October 9th, 2013

by Littman Bros Lighting

Rooms with fireplaces are often inadequately lit – these spaces are generally designed for relaxing and entertaining but the lighting may only consist of a few lamps. If you’re lucky your builder might have thrown in a few recessed lights near the fireplace for general lighting, that is definitely needed but recessed cans are perfect for lighting the overall space and lack the layers of lighting needed to create depth and highlight the room’s features. When done properly lighting will add depth and ambiance while tying together all aspects of decor.

Fireplace Lighting

Fireplaces are sought after architectural details and should be highlighted in your space – start with placing two recessed lights two feet away to cross-illuminate the fireplace; keeping them close to the fireplace will ensure a person cannot step between the light source and fireplace, creating shadows and blinding an unsuspecting guest. Make sure to get an adjustable trim, either a gimbal or eyeball trim. The two lights should be positioned to wash the area above the mantel. To add some more depth, frame the fireplace with sconces on either side, which will create drama and focus attention on the centerpiece. No room for wall sconces? Or seeking a cleaner look? Accent lighting can be applied above crown molding; this will create a warm inviting glow that will balance the room.

Indirect lighting will help soften the shadows produced by the recessed lights. The exact application of this indirect lighting will depend on your space. A higher ceiling would benefit from one or two pendants or chandeliers centered on the fireplace and a smaller room with a lower ceiling might benefit from just a few lamps. Either application of indirect lighting will soften shadows and add human scale to the space. An accented fireplace will remain the focal point for the room while the layers of light create an inviting space with warmth and interest.

September 18th, 2013

by Littman Bros Lighting

Corbett Inertia Collection

Geometric shapes are huge this year, both in repeating patterns and the general form of the light fixture – these sculptural fixtures combine function and art into unique abstract designs. Light fixtures that take on a more sculptural form are becoming more widely accepted and complement many different types of room designs. The asymmetric shapes express individuality and a break from the conventional light fixture; a good example of this is Fredrick Ramond’s Ion collection, which has a generally simple sphere shape but is composed of multiple aluminum spirals. This piece creates detail, texture and interest within a simple geometric form. The metal spirals add both a rustic and refined element to their surroundings. Ion is detailed enough to stand alone but simple enough to pair in threes over a long table or island. Many sculptural pieces follow this general theme with very detailed features, unique shapes, accents and colors.

Kichler City Lights Collection

Corbett Lighting also has a range of collection’s that display this sculptural form in lighting, like the Big Bang collection, Chimera, Spellbound and Inertia collection; although these pieces are so different they all have a refined beauty created by their lustrous finishes, attention to detail and unique shapes. Sculptural pieces can also have a more detailed composition and less decorative details – Kichler’s City Lights chandeliers are a perfect example of this. The basic rectangular lights are stacked and placed almost randomly along silver linear bars creating an abstract city and a functional piece of artwork. The Kichler Escala collection has a similar effect – the simple spheres and gentle curves make an interesting and compelling sculpture. Light sculptures are used in both sleek and modern rooms to create interest or can add a modern flare to traditional or classic spaces.

August 29th, 2013

by Littman Bros Lighting

Dining Room Lighting

Lighting should be focused around how a room is used and furniture placement plays a key role in your fixture size and location; this is especially true for fixtures that drop over tables or counter tops. Fixtures for specific rooms in your home must be sized appropriately based on both the size of the space as well as table size; this is why when furniture changes the fixture may look disproportionate.

Have you ever walked into a dining room and noticed the fixture was not centered over the table? This often happens a lot when people add a hutch or china cabinet and slide the table over to keep spacing on both sides even and adding a leaf to the table will have the same effect. Center your lights over how you have your table placed in your space on a daily basis, not how it is placed for holidays or special occasions.

General lighting in a room can also be affected by furniture placement. A centered fixture, whether it is a flush mount or a chandelier, will not be affected. This is more of an issue when you have recessed lighting or spotlights highlighting certain areas. If you move your furnishings often, opt for an overall general ceiling light and use temporary and portable table lamps and floor lamps to add accent lighting, rather than adding wall sconces and directional cans.

August 13th, 2013

by Littman Bros Lighting

Ceiling Fans

Ceiling fans help conserve energy and save money by circulating the air but they do not actually lower the temperature in a room. Ceiling fans make a space feel cooler by blowing extra air over a person’s skin, increasing the evaporation of moisture – this increased moisture evaporation can make a room feel up to 8 degrees cooler. Fans save energy by allowing your thermostat to stay at a higher temperature while making the space feel cooler than it actually is. To optimize your energy savings be sure to turn off your ceiling fan when leaving the room, since the fan does not actually cool the air, there is no reason to have it running when there is no one to cool.

August 7th, 2013

by Littman Bros Lighting

Ceiling Fan Enhancements

Ceiling fans add great value to your living space as well as help maintain a consistent temperature year round. Ceiling fans are an energy efficient solution that provides comfort at a fraction of the cost of heating or central air alone. No matter what the space within your home, there is a ceiling fan that is the appropriate size.

When you look at the overall aesthetics and airflow efficiency, the standard fan can be used in a much smaller space than typically thought. Standard ceiling fan sizes 52 inch to 54 inch can be used in a space that is only 144 square feet, all the way up to 255 square foot space.

What if you have a very tiny space? A 36 inch ceiling fan is appropriate for a small closet up to 75 square feet and a small to medium room of about 76 to 144 square feet can handle a 42 inch to 50 inch fan. Larger spaces can take up to a 72 inch fan but the ceiling height starts to factor into this decision – a 72 inch ceiling fan installed on a ceiling shorter than 14 inches, visually, feels like it is falling down on top of you; if you have a space larger than 400 square feet with a lower ceiling, go for multiple fans around 52 to 54 inches. A room larger than 400 square feet with a high ceiling should have a 72 inch fan.

July 31st, 2013

by Littman Bros Lighting

Balancing your Ceiling Fan

Few things are more annoying than a rattling fan motor or a wobbling fan; it can also be scary when your fan shakes above you. While most new high-end ceiling fans come pre-balanced, others level themselves when run on high for a few hours. In few instances it may be necessary to make some adjustments – you may have an older fan that has come off kilter. So how do you balance your ceiling fan?

First make sure all your screws are tight and nothing has loosened over time. Than you will want to make sure all the blades are straight – measure from the ceiling down to the blade, in order to make sure the same side of all blades are measured. Next, using a fan balancing kit, you will need to determine which blade needs more weight. Place the balancing clip halfway between the blade tip and blade holder and run the fan – do this with all blades and mark which blade makes the biggest difference. You will then need to fine tune the placement of the weight by moving the clip in and out, on the blade, until it is balanced. Once the weight location has been determined, peel off the paper from the weight adhesive and place it on the top center of the blade, directly inline with the balancing clip. From here you should have a working, better balanced fan for your room; if the fan is still wobbly or continues to make noise, attempt this process again with the balancing kit or consult a lighting professional.

July 24th, 2013

by Littman Bros Lighting

Modern Fan Altus

Both Modern Fan Company and Period Arts Fan Company offer high quality fans with clean contemporary design. Both companies design high performance fans with quiet and steady motors. Modern Fan Company consists of a more contemporary and simple style; their fans feature basic geometric shapes mostly in matte silver and white. Many of the Modern Fan Company’s products have minimalist conceptions with three or four blades and they remain above fashion and trends offering ceiling fans that will be relevant for years to come.

The Period Arts line brings traditional finishes and materials to a clean and contemporary design. These fans are authentic designs of the late nineteenth and early twentieth-century architectural movements. They offer the best of both worlds – period design with modern technology.

Both Modern Fan Company and Period Arts have great specifications, offering all their fans with a la carte options. It is extremely easy to select the exact fan you need for each room; blade size and color, fan finish, light selection and control options are all individually selected – simply select the options you need based on the room size and style.

July 17th, 2013

by Littman Bros Lighting

Kichler LED Tape

LED Tape lighting has various applications; any small space that needs ambient lighting is the perfect spot for these tiny flexible lights. LED is now bright enough for task lighting over kitchen counters and desks; it is a flawless under cabinet lighting solution. Unlike halogens, LEDs will not get hot and warm your cabinets, adding that unnecessary heat. They also draw significantly less power and with a lifespan of 40,000 hours they are maintenance free.

One of the brightest under cabinet LED tape lights is from Kichler Lighting, and only draws 4 watts per foot. Kichler’s LED tape lights, like the other’s on the market, is dimmable provided you purchase a dimmable driver. Drivers are a necessary component for tape lighting as they run on 12 volts unlike the 120 volts that run through your house. When designing or remodeling your kitchen, place power in each section of independent cabinets – this power source could be located above the fridge or microwave or in an accessible basement ceiling.

Kichler Under Cabinet Lighting

Most tape lighting is flexible and customizable for any kitchen. They are provided with cutting locations every 3 inches and various connectors to jump around appliances and breaks in the cabinets. What sets Kichler tape lighting apart from its competitors is the color temperature and light output; Kichler LED tape lighting comes in a few different color options: 2700K, 3000K and 4000K. If you like the warm glow of incandescent light bulbs go with the 2700K – 3000K is a true white and looks great on white back splashes. The 4000K is like the older LEDs, a nice cool white color.

July 10th, 2013

by Littman Bros Lighting

Great Room Ceiling Fan

Sizing a ceiling fan for your room can be tricky but there are some general guidelines for fan sizes given the size of your space:

Ceiling height does play into the visual appearance of your fan size; a small 42 inch ceiling fan is for a space that is about 100 square feet or smaller. Your standard ceiling fan is 52 to 54 inches – these are great for 144 to 225-square-foot spaces. A larger ceiling fan, like a 60 inch fan, is good for anything larger than that. Certain manufacturers also make 72 inch fans for extremely large rooms with 2 story ceilings, like a great room or larger foyer; these larger fans are only good for very high ceilings.

The airflow of a ceiling fan is measured in cubic feet per minute (CFI) and for a standard 144 to 225-square-foot room, 4800 CFI is probably the best. Anything above 5500 CFI is great for most rooms. Ceiling fans are incredibly efficient for cooling and circulating the air in your home. The energy used is measured in watts and today’s new eco motors, which run on DC current, can use as little as 22 watts but the use of about 80 watts is normal for the standard ceiling fan. A fan’s efficiency is measured in cubic feet per minute per watt consumed – the higher the efficiency number is the more efficient your fan.

July 3rd, 2013

by Littman Bros Lighting

Kichler Lighting introduced a new line of LED landscape lighting at this summer’s International Lighting Market and this new line, known as Radiax, definitely generated a lot of interest among industry professionals.

Kichler Radiax

Kichler’s Radiax LED landscape technology has the greatest lumens per watt in the industry; its design utilizes innovative optics that increases light output while consuming fewer watts. This new technology drives more output from their LED chips creating a more focused light at a cooler temperature. While the chips themselves run cooler, this does not affect the lights color.

The Radiax, a Kichler exclusive design, controls the color rendering and offers their lights in three different Kelvins. The new Radiax design takes a traditional 75watt PAR 30 fixture that costs about $40 to power a year and drops the cost output to $11.53 a year with this novel lighting technology – this cost comparison is focusing on energy alone. According to kichler.com, lumens are an enhanced indication of a light’s brightness.

“..At Kichler, we’ve engineered a solution to get the most lumens with the least amount of wattage. Our Radiax TM optic drives increased output from our LED chips, creating more focused light at a cooler operating temperature.”

Kichler’s Radiax truly focuses on how the light makes consumers feel as well as the type environment they want.