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.
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).
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.
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.
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:
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.