Friday, December 27th, 2013
by Littman Bros Lighting
LED tape lighting is an excellent product for both accent and task lighting applications in various rooms within your home. It is roughly only one quarter of an inch wide and about an eighth of an inch long; the size allows the tape to be hidden practically anywhere that you want to create a glow of light without showing a fixture. LED strip lights can be used as accent lighting, which adds drama to a space by creating visual interest. Accent lighting draws attention to specific objects or areas in a space like shelving, nooks, and glass cabinets.
LED tape lighting is very easy to install – all that is needed is a hidden power source so that you can store the driver out of sight. The low voltage wire that runs from the driver to the starting point is so tiny and inconspicuous; it is barely noticeable. The low-voltage wire can also run from one lit space to the next should you have a break in areas. The tape itself is a peel and stick application, just make sure to dry fit the tape before installation.
When installing LED tape lights, make sure to get high quality LED tape like Kichler’s Low Output LED Tape in order to get both the energy savings and longevity of the diodes; lower quality LED strips have been known to have diodes burn out prematurely. The great benefits of LEDs are that the power consumption is a fraction of incandescent and there is no maintenance with bulbs that need to be chained out. Take advantage of both benefits and get a system that will last.
Wednesday, December 18th, 2013
by Littman Bros Lighting
Lighting is no longer just about brightening up a space, it has become so much more than that; it is about layering and balance; positioning your light source. You can have a room filled with all different types of lighting and still be missing the mark. Some rooms would benefit from lighting that draws attention and creates style within a space, while others need subtle fixtures that are restrained and delicate. There are also the different types of lighting that help to develop the layers within a space – ambient, task, accent and decorative lighting.
Ambient lighting is the most general lighting, creating the overall, general light within a space. This general lighting can be accomplished with sunlight, cans or lamps. Another common type of lighting is task lighting, which would be lamps on a desk or pendants over an island. The next two types of lighting create depth and interest in a space, accent and decorative lighting; accent lighting is used to accentuate an object or element in a space, think picture lights over paintings or puck lights in glass cabinets. Decorative lighting is purely ornamental; one of the most common applications is cove lighting above cabinets or in tray ceilings.
Getting a feel for the different layers of light is one thing – but how do you use them in a space? This all depends on what room you are trying to light as well as the look that you want to create. Here are some general guidelines for each space:
In a living room or family room you will want to light three of the four corners of the space, this can be accomplished using a combination of table and floor lamps, wall sconces and overhead lighting. Shaded lamps will create good reading light for the direct area while torchiere lamps will light up more of the room. Wall sconces and overhead lighting should be put on dimmers; this gives you more control over the mood and function of the room.
In a dining room the main source of light is over the table and should be put on a dimmer and lowered for entertaining purposes; this dimmer light promotes socializing because it is calming and flattering. Additional lighting should be placed on the edges of the room using torchiere lamps on a buffet table or accent wall sconces.
Ambient and task lighting are most important in the kitchen to assist with cooking. Many people congregate in the kitchen while entertaining and that is why accent and decorative lighting really help accentuate the space. Recessed lighting or an overhead semi-flush mount can create a great amount of ambient lighting; be sure to place these on a dimmer so that they can be nice and bright while cooking and dimmed while entertaining. Pendant and under cabinet lighting create additional lighting where tasks are performed, these can also be dimmed down while the overhead lights are off creating a backdrop while the party is perhaps eating in the formal dining space.
I have been asked if recessed lighting is sufficient in a bathroom – the answer is absolutely not. While you will want recessed lighting in your shower (and if the bathroom is large enough throughout the space), it is not good lighting for applying makeup and is far from flattering when you look in the mirror. Wall sconces are the absolute best for a bathroom; they create a warm flattering wash on your face. When wall sconces are not possible, a vanity light is the next best thing.
Tuesday, December 17th, 2013
by Littman Bros Lighting
The real estate collapse has caused more people to stay where they are and renovate instead of going on the hunt for something totally new. Whether people are renovating to make their house into their dream home or prepping to sell when the market turns, there is no doubt there is a rise in updating and renovating the home. Today, we find that the most common rooms for renovation are kitchens and baths; they are the selling features of the home and therefore create the most equity and return on investment.
Lighting is an important part of any renovation project – many older spaces, especially kitchens do not have enough lighting and a dark and shadowy space can make a home feel dated, cramped and dirty. Enhancing your home with the right amount of both task and ambient lighting can add to the perceived square footage by brightening and lightening up a space. Recessed lighting is a great way to create even ambient lighting; recessed lighting in a kitchen should be placed around your cabinets and workspace and should be placed according to their size. For example, six feet apart for 6 inch cans, five feet for 5 inch and so on. Smaller, more modern recessed lights should be placed closer together because Halogen and LED bulbs have a narrower spread. Under cabinet lighting is also a great addition for task lighting and eliminates shadows created by the upper cabinets; self-adhesive LED strips are a great under cabinet solution as they are indiscreet and smaller in size. Energy efficient LED lighting draws four or fewer watts per foot and has an average life span of 40 thousand hours or 15 years of regular usage. Task lighting is also needed over any islands or peninsulas and can be achieved easily by using hanging pendants or mini pendants and doing so will also create some visual interest.
After adding additional lighting you will want to update your original fixtures: Dropping your center light fixture slightly (within 16 inches on an 8 foot ceiling) will allow a cast of up-light on your ceiling, which creates a softer ambient light that will combat any shadowing from the addition of the recessed lighting. Up lighting has also become the more desirable type of lighting over the kitchen dining area; you can achieve this through simple bowl fixtures or a chandelier, and don’t be afraid to dress up your lights with newer, elegant designs.
Thursday, December 5th, 2013
by Littman Bros Lighting
Selecting the right picture light can be somewhat difficult but our lighting professionals have broken down some key points when shopping for the perfect picture lights.
There are so many options between the different mounts, type of lights, size and finish options – first, you have to determine the size of the picture light you will need for your space. Your fixture should be roughly half the size of the frame. For example, if your frame is 16 to 24 inches you will need a 7 to 9 inch light; a 25 to 37 inch frame would use a 14.5 to 16 inch light.
Next step is choosing between the different types of lighting the picture light has to offer – It used to be that fluorescent was the only ways to have a battery powered light with any lifespan but now the LEDs far surpass the fluorescent fixtures. The LED lights are also sleeker, requiring less room for bulbs. The House of Troy Slim-Line picture light is a sleek and simple choice for this type of lighting. Depending on what you want to illuminate, a light fixture that emits less heat (like LEDs) might preserve your artwork or focal point much longer.
No a mounting option is in order and needs to be decided on – battery powered is attractive to a lot of people because there is no wiring to run or cords that will be seen. Although LEDs allow for longer usage of the fixtures, there is still some maintenance involved with changing batteries. These pieces also lack a conveniently located switch; the abundance of outlets allow for more flexibility in the location of cord fixture – direct wire fixtures are powered through junction boxes in your wall. A picture could be placed over the old location of a wall sconce; otherwise an electrician will need to wire power to the center of your picture.
Monday, August 23rd, 2010
by Littman Bros Lighting
Summer is quickly coming to an end, the kids are getting ready for school and many of us are getting our homes ready for the fall season that is approaching fast. With the cooler months drawing closer, many more of us will spend more time inside enjoying our homes and less time outside. Now is the perfect time to check any light fixtures throughout the house and replace any that may be old, worn-out or broken.
Since many people find that their home becomes a main focal point during the cooler seasons, it is important that your lighting creates a warm and inviting atmosphere that is illuminated throughout your home. The Dining Room, Living Room and Kitchen are probably the most important rooms in your home because they are the main areas used to entertain guests when having company over. Continue Reading Accent Lighting Guide: Light Up Your Home With The Right Lighting Accent