Coastal Living: Our Picks for Beautiful, Long-Lasting Exterior Lights

Posted on Oct 25, 2018 by Marty

In typical New England fashion, we've had wild weather in 2018: bombogenesis, tornado watches, and flash flooding, just to name a few of the events from the last year.

While everyone can feel the effects of wild weather, people who own homes near the ocean have many more worries than those of us in the 'burbs—even when the weather is "normal."

For example, the salty, seaside air can quickly turn an outdoor fixture's finish from shiny and new to dull, peeling, or – worse – rusting.

While we can't solve every issue affecting ocean homes, we can tackle that one.

Below, we discuss the best materials to consider for beautiful, long-lasting exterior lights as well as our favorite picks from lighting manufacturers specializing in those materials.

Pro tip: Live by the shore? Always choose outdoor fixtures specifically rated for coastal environments. Even if you don't live on the coast, these fixtures make a great choice because they will last you for years to come.



Staff Spotlight: Meet Ashley Jacobson from System 7

Posted on Oct 17, 2018 by Marty

Today, we're shining the spotlight on Ashley Jacobson who is the director of operations for our three brands: System 7, Wolfers Lighting, and The Boston Shade Company.


Tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from? Where did you go to school and what did you study?  

Ashley: I was raised in New Hampshire, and I attended Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston for architectural design.


What drew you to study architecture? How does architecture relate to technology design?

Ashley: My family is very hands on when it comes to the built environment, so I have always had an appreciation for how things were constructed. Still, I never expected it to lead me here. But I’m glad it did.

Integrating technology control systems into a new home requires planning at the earliest stages of home design, so we start with the architectural drawings. Knowledge of building and architecture is essential if you want to design a system that is simple and beautiful. Placement of lighting, shades, technology components, and the modules that control them needs to be done in the most unobtrusive way in order to complement and enhance the home's design.


Circadian Rhythms and Tunable White: What You Need to Know

Posted on Oct 12, 2018 by Marty


What's all the fuss about "tunable white"?

The lighting industry is abuzz with tunable white technology, and it's turning up in everything from recessed lights to table lamps

Not only is it a cool new technology, research shows that tunable white fixtures might actually be beneficial for health and well-being if they're used the right way in the right applications.



Let's take a look at some recent research about the connection between lighting and circadian rhythms.

Mariana Figueiro is Director of the Lighting Research Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Throughout her career, she has explored how light affects human health.[1]

She recently authored a study focused on nursing home residents with Alzheimer's disease. In this study, she found that certain kinds of lighting improve sleep patterns, reduce agitation, and alleviate depression.

Here's a brief (and rudimentary) recap of the study's methodology: