Intro To Office Lighting

Not many people may think this, but lighting in the office can have an impact on the productivity and comfortability of your employees. While offices generally use about 30 percent of all energy consumed on lights its important to have a layout that will be worth the money. The right lighting can make your employees feel more comfortable in the office, as good lighting will reduce fatigue and eye strain. Below are some tips to help better light your office of maximum comfortability as well as productivity.

Fluorescent vs LED Lighting

Before you get any lighting accessory or different fixtures to spice up your office, you will need to decide what type of lighting you will want to be displayed in your office. Fluorescent lighting may offer good energy efficiency but they cannot beat the savings that LED lights have to offer. LED lighting last longer that other sources, they consume less power and do not emit a lot of heat. With less heat means you won’t be turning on the air conditioning which will save you money in the long run.

Parabolic vs Indirect

Traditionally, officers use a parabolic fixture to light their entire office. While popular, the downside of this lighting arrangement is that the fixture shines all of its light downward. By doing this, it causes a cave effect that could cause eye strain, headaches and fatigue from glare. Indirect lighting shines their light upward rather than downward. When on, the light goes up to the ceiling or back of the fixture then reflects downward to light the room. When this happens, the light is more evenly distributed which reduces the strains that parabolic fixtures cause as mentioned before. Indirect fixtures also give off the illusion of bigger and brighter rooms by eliminating shadows that are usually created if you have a parabolic fixture setup.

Energy Efficient Motion Sensors

Offices looking to save on money and energy should invest in motion sensors. They reduce wasted energy by up to 30 percent as it turns off the lights when the space is not being used. Motion sensors are best for rooms such as restrooms, closets and breaks rooms. What makes these sensors great in addition to the money and energy it saves but they are available as either occupancy sensors and vacancy sensors.

Task Lighting

Another way to incorporate different lights in your office to heighten comfort and productivity is the use of task lighting. Task lights, such as a desk lamp, are great way to eliminate the need for overly bright lights that are provided by the ceiling light fixtures. If you need to focus on a task, then a dim lit desk lamp is the perfect solution as it focuses the worker on their task while eliminating strains that come from ceiling fixtures.

Recommend Office Color Temperatures

When it comes to lighting an office for productivity, the recommended lighting should be between 4,000 Kelvin and 5,000 Kelvin. While there are other office color temperatures out there, these two temperatures have been proven to increase productivity. The two colors these temperatures create are cool white and stark white respectively.

 

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5 Ways In-Ground Lights Can Go Wrong

In-ground lights are a great and modern way you can add dramatic up-lighting along walkways and garden beds.  Whether your lighting fixture is a new addition or have been up-lighting your foliage for years there are a couple of issues that you can experience. Below are the top five issues you could come across with your outdoor in-ground lighting fixtures.

Water From Below

The biggest issue with in-ground lighting is damage from water getting into the light bulb. As this light heats up, it expands and the air inside the fixture will escape either at the top of or bottom of the fixture. As the light cools down it contracts back down which creates a vacuum like motion. If the wiring at the bottom of the fixture is not properly sealed then moisture from the ground could get in the lighting and cause corrosion and shortages.

To prevent this from happening you will need to make sure that during installation, the fixture is place in the right material. Gravel does not absorb rainwater so it is the perfect material to install this fixture into. If your exterior has no gravel you can put sealant to block any potential access points for moisture.

Water From Above

If you have an old lighting fixture of if your lights run on the cheaper side then you may come across this issue with in-ground lights.  In either of these cases the seam where the lens cover and trim meet may not be properly sealed or the seam is starting to disintegrate. This broken seal will allow water to enter your lights when it rains or snows outside.

To prevent this from happening, you need to purchase fixtures that have a flush seam as this type of seam will prevent any type of fluid from getting inside. Some fixtures will come with a curved lens cover which are perfect  to prevent water damage. This is because the curved edges allow for the water to roll off the lens.

Flooded

In-ground light fixtures tend to flood if they have poor sealant and if they are exposed to heavy rain. This is true for any type of light fixture exposed to excessive amounts of rain.  To fix this issue, wait until the rain has stopped and everything has dried up. You can then cut off the power and check for any damages before you turn the lights back on to see if the bulbs need to be replaced.

Glass Cover Breaks

As with all types of glass, they have breaking points and can only withstand a certain amount of weight. This goes for in-ground lights as well as their glass lenses are not made to be walked or driven on. However, accidents do happen and you may come across a broken glass lens. To prevent the glass from breaking, you may want to install these lights at a slightly elevated position to prevent people from walking on them. You could also create a barrier around the light to protect the glass lens.

Overheating

Overheating could cause damage to the wiring of the fixture or the bulb and result in a decreased lifespan of your in-ground lighting fixture. While lights are made to withstand high temperatures while being on, they are not equipped to handle excessive heat as well. For fixtures placed in an area that gets very hot during the summer you may experience some overheating issues.

While there is no real solution to overheating you can prevent it from happening with the right equipment. When you are shopping for fixtures and bulbs to go in them, be sure to read the packaging. This will tell you if the bulb will be able to handle high temperatures in and around the fixture. You can also prevent overheating by avoiding installing these lights in areas in direct sunlight for long periods of time.

 

10 Tips On Designing Kitchen Lighting

When it comes to interior design or remodeling in general, not many people know how much lighting can effect he overall look and feel of a room. This is especially true with lighting in your kitchen, as there are many things you can highlight. You can create a more stylish and trendy kitchen by incorporating a nice lighting design. Below are 10 different tips to consider when creating a lighting design for your kitchen.

  1. No More Grids – Forget grids of downlights and use lighting only where it is needed. Areas of the kitchen where you prepare food is a place that would need good task lighting. You can get these task lighting from either down lights or pendants.
  2. Don’t Block Your Worktop – To prevent our shadow from blocking your work area and giving you optimal light to assist with your work, consider installing under-cupboard lighting.  The latest LED products have less heat output which saves you money as well as preventing food and furniture from heating up.
  3. Get Creative – Designing should be fun, so think outside of the box and get creative of where you want to place your lights. You can also look up current trends to see what professionals are suggesting. Lighting below kitchen islands make the furniture appear to float. While up-lights on the tops of cabinets are great for kitchens with high ceilings, as it adds light to the space between furniture and the ceiling.
  4. Use More Than One Light – If you want to add a three-dimensional feel and create a certain mood in your kitchen, consider adding layers to your lights. Adding accent and ambient lighting are great ways to add different layers to your kitchen.  To show good contrast, each layer should be controlled individually so that they can create different feelings from a bright daylight to a more intimate feeling at dinner.
  5. Go Warm – The evolution of LED lights have made it easier to have light bulbs last longer while providing ample light to your room. With recent down-lights being eight or 10W rather than a standard 50W, you can light a large kitchen with only 200 watts. What is great about these bulbs is not only will it save you money and energy, but will give you lighting that is warm rather than hot. Warm lights create a more comfortable feeling over light bulbs that give off heat after long periods of usage.
  6. Manipulate Space – For those that have smaller kitchen areas, you can use lighting to create the sense of more space. Do this by installing directional spotlights angled towards cupboards and walls. The light will reflect off these pieces of furniture and back into the room creating more “space.”
  7. Keep Lights Close To Walls – This tip is more for cleaning as placing light fixtures near walls or ceilings make it easier to clean.
  8. Consider The Eye – Whenever you are installing lights you need to consider the affect they will have on your eyes. If you have spot lights or task lights focused on a certain area of the kitchen, make sure that they do not shine in your eye. As some lights will highlight an area but run the risk of harming eyes of people sitting close to that area with a glare.
  9. Get Flexible – Spotlights should be positioned where you need the light. Adding directional lighting gives you more flexibility over standard lighting. Add dimension of light over a counter by placing it above the edges of the counter but angled across it to create a glare-free lighting.
  10. Think About The Inside – If you have see through cabinets, you can add a professional mood to them by adding lights internally. These lights will showcase the items in your cabinet much like how bars use lighting to showcase their top tier bottles of alcohol.

Lights To Use In Your Kitchen

Back in the day, when designing a house, interior designers would just put up a fluorescent ceiling fixture in a kitchen and that would be it. However, as trends change and interior design is evolving, it is now good practice to have a good lighting design in your kitchen. Since the inception of LED lights, they have been the light of choice when it comes to adding light fixtures to homes.

LED is a good start when adding lighting to your kitchen but you will want to create layers of light. Layers of light will create an ambiance of warmth and welcoming to your kitchen as well as providing functionality. A good way to create light layers is by incorporating different lights for your kitchen, below are a few lights to consider when designing your kitchen.

Recessed Lights

With lights recessed into your kitchen ceiling, they will:

  • Cast task lighting onto sinks, counter tops, kitchen islands and pantries. To avoid shadows in your kitchen place recessed lights around the perimeter of your kitchen.
  • Highlight the cabinetry in your kitchen.
  • Illuminate dark corners that other lights can’t reach.

When installing recessed lights, you will want to install one every four to six feet of ceiling space. To add more characteristics to your kitchen mix the angles of your lights between wide angles and narrow beam lights.

Over-Cabinet Lights

When you want to add style to your kitchen and set a good mood to the room, you will want to consider installing over-cabinet lighting. Mount these lights on the top of your cabinets where they can highlight displays and spread a warm light to your walls and ceiling. What makes these lights great is that using these with LED lights allows you to leave them on at all hours of the night. Which is perfect for restless sleepers who tend to grab midnight snacks.

Under-Cabinet Lights

Nowadays, under cabinet lighting are a necessity when it comes to redesigning your kitchen or adding more lighting. They give off a certain elegance that enhances your kitchen’s overall look at night. Once considered a luxury item, they have become more common in today’s era of kitchen accessories.

The thing with under cabinet lighting is to position them so that you only see the light coming down and not the fixture. In addition, you can either place them near the front or back of the cabinet bottom to highlight either back-splashes or tasks.

Types of bulbs to consider with under-cabinet lighting:

  • Strips of LED lights
  • Fluorescent fixtures
  • Halogen & Xenon

Toe-Kick Lights

Toe-kick lights are a great way to highlight certain aspects of your kitchen such as kitchen islands or base cabinets. Place these strips of LED lights at the toe kicks of these pieces of furniture. You can connect these lights to motion sensor so that you now have a warm glow whenever you walk into the kitchen. This adds a modern and high-tech feel to your kitchen that visitors will enjoy.

These types of lighting also can serve as a functional purpose as they can be used as night lights with their motion sensor capabilities. Whenever you walk in the kitchen at night, let your toe-kick lights light you a path to your destination.

Pendant Lights

If you have a kitchen with high ceilings then you will want to have pendant lighting installed. These are great to add more lighting to your room as well as creating visual interest with their decorative style. What is great about pendant lights is that you can have ones that shine light in all directions or ones that have a focal point which are great for kitchen islands.

Size its important with pendant lights because they serve different functionalities. Smaller pendant lights are good to create an open feel to your kitchen while bigger lights are good to make a decorative statement. Bigger pendant lights can highlight certain areas of your kitchen depending on were you install them. Hang several pendants at the same time at different heights to add a visual interest to your kitchen.

Ceiling Fixtures

As mentioned before, ceiling fixtures were once the go to option for kitchen lighting. These fixtures are installed onto (flush mount) or close to the ceiling suspended by a small stem (semi-flush mount). These types of lights provide general lighting to your kitchen. With these fixtures being used for hours at a time throughout the day, you will want to have bulbs that can withstand that type of usage and still hold their brightness overtime. This is where you will want to use LED bulbs with your regular ceiling fixtures.

 

 

Different Types of Under Cabinet Lighting & Their Pros & Cons

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For many people, the kitchen is the hub of the home, which is why many homeowners choose to remodel their kitchen. One simple remodeling upgrade, that adds elegance and functionality to the kitchen, is under cabinet lighting. Under cabinet lighting is great when you’re preparing a meal, reading a recipe, or just enjoying a glass of wine with friends in the kitchen. But did you know that there are many types of under cabinet lighting types to choose from? Here we will detail the types of fixtures and their pros and cons.

 
Xenon Lights
Invented in the 1940s, xenon lights are an older technology but still used by some because of its perfect color rendering index (CRI), which makes it emit a clean white light. Due to the high amount of heat they emit they are better for performing tasks than just staying on all day.

Pros:

  • Available with a 3-way switch for high, low, & off functions
  • Lower initial cost than other lighting options
  • Hard-wired or plug-in options
  • Near 100 CRI
  • Dimmable

Cons:

  • High heat emission
  • Consumes a large amount of energy

 

Puck Lights
Puck lights get their name from their shape, which resembles a hockey puck. They are able to use xenon, halogen, or LED light bulbs. Puck lights are often found as battery operated and can be stuck to the underside of the cabinet, making these lights a great option for people who do not want to deal with wiring, or for renters that want to add a little more appeal to their kitchen.
Pros:

  • Easy-to-install, battery-powered options for LED lights
  • Creates a focused light
  • Dimmable Options
  • Inexpensive
  • Long lasting

Cons:

  • Emits circles of light instead of even lighting
  • Can get hot when used with halogen bulbs

 

Fluorescent Lights

Fluorescent lighting is a classic budget friendly option for under cabinets. They are more energy efficient than halogen bulbs and less expensive than LEDs.
Pros:

  • Runs cooler than xenon and halogen lighting
  • Available as a hard-wired or plug-in option
  • Brighter light than other fixtures

Cons:

  • Color rendering may not be quality enough for some applications

 

LED Lights
LED lights are a great choice when considering energy efficiency, as they are about 80% more efficient than other lighting options. Originally they were only available as a cool blue tone, but today, they are available in daylight and warm white color temperatures.
Pros:

  • Available with a 3-way switch for high, low, & off functions
  • Cool to the touch
  • Brighter than most options
  • Available as hard-wired or plug-in
  • Very durable
  • Available as dimmable
  • Long life span

Cons:

  • Some LED fixtures may require a separate power supply
  • Higher initial cost

Get More Done with Ideal Lighting Tips for Your Workspace!

desk setup with lamp
 
Lighting in a room is an important quality to consider when trying to create a certain ambiance or design for that area. Lighting can make all the difference to an individual’s energy, mood, and productivity. There are plenty of proper tips to help you take action and create the office space you want!
 
Individuals look to create a pleasant office space without disturbances. To begin, look into an area that has natural light. It would be ideal if your desk was situated near a window because it provides outdoor lighting. I would place my desk nearby. I cannot say much for daydreaming, but you may find inspiration or get back on track!
Most offices have less than ideal built in light sources. They can be unpleasant and hurtful to the eyes. If you were to include other light sources with the overhead, the two can brighten any room not leaving any dark areas a normal lighting fixture could miss.
 
For those long nights that could be spent going over work, a task light is great for keeping focus. This option helps to avoid straining your eyes! There are various types of lamps that can clip onto the side of your desk or work area. These lamps can free up space, be stylish, and convenient if you move around a lot!
 
Some people want to create a serene and relaxing work area. Ambient lighting is an excellent option and is a fantastic stress reliever. You may have one of those moments where you look up from your computer and realize the rest of your coworkers have left for the day. At the end of the day it is you, your work, and the only straining light left on in the building. Setting up ambient lighting produces a warm glow, creating a homelike feel. This can help finish up your work in a calm environment.
 
When going to place or replace the lighting in your office don’t forget to consider where to place the lights! Light can vary depending on if there are high or low ceilings and where you situate the desk as well! In the end, choose how you want to light up your workspace! It has to work best for you!

The Benefits of Switching to LEDs from Traditional Lighting


 
Today, we hear a lot about being eco-friendly and finding ways to lead a more sustainable life, especially in our own homes. One simple and effective way home owners are decreasing their carbon footprint, is by using energy saving lighting. By far, the most energy efficient type of lighting a homeowner can purchase, is LED lighting. Technology has come a long way since traditional lighting, and is helping us save the planet one bulb at a time. Aside from being a power-saving and smart solution for lighting, there are many other reasons to switch to LED lighting.
 
Long Life – One of the best benefits of LED lighting the exceptional life expectancy of up to 100,000 hours of continuous illumination. If they are not left on 100% of the time, you can be sure that they will last much longer. LEDs do not burn out like normal lighting. Instead, they just become dimmer over long periods of time.
 
Eco Friendly – LED lighting is free of toxic chemicals. Traditional lighting such as fluorescent lights, contain material such as mercury, which is harmful to the environment. LED lights are also 100% recyclable. Due to their long life, one LED light can replace the production of 25 traditional light bulbs.
 
Durable – LEDs are very durable and can withstand wind, rain, shock, vibrations and external impacts, making them a great choice for outdoor lighting. They also operate well in extremely cold or hot conditions.
 
Low Voltage – LEDs require a low voltage power supply to operate, helping you save on your electric bill. This also makes them ideal to use with solar panels.