Lighting Style and Trends Blog

Holiday Lighting Ideas

Posted by Gavin Martin on Fri, November 19, 2010

Elk Lighting Holidays

** Decorations may be a fire hazard if not installed properly - be sure to keep all decorations away from exposed bulbs on light fixtures.

    1. Wrap your chandelier arms with garland or gold ribbon and Christmas lights.

    1. Use low wattage "flicker flame" colored bulbs.

    1. Tie tiny ribbon bows on the arms of the chandelier.

    1. Hang Christmas ornaments (colored balls, gold tassels, stars) from your wall sconces and chandeliers using holiday ribbon.

    1. Add crystals to chandeliers, sconces and even table and floor lamps to reflect light.

  1. Change your chandelier shades for the holidays. Wrap existing shades in wrapping paper for foil paper and tie them with a ribbon.

We recommend Elk Lighting for all of your Outdoor Lighting and dining room Chandeliers. Be sure to check out our article Enhance Your Interior Lighting for the Holidays for great ideas on new light fixtures for the exterior and interior of your home to spruce up the holiday mood.

Tags: Design tips, ELK Lighting, Holiday Lighting

Restoration Lighting Passes Test of Time

Posted by Gavin Martin on Sat, October 02, 2010


Restoration Lighting reflects the beauty of hand turned craftsmanship inspired by the early 20th Century lighting and antiques that have surpassed the test of time. These collections feature detailing appropriate for classic or traditional decors and blend vintage design elements with today's casual living. They offer a modern interpretation of period designs with a discriminating concern for preserving historic lighting and architectural lighting with historic charm and timeless design.  


  • A chandelier, flush mount or a semi flush fixture can be used as the main light in your foyer, living room, kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, and hallway. The bottom of the fixture should be at least 7 feet from the floor.
  • If there is a window in the foyer above the front door, center a chandelier there so it can be seen from outside.
  • Kitchen islands can be lit with multiple pendants. The bottom of the pendants should be 30 inches above the counter top, at eye level.
  • A dining room chandelier should be no wider than 12 inches less than the width of the table. The bottom of the chandelier should be at least 30 inches above the tabletop.
  • Sconces can be used for additional light in a foyer, living room, dining room, bedroom and hallway. They are hung about 60 inches from the floor, spaced 6 - 8 feet apart along the wall.
  • A bathroom should use a bathbar at least 20 inches wide over the mirror, plus a wall sconce or swingarm on each side of the mirror at least 28 inches apart and 60 inches above the floor.
  • If you have a double sink vanity, use a bathbar that is almost as wide as the mirror, or two fixtures (one over each sink). The bathbars should be mounted 78 inches from the floor, centered over the mirror.


  • Determining fixture width: Add length and width dimensions (in feet) of the room together. This number is the proper width (in inches) for the fixture to fit the room.
  • Determining fixture height: The bottom of the fixture should be at least 7 feet from the floor.


The calculation for the proper light wattage* for each room in the home:

Multiply the length times the width of the room (in feet). Then, multiply that number times 1.5.  * Wattage is based on incandescent (standard) bulbs.

The best source for Restoration Lighting is from the experts at ELK Lighting and Landmark Lighting for these craftsman and period style lighting. Lighting Catalog is the premier online retailer for these top two brands and Lighting Fixtures

Tags: Restoration Lighting, Design tips, ELK Lighting, Landmark Lighting

Material Shortage Changes Lighting Trends

Posted by Gavin Martin on Tue, June 29, 2010

Murray Feiss LightingIn attending the International Lighting show in Dallas this June we noticed a dramatic shift in the lighting styles which manufactures were displaying. It was as if styles and materials had dramatically changed overnight.  Even in a down housing market manufacturers were rapidly turning out new fashions.

Cage LightingWe quickly came to learn that these rapid design changes were not just to keep up with the ever changing fashions but were due to material shortages especially with glass production. China has seen many changes to its manufacturers in terms of labor and environmental standards forcing plants to close over night. Many glass suppliers closed down or moved into production of different categories, forcing lighting brands to scramble for alternative material sources.

Instead of glass around the light bulbs we are seeing something entirely different. The drum shade has re-emerged completely surrounding the entire fixture and entirely eliminating glass from the fixture. These are known as drum lights or drum shades. Another big movement is the use of metal cages to portray design patterns known as cage lights or cage lighting. In many cases we even see the doubled up effect of a fabric drum shade surrounded by a metal cage. See the Murray Feiss chandelier up top.  This is a good example of a layered effect with elaborate patterns in the metal.

Drum shade lighting

They don't call it Fashion Lighting for nothing in this ever changing fashion world called lighting. Who knows what fashions lighting fixtures will be wearing the next time around.  


Tags: Cage Lighting, Drum Shades, Design tips

Ten Commandments For Home Lighting Design

Posted by Gavin Martin on Mon, May 17, 2010

Golden Lighting1. Get inspired.
Don't box yourself into a particular design style. Today's design is about bringing together a mixture of elements that inspire you. Maybe you're mostly contemporary, but a rustic lamp really inspires you. Don't be afraid to mix and match -- just make it your own distinctive style.

2. More is not always better.
Don't buy decorative items just to fill space. Find items that mean something to you and inspire you. Don't settle on something that's just okay because it fits your room or budget. It's worth the wait to save your money and get decorative pieces that fit your personality and make you smile!

3. Have a plan.
When you have a plan before you start decorating it helps you to create a room that is functional and creates synergy throughout.

4. Buy quality.
Discounts and bargains are great, but make sure it's a quality piece. Just because it's pretty, doesn't mean it's quality. Buy brands that you trust, and remember it's worth paying a little more for something that will last.

5. Explore color.
White is boring. Color brings personality and style into a room. Be bold! Find shades that make you happy and liven up your room. It's especially fun to explore your creativity in smaller rooms that you don't use as often, such as a guest bathroom.

6. Keeping up with the Jones' - not necessary.
Decorate for you, not your friends or guests. Your style should be uniquely yours. Looking at trends to give you ideas is fine, but make your space your own. You will be the one living with your choices every day.

7. Lighting can change a room.
Of course you need lighting to see, but think beyond the functional. Lighting can set the mood of the room and with so many unique styles and finishes to choose from, consider selecting lighting as you would furniture. Maybe instead of a traditional lamp, try a sconce or chandelier as part of your design theme.

8. Art comes in many forms.
Art doesn't have to come from a pricey gallery. It just has to have value to you. Framing your child's drawings makes lovely art for a kid's room. Think outside the box. Even a unique light or fan can be the focal art of the room!

9. Use all six room surfaces: four walls, a floor and ceiling.
Look up! There's more than just four walls to decorate in a room. Don't forget the ceiling. Extend the color on the walls into the ceiling to create a cohesive look to the room. Just be sure to choose a ¼ lighter shade of paint on the ceiling since horizontal planes tend to look darker than vertical planes. Or try ceiling tiles or different textures. Also, make sure you choose quality surfaces for your flooring. Your floor get's a lot of use, make sure it cleans and wears nicely.

10. Room design should blend.
With so many open floor plans, you need to consider how your new design will fit or flow into the other rooms of your home. Do the color schemes and design styles work together? Coordinate the metal finish from your kitchen into the metal surfaces of the lamps and coffee tables of the living room.

Golden Lighting

The LightingGuruTM recommends Golden Lighting as a designer lighting brand and one of the most popular cutting edge brands sold on Lighting Catalog.  Great value for the price with Free Shipping. is the leading online retailer of Home Lighting and Outdoor Lighting Fixtures

Tags: Golden Lighting, Design tips

Outdoor Lighting Tips to Brighten Your Home

Posted by Gavin Martin on Fri, May 14, 2010

Elk Outdoor LightingOutdoor lighting enhances the beauty of your property, makes your home safer and more secure, and increases the number of pleasurable hours you spend outdoors

You can add wall lanterns on both sides of your front door approximately 66 inches above the bottom of the door, slightly above eye level. The height of the wall lanterns should be from 1/5 to 1/6 of the entrance height.

Use a single wall lantern on other entrances to the house mounted on the keyhole side of the door.

You may use a chain hung lantern mounted over the front door beneath an overhang for added light.

Keep you pathways well lit with lanterns mounted every 8 - 10 feet for safety.

You can add a post light near driveways and walkways for added illumination and security.  

The LightingGuru recommends ELK Wall lanterns and ELK Outdoor Lighting. ELK Lighting provides Lighting for Distinctive Homes. 

Tags: Outdoor Lighting, Outdoor Lantern, Outdoor Lanterns, Design tips, Path Lighting

How To Size A Medallion For Your Lighting Fixture

Posted by Gavin Martin on Sat, March 27, 2010
Ceilings, considered the fifth wall, are the largest blank canvases available for home improvement. Throughout history, ceiling lighting accents were an important architectural focus. Over the years the grandeur of ceiling embellishments has given way to modern simplicity and frugal budgets.
Ceiling Fan Medallions
However, new designs and manufacturing of medallions which make them affordable, lightweight and easy to install, have contributed to them reaching popularity not seen since the first half of the Twentieth Century.
Ceiling Medallions can be a classic addition to the overall design of your room and ceiling. Primarily used to accentuate chandeliers, they can also be used to accent ceiling fans, numerous other lighting fixtures for the ceiling or purely as a design element not related to lighting.    
Medallions can create a distinctive ambiance in your rooms and make a home a one of a kind. It will for sure make your lighting fixture stand our and your ceiling more ornate.
We recommend ELK Lighting Group Medallions since they have the most options with the ability to paint your own. Sizes range from 11” to 51” and they are available in 5 finishes. White—paintable to match any décor. Antique Brass—neutral brown. Chrome, Gold and Copper— exclusive metallic plated finishes. Designs are available from basic to detailed and ornate to match any décor.

Tags: Medallions, Design tips

Calculating The Light Needed For Each Room

Posted by Gavin Martin on Thu, March 18, 2010

Elk LightingEver wonder how much lighting you need to properly light up a room in your home? The formula for calculating the proper amount of light you should have in each room of your home is as follows. 

  • Multiply the length of the room times the width of the room (in feet) to get the square footage. A 10ft x 10ft room would be 100 sq ft. Then multiply that number times 1.5. This number gives you the amount of wattage* needed to light the room properly for general illumination purposes. In this example that would be 150 watts. This could be one ceiling fixture with say 2 - 75 watt bulbs.
  • For Task Lighting in areas where stronger light is needed (such as a kitchen island), multiply the area's square footage by 2.5 rather than 1.5 to find the needed wattage*.
*Wattage is based on incandescent (standard) bulbs.
For general home lighting the LightingGuru recommends ELK Lighting. Check out our Task Lighting selection and Lamps page for lighting fixtures sure to make your home stand out. 

Tags: Design tips

The Art of Layered Lighting

Posted by Heather Asiyanbi on Wed, February 03, 2010

To achieve the best lighting effect throughout your home, it's best to light in layers. You'll add depth and dimension, making every room in your home a true stand out.

Light layering is really defined as grouping lighting fixtures to provide the same type of light throughout a room or space. The kitchen is one of the examples for layering; recessed can lights, mini-pendants over the kitchen island, under cabinet lights, and accent lighting to spotlight special pieces in glass-front cabinets. Click here to see more Kitchen Lighting.

To properly layer a room or space there are three types of lighting:

Overall/Ambient Lighting

This is the general illumination that lights a room. It is usually a chandelier, a ceiling fixture, or a recessed can light. It can be a table or floor lamp if no ceiling light exists.

Task Lighting

This usually relates to lighting you will need while working or reading. Task lighting can be a reading lamp, desk lamp, under counter lighting, and more.

Accent Lighting

Typically used to illuminate special features like wall art or special pieces on a bookshelf, accent lights are meant to work without being seen. They should never be the focal point.



How to use Layered Lighting Outside

With more people using their yards and patios as outdoor living space, layered lighting can enhance the feeling of being in a room.

Yard and porch lights serve as overall or ambient lighting; Outdoor Wall Sconces or Outdoor Wall Lanterns on the sides of or above entry doors act as task lighting; and strip lights along deck stairs or special lights for water features are the accents.

A note to remember when planning the Outdoor Lighting for an outdoor room: Lights that are too bright or having too many lights can limit the visibility of stars. Some states, like California, require that any lights attached to buildings or outbuildings like sheds and garages use energy efficient bulbs and/or be activated by light or motion sensors.

Tags: Layering Light, Design tips

Guide to Picking Perfect Crystal Lighting

Posted by Gavin Martin on Wed, January 13, 2010

Crystal Lighting 

(S) STRASS CRYSTAL : Absolute perfection.
Considered the finest crystal in the world. Strass is manufactured by Swarovski AG in the Austrian Alps. Strass is an optically pure crystal, clear as spring water, totally free of flaws, unique in purity and brilliance. Strass crystal is characterized by razor-sharp cutting of facets with the lead content in excess of 30 percent. Cutting and polishing are done by machine to achieve perfect optical clarity. Strass crystals are treated with an invisible coating which eliminates dust attraction and makes it easier to clean and maintain.

(SAQ) SWAROVSKI CRYSTAL: A beautiful value.
A passion for perfection has made Swarovski the world leader in production of cut crystal. Swarovski & Co. manufacturer of Strass Crystal, has created a new alternative quality crystal. Swarovski used advanced technology with olde world knowledge to produce brilliant crystal with precision cutting and superior light reflection. This crystal type is designed for a crystal connoisseur demanding quality at an affordable price.

(MWP) MAJESTIC WOOD POLISHED: The choice of traditionalists.
Our majestic Wood Polished crystal is cut by hand in two stages on an iron and then a sandstone wheel. Each crystal is then polished on a wood wheel with marble dust. These methods go back centuries. If you look closely you will notice faint traces of the wood-wheel attesting to the concentrated labor of the artisan. This is a mark of authenticity. Each piece is a unique and original masterpiece.

(I) ITALIAN CRYSTAL: Venetian heritage.
Venetian crystal (from the glass-making regions in and around Venice) is molded, not cut. You will notice a rounding of edges that comes form fire polishing. Molded crystal though never as brilliant as cut crystal, has a subtle charm and is an exceptional value. It is an ideal budget crystal for heavily dressed and or commercially oriented chandeliers.

MURANO CRYSTAL: Imaginative form.
Each hand blown piece is an original work of art. No two crystals are alike. When color is added, the crystal takes on a whimsical form. It comes in a variety of shapes and sizes. Including fruit, spheres, tear-drops and flowers.

Now that you have learned about the different quality of crystals, read our article entitled The 5 C's of Crystal Chandeliers to help you pick the perfect crystal chandelier. 

Crystorama Lighting is the prefered Crystal Lighting manufacturer on Be sure to check out Crystorama Chandeliers.

Tags: Crystorama, Crystal Lighting, Design tips

The 5 C's of Crystal Chandeliers

Posted by Gavin Martin on Sat, January 09, 2010

Crystorama LightingLearn the 5 C's of Crystal Chandeliers to ensure you pick the perfect Crystal Lighting Fixture for your home.  We talked with the crystal experts at Crystorama Lighting to help guide you in your purchase decision.  

Understand the right size chandelier for your room. Proper scale 2" per foot of room. If circumference of room is 12' X 14', a 26" diameter chandelier is correct.

Additional Guidelines
4 - 6 person dining table: 20"-24" chandelier
6 - 8 person dining table: 25"-29" chandelier
8 - 10 person dining table: 30"-36" chandelier
Height above dining table: 30"- 32".
Two story Foyer: 10'-11' above the floor.

Select the desired shape and style to fit your lifestyle and taste.

Select your quality cut of crystal (refer to above "Types of Crystal"). Buying a crystal chandelier is similar to buying a diamond. Choose your preferred shape and style of the chandelier. Next, the cost of the chandelier will depend on chosen quality of crystal.

Select desired finish. Glass arm chandeliers are available in Gold or Silver.
Silver: The authentic color. Will reflect the true color spectrum of crystal. Works in all interiors.
Gold: A dramatic color. Works well when complementing furniture and hardware in brass.

Crystorama Lighting has earned confidence with 40 years of experience and worldwide reputation for quality and professional service. A crystal chandelier, whatever its shape, size, or cost, is an important purchase. We encourage you to seek the help and advice of experienced personnel before choosing the chandelier that will become a part of your personal history, future and lifestyle. Crystorama is the leading manufacturer of Crystal Chandeliers sold on

Tags: Crystorama, Crystal Lighting, Design tips

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