Wolfers Lighting Blog

Andrea

Recent Posts

Lutron Electronics Puts You in Control

Posted on Aug 03, 2018 by Andrea

When it comes to dimming lights, none of us probably think twice about it, right? We turn a knob or program a master control, and voilà!

Before the late 1950s, however, the technology used for dimming lights was complex, expensive, and rarely seen outside of stage theaters.

But that all changed when a young physicist named Joel Spira decided he wanted to make a device to dim lights—one that was simple and affordable enough for everyday people to use in their homes.

Spira began his quest by commandeering a spare bedroom in his New York City apartment and setting up a makeshift lab. His hard work paid off in 1959 when he "emerged from his lab with a solid-state dimmer that could replace the light switch in a standard residential wallbox."

Not only that, but Spira's dimmer generated less heat and used less energy—two more big benefits that helped his technology take off and solidified Lutron Electronics as the leader in the space for decades to come.

Always innovating, Lutron is still famous for its lighting, controls, and wireless technology. The company that started out with two products now provides over 15,000 to customers worldwide. Here are some highlights…

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Hot Lighting Trends: Lightovation Recap

Posted on Jul 27, 2018 by Andrea

Last month, we were down in Dallas for Lightovation, the international lighting show where manufacturers sharer their latest designs and innovations.

Joyce Gravel, our Waltham showroom manager, provides a recap below, including lighting trends that are still going strong—and other ones picking up steam.

Soft gold shows no signs of stopping. We've written about this elegant finish quite a bit in the last few years as manufacturers tried (and ultimately embraced) a warm finish alternative to oil rubbed bronze. Who can blame them? Check out this soft gold finish from Hubbardton Forge.

 

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Wolfers Lighting Staff Spotlight: Meet Joyce Gravel

Posted on Jul 19, 2018 by Andrea

We love shining the spotlight on our team members so you can get to know more about the people who make Wolfers Lighting so special.

Today, we shine the spotlight on Joyce Gravel, the manager of our lighting showroom in Waltham. Every day, Joyce exemplifies creativity and diligence. Our customers love Joyce!

We recently caught up with her for a Q&A session.

Q: How many years have you been in the lighting industry, and what drew you to this field?

Joyce: Thirty-four years ago, the restaurant I'd been running was selling out and I was going to be unemployed. Unsure of what I would do, a friend put in a good word for me with a small lighting showroom/electrical supply business. They took a chance on me, despite the fact that the only lighting knowledge I had was of a 60-watt lightbulb!

Fortunately, I fell in love with the field. The more I learned, the more I realized what I didn’t know. Lighting became a passion and a lifetime of education.

Q: How did you come to be with Wolfers?

Joyce: A friend of mine was working for what was Standard Electric at the time, and she recruited me. I had been working in lighting for nine years by that point, and I thought I knew everything there was to know… until I walked in the door here! It opened up a whole new world, because there was still so much to learn.

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Ceiling Fans for the Win! Tips, Tricks, & Favorites

Posted on Jul 14, 2018 by Andrea

 

Steamy days and sweltering nights—that's what summer is all about, right?

While we're grateful for the invention of air conditioning, let's face it: closed windows and recycled air aren't necessarily the look-and-feel we're going for in July and August.

Luckily, there's a better option to get us through the dog days of summer: the ceiling fan.

Ceiling fans offer many benefits beyond the obvious:

  • Energy savings: It takes less energy to operate a ceiling fan than an AC unit. Ceiling fans use a tad more energy than your typical 100-watt lightbulb. And energy-saver fans use even less than that.
  • Comfortable cool-downs: A ceiling fan can lower the feel of a room by eight
  • Cozy warm-ups: Winter might be a distant memory, but those harsh, cold days will be here before we know it. While it might seem counterintuitive, running ceiling fans during the winter months can keep your home toasty warm (and save on your heating bill to boot).
  • Multi-functions: Ceiling fans with lights can offer additional ambient lighting to your room.
  • Gorgeous options galore: Who says you have to sacrifice beauty for function? Certainly not the manufacturers of today's ceiling fans.
  • Cool automation features: More and more of today's fans offer smart options that allow you to program them through an app on your phone or tablet.
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Wolfers Lighting: News and Nuggets

Posted on Jul 07, 2018 by Andrea

We've had many exciting things going on and wanted to share some of the news and nuggets.

Lightovation Inspires

We were down in Dallas at the end of June for Lightovation, the international lighting show that's always a huge source of inspiration! We'll be sharing more details about exciting lighting trends later this month.

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That's a Wrap! Our Allston Store Officially Moves to Waltham on 6/30

Posted on Jun 30, 2018 by Andrea

Reminder: We'll be turning off the lights in our Allston showroom this Saturday, June 30, 2018, and moving the store and our fabulous employees to our Waltham lighting showroom.

We're doing this in preparation for the new experience center opening up in The Boston Design Center—a technology pavilion that will feature lighting, automated shades, and home automation technology.

Allston has been a wonderful home to us over the years. We're grateful to the local community and fellow business owners in the area. We'll miss you, but we're looking forward to the next chapter.

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Lighting Controls: Dimming 101

Posted on Jun 22, 2018 by Andrea

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?

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What's Next for Wolfers Lighting, The Boston Shade Company, & System 7?

Posted on Jun 15, 2018 by Andrea

 

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.

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Spotlight on Quoizel Lighting

Posted on Jun 08, 2018 by Andrea

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
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Why You Should Include Automated Shades in Your Lighting Designs

Posted on May 24, 2018 by Andrea

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.
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Topics: automated shades