We can all likely agree that being able to dim the lights to create a mood is a great feature. But how does dimming work? And why do we sometimes encounter dimming issues with LEDs?
In January 2017, Wolfers Lighting, The Boston Shade Company, and System 7 announced they were merging. The goal of this merger? To provide customers with a true one-stop shopping experience for lighting, lighting controls, automated shades, technology design, and overall home automation.
We recently sat down with some of the key players behind the three brands—Patrick Gilman, Ashley Jacobson, and Merrie Pendlebury—to discuss what's next.
Patrick is the Director of Customer Experience. The "experience" part has to do with both online and in-person interactions. His initial focus has been refreshing the three websites so that they have a consistent look and feel. "We'll roll out the new System 7 site soon," Patrick says. "And we have big plans for a new Wolfers eCommerce site. I've also been working with the customer service teams, particularly at System 7, to ensure that our customers receive the white glove service that they deserve."
Ashley is the Director of Operations for System 7. Hired as the "number four" employee a decade ago, she's worked on everything from design to product management. As for what she manages today, Ashley explains, "I currently oversee all of the operations for System 7 from our installers, our designers, our purchasing, and our project management teams. I also oversee part of our Client Services department as well that Patrick has been helping with."
Merrie is the Showroom Manager of our Boston location and is responsible for planning and opening the new Experience Center in the Boston Design Center in the not-too-distant future. "In the meantime," she says, "I'm managing social media promotion for System 7 and The Boston Shade Company. In addition, I’m spearheading marketing and branding activities for The Boston Shade Company, strengthening our trade partnerships, and doing day-to-day showroom activities in our current location in the Design Center."
Below is the Q&A with the team.
Let's take a step back and revisit the merger. Why did these three companies decide to merge? What was the big "vision" behind it?
Patrick: Well, prior to the merger, the three companies kept 'bumping into' each other on different projects.
Let's talk about a long-time showroom favorite: Quoizel Lighting.
Founded in 1930, this company remains true to its "small business heritage." (The company is still family-owned and operated.) As its website states, "Many of our products embody our history of being artisans in glass and natural materials. We work with resources that will not only illuminate your living space but also enhance the beauty of your home."
Why do we love Quoizel? Many reasons…
- Fun and varied designs—think Tiffany reproductions to modern chandeliers in myriad finishes. Quoizel's collections typically include a hanging light, ceiling light, wall sconce, and (often) a chandelier for the ultimate flexibility in décor.
- Vanity (bathroom) lighting is generally offered as single sconces, but you can often opt for up to five lights for many mirror configurations.
- LED integration is available for many fixtures.
- Excellent quality
- Budget-friendly pricing
- Great customer service
We encourage customers to always keep lighting design in mind during new construction and renovations. We also urge people to think of lighting in terms of "layers":
- Your ambient lighting is your general lighting.
- Accent lighting provides an additional source of illumination in addition to decorative flourishes.
- Task lighting is extremely focused—think undercabinet lights, for example, that can assist you as you slice and dice veggies for supper.
But people often overlook a fourth layer of lighting: shades. Shades control how much natural light enters a space. With automated shades, you can program them to work in conjunction with all of your other light sources, which provides more control and a better overall lighting solution for your home.
Just think of all the benefits this "complete" lighting control can offer:
- Better management of the everyday lighting schedules in your home.
Topics: automated shades
As you may have heard, we're moving our Allston store to our Waltham showroom on June 30 in preparation for the new experience center that we're opening in the Boston Design Center this fall.
Topics: Wolfers' Happenings
We're huge fans of Tech Lighting, and for good reason. This lighting manufacturer has been going strong for over 25 years. The brand is famous for its low-voltage fixtures (e.g., pendants, monorails), but it offers so much more, including integrated LED fixtures (note: all of Tech Lighting's fixtures carry a one-year warranty; the integrated LEDs are warrantied for five years).
Closets are so much more than spaces to store clothes. Thanks to inspiration from the likes of Carrie Bradshaw and the Kardashians, more and more people are approaching closet renovations and buildouts the way they would kitchens and master bathrooms. In fact, having a beautiful walk-in closet might even help you sell your home faster, as this article in Forbes reports.
As with any renovation or new construction, you should always consider lighting design, and this most certainly holds true for closets. Here are some things to keep in mind.
First, how do you use your closet? Think of your daily routines (and the routines of anyone else using the closet, such as a spouse). For example, if a bright light source will be too overpowering at 6 AM when you're getting dressed, you could install dimmers or softer accent lighting. Or maybe you do prefer something brighter and cheerier in the morning and something softer at the end of the day. Again, consider how you'll be using the space and plan your lighting design accordingly.
Think in terms of layered lighting. Find the right combination of ambient, accent, and task lighting for your particular closet based on its size, layout, and how you plan to use it.
We're moving to our Waltham showroom on June 30th in preparation for opening a new experience center in The Boston Design Center this fall, which will feature lighting, automated shades, and smart home technology.
The Allston lighting consultants you’ve grown to love will be transitioning with us to Waltham. You can still expect the same great service and wide variety of products that you've come to count on from us over the years.
In fact, this move will provide you with even more benefits:
- Increased access to lighting consultants both in store and on location.
- Increased resources with updated lighting labs and new automated shades display.
- Increased delivery options/capabilities available to you.
Spring has (finally) sprung. There’s no turning back now: it’s time to pay attention to your outdoor lighting. We recently did a roundup of outdoor lighting tips, but we wanted to share two more questions to ask yourself along with some great manufacturers to consider.
1. What’s the fixture rating? You should always pay attention to whether your light fixtures are listed as appropriate for wet locations, but did you know that there is a costal outdoor rating as well? Sure, rain and snow bring moisture, but salt air can corrode light fixtures and cause water damage to boot. A coastal outdoor rating will usually come with a lifetime warranty and extra protection for your light fixtures from all elements. This can be a smart investment for landscape fixtures and other fixtures exposed to salty sea air.
2. What’s the fixture source? Landscape and outdoor lighting come in many flavors: incandescent, fluorescent, and LED.
- Incandescent is the old standby, and we love the warm glow and effortless dimming. The size of a lamp, however, dictates the size of the light fixture, which means that discrete or low profile light sources can be difficult to find (depending on the application).
- Fluorescent fixtures carry a longer life than incandescent fixtures, but often carry low CRI (meaning they don’t show color well). Fluorescent fixtures are energy efficient too, making them practical when you need light for long stretches of time. The size of fluorescent lamps can also affect the availability of fixtures, since they are often found in tube configurations, or with similar sizing to incandescent lamps in the case of CFLs.
- LEDs can also be effective in landscape and outdoor fixtures, since they can withstand vibration as well as hot and cold temperatures.
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).