Wolfers Lighting Blog

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.


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.

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.

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.


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.


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!  


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.

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.


Interior Design & Lighting Trends: 2018 Edition

Posted on Feb 02, 2018 by Andrea

Koket, bespoke furniture brand, interviewed interior designers to forecast the 2018 interior design trends. We're highlighting a few of their predictions and looking at how these will influence lighting trends.

2018 Prediction: Natural Wood. In Koket's article, Corine Maggio from CM Natural Design says, "Natural wood is very fitting for the times… It's practical and organic for a variety of applications."

Try this trend at home: LZF makes its light fixtures exclusively with wood veneer (check out this feature we did on LZF in January). Cerno also implements wood as a major feature in its light fixtures. Check out this article for more details.

2018 Prediction: Mixing and Matching. Koket quotes Kari McIntosh as saying, "A major trend is layering different eras and textures of furnishings." We couldn't agree more. Interiors that utilize a variety of textures, like this office featured in Design Home 2016, are incredibly charming; lighting can be an easy way to add visual interest or something unexpected.


Cozy Lighting Fixtures that Can Cure Winter Blues

Posted on Jan 27, 2018 by Andrea

It's been quite a winter so far with record cold and holiday snowstorms, so if you're battling the winter blues, you're not alone.

But guess what? The right light fixtures can warm up your space—and your spirits. Here are some showroom favorites that will do exactly that!

Our pick for cozying up with a good book: Cerno Silva Floor Lamp. The warm walnut bent frame and black shade will be a perfect addition to your reading nook. See it on display in our Waltham showroom. Note: we keep its little sister, the Silva Table Lamp, on display and stocked in both showrooms with the white linen shade.

Our pick for keeping your body clock on track at the office: Koncept's Mosso Pro. You're going to love this dimmable, color-tunable desk lamp with USB charging port and built-in occupancy sensor.

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