Architectural Lights made easy

At night, the lights turn on and the city comes alive. One of my favorite things about visiting different cities is experiencing what they look like at night. Las Vegas is a city that has architectural lighting down, with exploding colors. It seems to be as bright at night as it is during the day. From glowing arches and colorful fountains to buildings draped in an artistic design, cities around the world are using lighting to stand out from the rest. Architectural lighting is what illuminates commercial buildings with color and style. It is not something designers just slap together; it is thought out and arranged in specific patterns to create the desired effect. Lighting can be expensive, and a professional not only wants the outside of a building to look good, but they work to fit it in a budget while still keeping the energy bill down. Lights can make a huge impact on your building and create positive exposure of your location and business. With a little study, planning, and work, you can add architectural lighting to a commercial or even residential building without breaking the budget or overworking your brain.

Photo by Moyan Brenn (Flickr)

Photo by Moyan Brenn (Flickr)

Design

Before buying any lights for a building, you are going to have to make some design decisions. I love lighting that screams for attention, but it doesn’t work for every business or building. Decide on what you want your building to “feel” like. I know that seems silly, but subtle lights around the corners and landscaping can give the feeling of peace. Bright lights that are filled with colors might signify action and adventure. Other buildings need lights to keep the outdoors lit while people are working; spotlights will help employees feel comfortable and safe.

Budget

We would all love to add as many lights and accessories as we envision, but sometimes the final decision is left to the budget. Choose what lights are necessary first. Depending on what time of day your building is most occupied, you might need to focus on night lights or accent day lights. Once you have figured out the necessary areas, you can then begin adding extra lights to darker areas or to advertise your building. I know for my home, having my walkway lit is important, but adding lights under the roof line is an added bonus if the budget allows for it.

Map it Out

Once you have figured out the budget and type of lights you want, it is time to map it out. This will help you recognize areas where lighting is needed most; doors and walkways will need the most lighting. Arrange the lights to cover all darkened areas, and slowly trace back to add architectural lights to increase curb appeal and add that little extra something.

Night Lights

Night lights serve multiple purposes; some lights are used to prevent break-ins, while others help guide people to the door and keep the area safely lit. For buildings that are open at night, adding bright architectural lights can helps direct customers your way. When you think about big cities, night lights can be everything to make a commercial building stand out and look alive.

Day Lights

Lights during the day might sound a little like overkill, but adding them under the building roof line helps people feel comfortable and know the business is open. Creating lights that can be used both at night and during the day is a great way to get the benefits of both on a tight budget. Getting help from a professional is the easiest way to ensure complete visibility, style, and curb appeal on a budget.

By Wendy Weinert

11 Problems with Lighting

Photo By: chris.corwin (Flickr)

Photo By: chris.corwin (Flickr)

When it comes to interior design, lighting is an element that often gets overlooked. I have walked into a room many times and felt that something was a little off; the couches look good, the fabric of the curtains hangs nicely against the wall, and the rug is the perfect size, but something is missing. A quick scope of the lights, and there is my answer. Lighting ties a room together. It is the beginning and final touches of a room. When designing a room, problems with lighting can arise. Sometimes you can’t get it to electrically work, and often it simply does not work in a room. Here are 11 problems that are often found in a room.

Lighting in all the Wrong Places

I could have twenty different lights in the same room, but if they aren’t placed correctly, it might end up dark in the place I need the light the most. This is often a struggle when a room is wired electrically wrong.

Unsightly Lighting

If a light is ugly it doesn’t matter how bright it shines or where it hangs; it will be continue to be an eyesore. Read about these awful light-fixtures and why they should never have been hung in these rooms.

No Task Light in the Kitchen

The kitchen is where I cook, and it is so frustrating when the upper cabinets block the light from my working space. Learn about how installing lighting under your cabinets adds function with a touch of style.

No Dimmers

My mood changes throughout the day and a dimmer makes it easy to adjust the feel of a room. I have to have a dimmer in the family room. Being able to lower the lights while watching a movie is important. Adding a dimmer, along with these other lighting tips, will get your house glowing in the right way.

Too Many Recessed Lights

I love using can lights in a room, but when they are the only thing lighting a room it can feel dark. Recessed lights make it difficult for the light to escape and stretch out in the room. Read more about using too many recessed lights along with five other lighting mistakes in a home.

Energy Wasters

The biggest thing I look at when remodeling or designing any room is creating a room that is stunning and functional. Too many people jump on a design they love without thinking about the comfort or cost in the long run. Selecting energy-efficient lights can save energy and money while still giving the desired look.

Electrical Problems

If you are changing light-bulbs constantly or watching the bulb flicker, you are probably experiencing electrical problems. Read about the most common electrical problems and whether your little problem is actually a big one.

Lacking Variety

Don’t get too excited and start hanging all your favorite lights in the same room. Having variety is important, but this applies to the entire house. The kitchen, bathroom, and family room all serve a very different purpose. Lights should play a role in helping that room be functional.

Misuse of Natural Light

Natural light can play a huge part in lighting a room during the day. Embracing it can make a room completely bright without turning on any switches.

No Accent Lighting

I absolutely love accent lights in interior design. Using it around artwork, along stairs, and under cabinets in the kitchen and bathrooms are a few of my favorite places to see the little lights glowing.

Too Many Lights

I have talked about how less is more, and it applies to lighting as well. Having too many different lights can be overwhelming and distracting. Position a couple of lights appropriately can give the same effect and provide an equal amount of brightness as hanging several lights; it also can save money on your electric bill.

by Wendy Weinert

Urban Sophistication Via Industrial Chic Design

Musty abandoned warehouses, old power plants, and rustic salvage yards all have one thing in common; they’re ripe with potential for finding raw, weathered and tarnished design elements that can be used to infuse your living space with a welcome dose of vintage industrial chic style.

JDG Industrial 3

The industrial chic design philosophy is one that celebrates not only built-in elements like exposed brick, duct-work, or pipes, but also supports the use of items made from reclaimed and new industrial materials.  This utilitarian design style welcomes metals like tin, aluminum, iron and steel, as well as aged woods and worn textures.  Think lighting made from factory glass, furnishings made from piping or other metals, or to get even more specific, a door step made from a big, chunky, steel gear.  One thing that all industrial chic design elements will have is a look that makes them seem as if they have stood the test of time.  Industrial chic is by no means a flashy style; rather, such elements will feature a hint of patina on a matte finish, some wear and tear (like chipped paint), but ultimately look simple and clean, tending towards the masculine.  You could actually think of industrial chic style as less of a “style” and more a reflection of the realities of industrial working life, back when the ethos of industrial craftsmanship was at its most prominent.

JDG Industrial 2

Being that industrial chic design is both neutral and timeless, it is a style that is easy to incorporate into your pre-existing traditional, transitional, or contemporary/modern style living space.  Perhaps one of the easiest ways to start “going industrial” is with a well-chosen lighting fixture.  One company that is adept at capturing the industrial chic design sensibility in its lighting fixtures is Justice Design Group.  All it takes is one look at their Wire Glass collection to be transported to a bygone era of vintage style.   Classic industrial methods and materials are used to hand-blow the glass into a raw-look, metal wire cage to form the shape of the shade.  Glass options include Clear with Bubbles or Opal, and wire cage patterns include Grid or Swirl.  The Mercury Glass collection, a new addition to the Justice Design Fusion Collection, handsomely contributes to an industrial chic design narrative with its aged and translucent mirror look that offers a vintage/traditional style.  Last but not least, Justice Design Group’s Dakota and Montana families utilize raw-look wrought iron to stunning effect; the collection is imbued with a strong industrial feel that is both clean and simple.

JDG Industrial

When it comes to creating a vintage industrial chic design narrative, a little goes a long way and a few choice elements can give your living space an abundance of welcome, utilitarian style.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Get Inspired by The Great Gatsby with Mercury Glass Lamps

The most recent film adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s beloved novel The Great Gatsby was spectacular in visual appeal. The director knew how to capture the glitz and glam of the 1920s and even if you didn’t like the movie, you had to appreciate the sparkling costumes and splendid décor that in today’s world might feel out of place and over-the-top. While trends have evolved and less is generally more, you can still achieve vintage glam without overwhelming; just incorporate mercury glass light fixtures into your home décor. The distinctive pieces are sure to bring excitement to any room.

Great-Gatsby-Living-Room

Photo by Warner Bros.

Mercury glass does not actually contain mercury and is instead coated with a silvery finish. It was first created and popular in the 1800s and wasArteriorsHomeMercuryGlassLamp commonly used to beautify a room. Although mercury glass had faded in popularity for a while, it is on the rise and enjoying a comeback. Bring this sparkling trend into your own home with the Walter distressed Mercury glass lamp. The combination of modern design and antique silver allows the lamp to blend in well with your contemporary décor and still adds a hint of vintage charm. The shimmer and shine of the mercury glass can be the perfect addition to any room lacking in allure.

Sparkling flapper costumes and lavish home décor aren’t common themes in today’s style trends. That doesn’t mean, however, you can’t still house a hint of the grandeur and excitement. Mercury glass is the perfect solution to creating a glamorous look that still fits in well with today’s modern room designs even if you don’t want to go all out with the entire theme and style of that era.

JamieYoungMercuryGlass

Check out new exclusive designs from Schonbek at Bellacor

Chandeliers are works of art that can bring a sense of grandeur and beauty to any room. One of the most important factors in choosing a chandelier is quality, which is why we at Bellacor are excited about our new partnership with Schonbek, which will make their collection available to you on the Bellacor website.

Olde_World_by_Schonbek_interior_Photo¬_Swarovski_Lighting_Ltd

Since its beginning in 1870, Schonbek has specialized in the creation of custom chandeliers and has continued to influence the lighting industry with over 200 patents. Inattentiveness, quality and authenticity are the hallmarks of every chandelier that is designed and created by Schonbek, and Bellacor now makes it easier to access these exceptional fixtures.

Custom_Schonbek_Newark_Museum_Photo¬_Swarovski_Lighting_Ltd

Along with the many brands and styles of light fixtures already featured on the Bellacor website, you can now access the exclusive designs of Schonbek. With the addition of more unique and attractive fixtures, Bellacor has an even stronger lighting section, giving you more to choose from. Although known best for its chandeliers, Schonbek also offers pendant fixtures, wall sconces, lamps and ceiling-mount fixtures. Whatever your taste, you can be sure you’ll find a design that matches your style.Amytis_by_Schonbek_AM5506-22RAY_WBG_Photo¬_Swarovski_Lighting_Ltd

Foremost Crystal chandelier brands – Schonbek, a subdivision of Swarovski Group

With the addition of Schonbek, a brand known for its heritage of premium quality and hand craftsmanship, Bellacor will strengthen its lighting selection, service, and value to support its overall vision of being the leading, trusted, expert online retailer of lighting & home furnishings. Like Bellacor, Schonbek is committed to helping customers beautify their environment by providing incredible product selection, service, expertise.
Renaissance_by_Schonbek_interior_Photo¬_Swarovski_Lighting_Ltd
Since 1870, Schonbek has been synonymous with authentic crystal chandeliers of the highest heirloom quality. Each creation is a radiant masterpiece of elegance and opulence, designed to illuminate generation to come.

For more than 140 years, the Schonbek name has carried with it a reputation as a change maker in lighting, revolutionizing the industry. To date, Schonbek is responsible for more than 200 patents.

BEDROOM.tif

True to the Schonbek’s heritage of handcraftsmanship, each premium chandelier is delicately hand worked in the service of Schonbek_Handcrafted_Smallbeauty. The result is pieces of exceptional grandeur that are appreciated by traditionalists and modernists alike.  A made-to-order brand, each authentic masterpiece shines with its own special character in more than 50,000 combinations of finishes, crystal types and styles.

Schonbek is manufactured exclusively at its global headquarters in Plattsburgh, NY, U.S.A., drawing inspiration from its rich European heritage and longstanding tradition of chandelier making. Schonbek is a member of the Swarovski Group.

Meet Humphrey: Fresh design in a classic shape

JulyAugust Elle Decor

Recently featured in the July/August issue of Elle Décor magazine, Hudson Valley Lighting’s Humphrey collection brings an air of warmth and distinction to any interior. For nearly 30 years, under the vision and guidance of its founder, David Littman, Hudson Valley Lighting has been using high-grade materials and superior manufacturing techniques like heavy casting and hand-rubbed finishes to produce exquisitely crafted, heirloom-quality pieces. As their name implies, the design studio is headquartered in New York’s beautiful Hudson River Valley, where they find endless sources of creative inspiration – from the glamour of nearby Manhattan to the architectural legacy of Colonial settlers, from the industrial grit of the 1800s riverside factories to the beauty of the unspoiled wilderness at their doorstep. With Hudson Valley, David Littman is continuing a family tradition started in the 1940s by his grandfather’s forays into commercial fluorescent lighting.

Humphrey Ad

With pieces like their Humphrey lighting fixtures, Hudson Valley falls squarely in the residential realm. Landing stylistically somewhere between traditional and modern design, Humphrey is a transitional piece that works exceeding well with a wide variety of interior design styles in the dining room, bedroom, front hall or even a game room. Available in a choice of metal finishes, including aged brass, old bronze and polished nickel, Humphrey is distinguished by its unique and distinctively shaped shade. Made from a soft off-white fabric that provides warm, diffused light, the shade has an intricate, yet fresh, shape that is decorative with being too fussy or complicated. Combining the warmth of traditional decorative lighting fixtures with the clean feel of a modern and minimal silhouette, Humphrey is also available in a number of other shapes and sizes to suit your needs, including a double-shade version and a ceiling hugging style. Humphrey – and many other remarkable Hudson Valley Lighting fixtures – are available to order at bellacor.com.

“Industrial Chic” Design Trend

By Brian Lintner for Bellacor.com

One of the latest trends in interior design is the shift towards a transitional “Industrial Chic” look. With the “Industrial Chic” trend, iconic modern silhouettes are juxtaposed with the dry, scraped and weathered finishes popularized by the “La Maison” traditional trend, producing what could be called “Shabby Modern”.  Finding its roots in the “La Maison” trend, which uses traditional elements in weathered finishes and incorporates pieces of exaggerated scale, “Industrial Chic” incorporates many of the same finishes as those seen in the French inspired design, which is a long-standing trend in Europe and now made popular in the United States by retailers such as Restoration Hardware.

 “La Maison” Traditional Trend Inspired “Industrial Chic” Design and Finishesbedroom pendant

Although “Industrial Chic” design uses many of the same key finishes and materials as the “La Maison” trend, “Industrial Chic” design incorporates Industrial “Found Objects” and institution-scaled accessories are a big part of the look. With “Industrial Chic” design, you can use industrial shapes and finishes to create the on-trend look in almost any transitional space. Great examples of chic fixtures include light fixtures that feature clean drum shades as well as over-sized pendant lights. The drum shape in itself is an industrial shape. You can soften the look by using linen and burlap fabrics which are common to the trend. In 2013, Sea Gull Lighting introduced several drum shaped, fabric semi-flush and pendant fixtures, including pieces from the Stirling collection shown below.  Stirling, with its chic style and eclectic twist brings clean, modern lines to a traditional soul. White linen drum shades in combination with brushed nickel finish is eye-catching and inviting.Pendant

The Brayden Collection, by Sea Gull Lighting, is another drum shape option available in a darker finish. The Brayden’s elegantly simple fabric drum shade is highlighted by a fun design element with an industrial flair. At the crown of the fixture, three thick, metal rods hook to the center structure, adding an unexpected twist to this classic silhouette. An acrylic diffuser, held in place with a metal finial, finishes off the look.Dining Room Pendant

In an industrial setting, lights are typically meant for a specific task. For example, pendant lights are used as task lighting when working on a manufactured product.  Although the concept of pendant lighting in a kitchen setting is not new, the Kitchen1over-sized pendants using industrial materials over an island are an easy way to create an “Industrial Chic” feel in the kitchen.  Inspired by industrial lighting, the hard-working, large-scale pendants in Sea Gull Lighting’s Pratt Street Collection put light where you need it, while making a significant design statement. Pratt Street is offered in a choice of Prismatic Glass or Machine-Shaped Metal styles. Fully enclosed, a prismatic diffuser spreads light output evenly and alleviates glare.

As we look forward to the new product introductions slated for 2014, many lighting manufacturers will continue to add industrial style light fixtures to their collections that include bare-bulb light fixtures, fixtures with wire cage and other innovative designs that will include the key elements of the “Industrial Chic” trend. Stay tuned to get a first glimpse into Sea Gull Lighting’s new industrial style chandeliers and pendants set for release in late fall 2013.

Continue reading

Beyond the basic bulb: One of the quickest ways to reinvent your lighting

When it comes to changing your look, little things mean a lot, and one of the quickest fixes you can make is to change the bulbs in your lighting fixtures. Think a bulb is too basic an element to make a real stylistic difference? Think again. Bulbs can change brightness and the tone of your room’s light, but they can also be a focal point in their own right. Consider these changes you can make by simply switching your bulbs:

Bulbright

Photo Credit: Bulbrite

Add warmth or cool things off: When it comes to the kind of light they emit, bulbs can vary widely. To add a warming feeling to your room, switch to a soft white bulb, or even an amber bulb. To give a room an airier, more invigorating look, select bright white. You’ll find variations in tone in incandescent, fluorescent and LED bulbs.

Modernize a chandelier: Update the look of any chandelier by plucking off its shades. While shades themselves can do a lot to alter the look of the fixture, putting the bulbs on display is a bold approach that’s well suited to urban chic interior styles. As designer Philip Gorrivan said, “Experiment with different light bulbs in your sconces and chandeliers. Instead of the traditional flame tip, try using clear Edison bulbs. Ditch the shades for a more modern look.”

image_thumb[46]
Shift your shape: Bulbs go way beyond the classic rounded top versions. Flames (either embossed or with a candle-like wispy end) and faceted bulbs make a more pronounced statement. Edison bulbs, which themselves come in a range of shapes – from long and slender to short and round – are currently on the interior design hot list.

EdisonBulbs

Dark room? Top tips for choosing a light fixture

Lighting is such a simple concept, yet there are so many considerations – it’s enough to drive even the savviest interior designer batty. If you are updating your home’s lighting, you might feel a little overwhelmed when choosing fixtures. Find your perfect lighting option – and a little bit of Zen – with these top tips for choosing a fixture.

LayeredLighting2

Photo Credit: pin/414823815647632268/

1. Blend aesthetic features

Just as accessories tie together your favorite outfits, lighting fixtures are the jewelry that ties together the overarching design aesthetic of a space. Make sure color, style and detailing are all aligned with the main theme of the room.

2. Consider scale and proportion

The size of the room should be a main consideration when selecting the size and type of fixture for the space. Too big and it will be overwhelming; too small and the fixture won’t ever get noticed. To get a good general idea of appropriate fixture size, start by adding the length and width of a room. Take that sum and replace feet with inches. A 10-by-20-foot room has a sum of 30 feet, which means a fixture of about 30 inches would be appropriate for the space.

MeasurementChart

3. Decide on the light’s purpose

You may think this is a silly question – of course the purpose of a lighting fixture is to provide light. But it’s important to dig deeper. Is the purpose of your fixture to provide overhead light while dining, task lighting in the bathroom, or accent lighting around your favorite painting? This will dictate the features and type of fixture you should select. A sconce will function much differently than a chandelier or a recessed lighting fixture.

4. Consider timeless materials

When shopping for a light fixture, consider the material and how well it blends with the interior design. If you know you’ll be using this light fixture for many years to come, choose a material that is timeless so that in five years, it doesn’t date the space. If you want to play with trends, update shades and glass globes, and keep the fixture classically appealing.