Tag: lighting vendor

Creative Kitchen Lighting Options

Light your kitchen with fun fixtures and sleek LED strips to create a custom look.


Lighting can play a huge part in tying together a space. Particularly in the kitchen, which usually tends to be a main gathering space for most families, lighting can help to highlight special features, add practicality to the space and infuse the homeowner’s style into the design.

Here are some creative ways to light your kitchen.

LED lights inside cabinets
Many people are intrigued by long-lasting, energy-efficient LED lights and will use LEDs in their accent lighting. Using LED lights to highlight your kitchen cabinets can be a creative yet frugal way to add another dimension to your kitchen lighting, while adding a personal touch to the space.

Under-cabinet lighting
Oftentimes, it’s the subtle things that make lighting stand out in a kitchen. Adding under-cabinet lighting is not only practical for lighting areas in hard-to-reach places, but can accentuate areas of interest in the kitchen like the backsplash and countertops.

Why not shine a spotlight on the design and selections that make your kitchen beautiful?

 

Modern light fixtures
While practicality is usually the main goal when it comes to lighting, choosing lighting fixtures can allow customers to add their own style to a kitchen.

While some homeowners may not go as bold on the kitchen countertops or backsplash, adding modern lighting fixtures can be a good way to add the personal taste they crave — without the permanency of the other kitchen elements.

Current lighting trends
When in doubt, go with the trends. Opal rather than clear glass is gaining popularity due to it’s ability to diffuse light. Streamlined wall sconces can also play a part in lighting hard-to-reach areas, as well as add personal flair to the space.

For your fixtures, the ‘mixed metal’ look is very popular right now. Try a copper, gold and chrome combination when choosing your kitchen lighting.

Overall, there are many creative ways to light your kitchen without sacrificing practicality. Take the opportunity to let your style shine through and research the many different lighting options before starting your project.

What kind of lighting do you use in the kitchen?

 

How To Upgrade Lighting For Multifamily Buildings

Whether your multifamily building is apartments, condos, or retirement homes, you’re probably facing a common problem: energy costs.

A lighting retrofit is a great way to decrease those electricity bills. Plus, with increasingly stringent building code, upgrading to LED might not be a choice for much longer.

Our goal is to make lighting easier, so we are offering you four steps on how to upgrade multifamily buildings.

1. Set your goals

Before you start any project, you need to set your final goal. A lighting retrofit is no different. Upgrading your lighting can be a big financial decision, and we want to make sure it’s one you’re comfortable with.
Here are some good questions to ask before you decide what your lighting retrofit should look like:

Is your primary goal energy efficiency?

What’s the biggest problem with your current lighting plan?

What does your budget look like? Can you retrofit all of your lighting at once or do you need to start with smaller projects?

Once you have the answer to these questions, you can move on to Step 2.

2. Use the lighting pyramid

To explain how much energy your lighting is using, we like to use what we call the lighting pyramid. Here’s how it works. The type of lighting at the bottom of the pyramid uses the most amount of energy. The lighting at the top uses the least amount of energy.

If you have a lot of incandescent light bulbs in apartments or condos, or in your lobby, consider replacing those with LED first. Then work your way up the pyramid.

By the way, did you know some states are banning incandescent light bulbs? You can check to see if your state is included here.

Or if you’re focusing on other ways to save energy, check out our blog on five strategies for multifamily buildings.

3. Focus on high-burn areas

You most likely have places on your property where lights are on at all times of the day.
Focusing on these areas that need to be well-lit at all times could be a good strategy for you:

  1. Parking garage or lot
  2. Stairwells
  3. Lobby
  4. Common areas

This is one of the strategies an Atlanta apartment building used to help achieve a payback in under six months. The initial interest was moving to more sustainable, energy-efficient lighting.

The end product was instant savings and more for years to come. You can read more about the solutions here.

4. Lighting controls

Adding lighting controls can help you save even more energy. The systems can be as simple or as complicated as you would like, and they may even be required in some jurisdictions.
As a basic start, try installing occupancy sensors in laundry rooms and meeting rooms that will not be occupied all the time.

Benefits of a lighting retrofit for multifamily buildings

The benefits from a lighting retrofit will go beyond a lower electricity bill. Here are a few other bonuses:
Safety – Safety is a feeling that residents should get when they step on your property. It can also be a deciding factor to stay there or look for another place to call home. Pay attention to your parking garage or parking lots and exterior lighting to make sure safety standards are met.
Attracting new tenants – If you’re struggling to retain and attract tenants, a lighting upgrade can become one of your selling points. Your lighting will look great, but it will also be more sustainable and greener.
Quality of life – Quality lighting can also enhance quality of life. We recommend choosing lighting with a high CRI in areas like a business room, office, or common area.
If you have questions about your next lighting project, or any lighting challenges you’re trying to solve, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Mood Changers: Lighting Design 101 – Why Lighting Is The Most Important Design Feature

Walk into a room bathed in cozy, inviting light and you’ll feel instantly at ease. Walk into the same room buzzing with harsh fluorescents, and your teeth may start to grind.

Why?

In 2019, a Journal of Consumer Psychology study found that the more intense the lighting, the more affected and intense the participants’ emotions were — both positive and negative.

The study included six experiments that examined the link between emotion and ambient brightness. Feelings of warmth increased when participants were exposed to bright light with hints of reddish hues. A sensation of angst increased when bluer light dominated.

And the brighter the light, the more intense the participants’ emotions became. Both the intensity and the color of the light affected people’s moods.

How Does This Affect Your Next Remodel?

When designing a space, lighting needs to be addressed as soon as the space itself, and how it will be used, are defined.

For example, if it’s an office space you are designing, “office lighting should encourage alertness and productivity,” said Rebecca Hadley, manager of Eaton’s SOURCE lighting education center. It also helps to “incorporate controls that allow for changes throughout the day. Ideally, you’d have the ability to adjust the intensity of your lighting with a dimmer switch.”

When lighting for a home, the purpose of each room comes into play. The kitchen, a work space, demands brighter, high CRI (color accurate) light while the living room calls for more mellow, warmer lighting.

“Our association of orange-ish light with feelings of warmth and relaxation is probably evolutionary and originates from our earliest ancestors who, for both warmth and safety from predators, made sure to light a fire at night.”

-David Hakimi, Alcon Lighting Co-Founder

The entrance of your home should welcome guests, creating a smooth transition from the bright daylight to your home’s interior lighting. At night, the lighting should ease the visitor from the dark outdoors into a warm interior light that will not overload their senses and help them relax. Before bed, lighting should be lowered to promote “winding down” but remain bright enough so that you can navigate your home safely.

 

Mimicking Outdoor Lighting

Vast research documents the many benefits of incorporating natural light into our living spaces. According to Architectural Lighting Magazine, natural light — or daylighting — provides the stimulation needed to regulate human circadian rhythms, or the internal body clock. Learn more about the health benefits of natural light here.

In addition to circadian rhythms, natural light also affects our moods and can increase productivity and comfort in a workplace setting. A study by HMG titled “Daylighting Impacts on Retail Sales Performance,” found that the presence of skylights was the third-most important criterion of statistically significant factors in increasing sales volume. HMG also studied daylighting in schools and found a strong connection between schools that reported improvements in test scores — more than 10 percent — and those that reported increased natural lighting in the classroom.

Natural lighting can have a similar impact when incorporated in a home’s lighting plan. Beyond energy savings, exposure to natural light improves mood and can help make falling asleep easier. Spending your day in areas that are enhanced by natural light can improve the function of your circadian rhythm, which can increase your happiness and energy levels. Exposing yourself to too much blue light from electronics in the evening is directly associated with the opposite effect, which you can read more about here.

Eaton’s Hadley said industry research suggests indoor light (during the day) should mimic the color of light we experience outside by seeking similar gradations over time: “…cool light in the morning, to white light at midday, to warm light in the evening.”

Of course, the most important factor in lighting your home is what you yourself prefer. But Alcon Lighting’s David Hakimi recommends one key step everyone can take to create a calm, pleasing environment that mimics outdoor lighting:

“At night, use lights that feature warmer color temperatures – those that fall in the 2,700 to 3,000 Kelvin range. Also, use a dimmer to lower the intensity of light as the night progresses. Lowering lighting actually helps reduce blood pressure and encourages people to relax. So dimmer lights in the bedroom — and reduce use of electronics.”

Flexibility is Key

Flexibility is one natural benefit of smart lighting design. New advancements in lighting controls have made lighting for mood easier than ever.

Newer LEDs with integrated controls and the ability to dim to warmer color temperatures are becoming popular in the hospitality industry because of their ability to affect the customer experience. “Warmer light and lower light levels have been shown to slow heart rate and create a relaxing state,” Hadley explained. “As a result, customers might be inspired to enjoy appetizers and cocktails rather than rushing through to the main course.” Conversely, some restaurants might put brighter light in an area where they want to turn tables quickly.

Color Plays a Role, Too — but it’s Easier to Adjust Lights.

Color is the most important aspect in lighting and mood.

However, Alcon’s Hakimi notes that It’s much easier to adjust lighting than to paint walls. In fact, you can change the color of your room just by brightening or dimming it.

The Most Important Design Element

With the ability to largely affect the mood of a room, lighting is the most important element to consider when designing a space.

In addition to altering the mood of the occupants in a room, lighting can transform the room in shape and size. In a den that is particularly small, painting the walls a light color and having extra lighting reflecting off the walls will help the room appear larger. Recessed lighting can add a soft glow to a room without protruding into the space, which can also help the room appear larger.

With its versatility in brightness levels and light colors, designers continue to turn to LED lighting. Advances in LED technology have led to several new fixtures, including LED skylights that imitate the look of a window and the sky. These “skylights” shed light that is the same temperature as natural light — offering an open, airy feeling and helping the room’s occupants to feel a more positive vibe.

With continued research and innovation in lighting, homeowners and designers have many options when it comes to selecting the right lighting to set the right mood for their space.

What’s an LED lighting retrofit?

LEDs use a fraction of the power that incandescent or fluorescent lighting consumes and last
many times longer than those types of bulbs, all while delivering the brightness, warmth and
color to fit your specific lighting needs. So now that you’re aware of how LEDs can save money,
improve lighting quality and reduce your carbon footprint, it’s time to put that green energy
solution to work for you.

You’ll often hear the word “retrofit” used to describe the replacement of your existing lighting
system with LEDs. It’s kind of odd that the word begins with “retro”, since that prefix usually
raises images of the past (think mullets and leisure suits) instead of the forward-thinking
technology that LEDs offer. Be that as it may, retrofit has become the accepted term for
upgrading your older lighting to newer, more energy efficient LED equipment.

Lighting accounts for about 15 to 20% of a typical commercial building’s energy use, so if you
haven’t already done an LED retrofit, every day you wait is costing you money. But if it’s any
consolation, you’re not alone. The U.S. Energy Information Administration says that as recently
as 2012, more than three-quarters of all the floor space in the nation’s commercial buildings was
lit by standard fluorescent lights, with another 6% of floor space still lit by incandescents.
Although LEDs have greatly increased their market share since that last government survey,
there is still a lot of old lighting out there that should be replaced.

It’s always best to take a whole-building approach to energy efficiency instead of treating each
separate measure – such as an LED retrofit – as a “one-off”. There are several reasons for this,
including the coordination among your building’s energy systems (i.e., installing low-heat LEDs
may impact your air conditioning needs) and more attractive rebates offered by utilities or
government entities for bundling energy efficiency measures to maximize energy savings.

Ideally, then, an LED retrofit is one part of an overall green energy solution for your business.
However, not every business owner may be in a financial position right now to undertake a
complete energy makeover. In that case, doing an LED retrofit as a stand-alone energy saving
measure immediately is better than waiting until a full upgrade can be made.

The first thing you should do before starting an LED retrofit is to decide why you want to do it. Is
it simply to reduce your energy costs (nothing wrong with that being the only reason!) or are you
also interested in adjusting the brightness or color quality of your lighting? What about using
lighting to improve the aesthetics of your space or the visual comfort of your employees or
customers? There are no right or wrong reasons for doing an LED retrofit, but knowing what
your goals are before you get started will help you install the lighting equipment you’ll need to
achieve them.

Once your goals are set, the next step is to have a lighting professional conduct a lighting audit.
An audit is the simplest and most effective way to evaluate your existing system and identify the
improvements needed to achieve your goals, ensuing that every area within your building has the
appropriate amount of light. The auditor’s recommendation will include the cost of each item and
an estimate of energy cost savings, so you can easily calculate how quickly your investment will
be repaid. If you have multiple locations that you’re looking to upgrade, it’s best to use the same
auditor for each site so you’ll have a consistent approach to the retrofits. An Ecology Action
energy efficiency advisor can assist you in choosing the lighting auditor who can best serve your
needs.

One of the advantages of LED lighting is that it can be used in existing fixtures, saving the cost of
installing new ones (as many businesses did years ago when they converted from incandescent
to fluorescent). In many cases, your existing fluorescent lighting fixtures can be retrofitted to LED
by simply removing the ballast and fluorescent lamp holders and replacing the fluorescent tubes
with LED tubes. There are also applications that offer a “plug and play” option, allowing you to
swap out your fluorescent tube with an LED without the need for removing the ballast and lamp
holders.

If you can’t use your existing fixtures for any reason, or if you’re altering your building’s lighting
plan by changing their location, you may need to install new LED fixtures. This is going to be a
more expensive option, but may result in greater long-term savings because fixtures specifically
designed for LEDs will operate more effectively than a retrofitted fluorescent fixture.

Incorporating lighting controls into your LED retrofit has the potential of increasing your energy
efficiency by providing the right amount of light when and where it’s needed. Lighting controls can
be as simple as a timer that turns lights on or off at pre-set times. They can also include more
advanced devices, like occupancy sensors that automatically turn on lights when motion is
detected in a space that isn’t continually in use (these have become popular in storage areas,
restrooms and conference rooms) or photocells that will adjust lighting levels depending on the
amount of available daylight.

In addition to meeting your building’s indoor lighting needs, the versatility of LEDs makes them
ideal for any of your outdoor lighting requirements. An LED’s performance is not affected by hot
or cold weather, which is why you see them now being used in safety-related outdoor
applications like traffic signals, streetlights and vehicle headlights. Commercial buildings often
have “wall pack lighting”, the fixtures mounted on the outside walls that provide both security for
the building and pathway lighting employees or customers. Wall pack lighting can also be used
for aesthetic purposes by illuminating the outside of your building. Lighting designers can take
advantage of the directional nature of LEDs and the variety of color temperatures available to
create dramatic effects while reducing your energy costs.

If your building has an outdoor parking lot or enclosed parking – like an adjacent deck or
underground parking – it’s important to include those areas in your LED retrofit. Parking areas
can be an ideal place to produce energy savings because they generally require large amounts
of lighting for safety and security. Parking lots have traditionally used high intensity discharge, or
HID, lighting like metal halide and high-pressure sodium lamps. While these kinds of lights
provide the brightness needed for parking areas, they use a lot of electricity. LEDs can deliver
the same level of brightness while using a fraction of the electricity, and can direct their light
precisely onto the areas that need to be lit instead of diffusing it in all directions. They’ll also last
three to four times longer than most HIDs. As with interior lighting, some LED lamps can be
retrofitted into existing fixtures in parking areas, saving the cost of installing new fixtures.

An LED retrofit is a key part of a green energy solution for any business. It’s easy to do and can
yield big savings. An Ecology Action energy efficiency expert can get you started in brightening up
your business – and your bottom line – with LEDs.

Agri-tech Company to Grow Tomatoes in New York with LED Lighting

80 Acres Farms, an indoor farming operator, is growing tomatoes on one of the busiest streets in New York outside the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum as part of the Guggenheim’s new exhibition in collaboration with Rem Koolhaas, Countryside, The Future, which is taking place from February 20 until August 14, 2020.

People in New York will be able to look through a large window in the indoor farm to view a crop of fresh tomatoes being grown continuously during the next six months under precise LED lighting and other controlled conditions. The first tomatoes grown will be ready for harvesting and consumption by late-March.

The grow module was set up to demonstrate how indoor farming can benefit the world through growing fresh, nutritious, and pesticide-free food near populations, anywhere in the world by using fewer natural resources. For the Guggenheim exhibition, 80 Acres Farms, Infinite Acres, and Priva have collaborated on the 700 square foot grow center and all of the state-of-the art ag-technology within it. The Infinite Acres grow module is expected to grow 50,000 tomatoes during the exhibition.

Get a free quote for your project. Click here.