting designed by architects and prominent designers. We love Artemide's sleek, contemporary stylings, which are often iconic. Think modern task lighting and gorgeous pendants.

And if you're worried about lead time, don't be: Artemide generally keeps stock in its East Coast warehouse to ship across America.

So now, let's look at some of our favorite pieces:

1. Tizio Classic Table Lamp. The adjustable head and counterweight provide a sleek look and excellent task lighting. See it in black in both showrooms.

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Wolfers Lighting Spotlight: Meet Marty Whitney

Posted on Feb 25, 2018 by Andrea

It's time to shine the spotlight on another one of our amazing staff members. Today, we'd like you to meet Marty Whitney, who works out of our Waltham lighting showroom.

We could go on and on about how terrific she is, but we thought we'd let one of our customers do that for us. See, we received a nice letter from one of Marty's clients, which said, "Marty was extraordinarily generous with her time, knowledgeable, affable, and unflappable. I suspect you already know how exceptional Marty is but I want to say that having a staff member of her caliber reflects extremely well on Wolfers and has made me a loyal customer going forward."

We asked Marty to sit down with us for a little Q&A. Here's what she had to say:

Q: What's your official title and how long have you been with Wolfers?

Marty: I've been with Wolfers for three years as an ALA Lighting Specialist in Waltham, and I'm transitioning to the System 7 and Wolfers project team this spring. I'll be working on projects that include lighting as well as lighting controls, automated shades, and A/V. I'm excited to be joining the project team and look forward to branching out further into home automation and technology!  

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Romantic Lighting that We Love

Posted on Feb 14, 2018 by Andrea

 

Ah, love is in the air! In honor of Valentine's Day, we're pulling together some of our favorite lighting tips and applications that will help create a romantic atmosphere in your home.

1. Remember, dimming is your friend. There's a reason why your favorite restaurant dims the lights—it helps make for an intimate and cozy setting. When it comes to your home, use dimmers to adjust the lights—or take advantage of full lighting control by using an app on your phone.

2. Think in terms of "warm" color temperature. When we hear the words "romantic evening," most of us probably think of candlelight dinners or snuggling up by the fireplace. What is it about these things that scream "romance"? The warm, amber lighting. So warming up the color temperature of your ambient light can have the same effect.

  • Try warm-dim lamps in your usual fixtures, which will shift to amber as they dim.



  • If you have fixtures with exposed bulbs, consider antique filament-style LEDs or antique-style incandescent lamps, both of which give off a warm light and often with the filaments spiraling or looping in a decorative way, like this bulb from the Bulbrite "Nostalgic" collection.

  • If available, RGB lamps have the capability of producing extremely saturated colors—which can transform a familiar space into one with a whole different feeling.
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Lighting Trends 2018: Recap of Lightovation

Posted on Feb 11, 2018 by Andrea

Last month, Lightovation 2018 took place at the Dallas Market Center in Texas. Lightovation is always a special event, but this year, it was even better than usual.

As Cindy Morris, Dallas Market Center president and CEO, explains: "The January show was clearly the strongest buying event in recent memory as we delivered more of what retailers and designers need: new showrooms, new products, inspiring events, and interaction with industry influencers."

Speaking of inspiration, here are some of the lighting trends we can't wait to share in our showrooms.

 

1. Matte Black. Not that black has ever gone out of fashion, but this "new" trend towards black lighting fixtures is heating up, and we couldn't be happier. Black fixtures are so sleek, so sophisticated, so versatile.

See this lighting trend in action. These gorgeous fixtures from Quoizel's "Reveal" collection complete this kitchen's hip look—while providing ample light. As Quoizel says, "The earth black finish is velvety smooth and contrasts perfectly against the sleek chrome details of the center stem, arms and candle sleeves. Hinged brackets connect the framework in an edgy integration of form and function."

 

2. Revamped Brass Finishes. We've talked about the wonders of brass before. This trend shows no sign of slowing down, and that's a good thing. After all, this is NOT your grandmother's brass, meaning that yellow, mirror-like finish from years ago.

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