Lighting Style and Trends Blog

Designer Lighting Can Be Energy Efficient and Attractive

Posted by Gavin Martin on Wed, June 30, 2010

Learn what you can do this year to save energy, save money and help protect our environment in your own home. For those of you in states like California, these things are becoming the law starting in 2010. For those of you in other states, this will be coming down the pipeline. Learn how you can start doing your part now.

What is a Kelvin Anyway?
The color of light is often described using a term called color temperature which is measured in degrees Kelvin or kelvin (K). Lower Kelvin numbers mean that the light has a warmer color, while higher Kelvin numbers mean the light has a cooler color.

Minka Lavery Energy Star

What Is A Lumen Anyway?
A lumen is actually the measurement of light output. Unlike watts, which measure the power consumed by the bulb, lumens indicate the amount of light you are getting.

How Much Light?
To choose the ENERGY STAR qualified light bulb with the right amount of light, find a bulb that is labeled as equivalent to the incandescent bulb you are replacing. Light bulb manufacturers inlcude this information right on the product packaging to make it easy for consumers to choose the equivalent bulb. Common terms include "Soft White 60" or "60 Watt Replacement."

You can also check the lumen rating to find the right bulb. The higher the lumen rating, the greater the light output.

To determine which Energy Star qualified light bulbs will provide the same amount of light as your current incandescent bulbs, consult the following chart:

Energy Star Lighting

Did you know?
ENERGY STAR qualified light bulbs run cool and will last longest when used in fixtures that have plenty of air flow.

Energy Star Lighting

Which Rooms?

  • Family and Living Room
  • Kitchen
  • Dining Room
  • Porch

Which Fixtures?

Open fixtures that allow air flow.

  • Table Lamps
  • Floor Lamps
  • Wall Sconces
  • Pendants
  • Open Ceiling Fixtures

Need a little more convincing on Energy Star lighting fixtures and their benefits? Read this short list of trivia facts (Energy Star Lighting Facts You Must Know) and you will be surprised at what impact you can have on the reduction of energy waste and the greenhouse gase effects. 

Minka-Lavery has developed a program in conjunction with ENERGY STAR to provide decorative indoor and outdoor product that is functional, attractive, and efficient. You can save money, greenhouse gases and not have to compromise on quality and style. For outdoor lighting Minka manufacturers the premier outdoor lighting line for discerning customers known as The Great Outdoors. Energy efficiency legislation has targeted outdoor lighting to reduce energy consumption and Minka makes some beautiful energy efficient outdoor lighting fixtures.

Minka Lavery Lighting

Tags: Energy Savings, Energy Star, Minka Lavery, The Great Outdoors

Energy Star Lighting Facts You Must Know

Posted by Gavin Martin on Tue, June 29, 2010

Energy Star LightingDID YOU KNOW

  • The average U.S. household has more than 40 sockets for light bulbs. 20% of your electric bills are directly attributed to lighting your home.
  • Only 10% of the electricity consumed in an incandescent bulb is converted into visible light. The other 90% is actually released as heat.
  • If you replaced 5 regular light bulbs with Minka-Lavery compact fluorescents you will save enough energy over the life of the 5 bulbs to light your whole house for nearly 11 months. 5 Minka Lavery compact fluorescents will save you about $190 over its lifetime, or enough money to purchase more ENERGY STAR lighting fixtures.
  • If every home in America replaced one fixture with a compact fluorescent fixture it would save enough energy to light more than 3 million homes for one year and prevent greenhouse gases equivalent to the emissions of 800,000 cars.

ENERGY STAR Indoor Lighting Fixtures          

  • Minka Lavery 1429 84Have a 2 year warranty… twice the industry standard.
  • Will save you up to 75% in energy cost over incandescent fixtures, which save on replacement costs and maintenance time.
  • Ballast’s are electronic; they are required to operate quieter, faster and more efficiently than the old magnetic ballast. This means less radio interference, instant start and a much faster warm up time.
  • The lamps have a much better color rendering today. 2700K lamps are very comparable to a typical incandescent lamp.

Minka-Lavery has developed a program in conjunction with ENERGY STAR to provide decorative indoor and outdoor product that is functional, attractive, and efficient. You can save money, greenhouse gases and not have to compromise on quality and style. For outdoor lighting Minka manufacturers the premier outdoor lighting line for discerning customers known as The Great Outdoors. Energy efficiency legislation has targeted outdoor lighting to reduce energy consumption and Minka makes some beautiful energy efficient outdoor lighting fixtures.

Minka Lavery

Tags: Energy Savings, Energy Star, Minka Lavery

Energy Saving Indoor Lighting Tips

Posted by Gavin Martin on Thu, May 13, 2010

Making improvements to your lighting is one of the fastest ways to cut your energy bills. Using new lighting technologies can reduce lighting energy use in your home by 50% to 75%. Use energy efficient compact flourescent lights (CFLs) in fixtures throughout your home to provide high-efficiency lighting. Fluorescent lamps are much more efficient than incandescent (standard) bulbs and last about 4 to 10 times longer. Today's CFLs offer brightness and color rendition that is comparable to incandescent lights. Although compact fluorescent bulbs cost a bit more than incandescent bulbs, they pay for themselves by saving energy over their lifetime.

  • Look for the ENERGY STAR label when purchasing products.
  • Turn off the lights in any room you're not using, or consider installing timers, photo cells, or occupancy sensors to reduce the amount of time your lights are on.
  • Use task lighting, instead of brightly lighting an entire room.
  • Consider three-way lamps; the make it easier to keep lighting levels low.
  • Use CFLs in all the portable lamps and torchiere fixtures in your home.
Elk Lighting Tips

Tags: Energy Savings, Energy Star

Helping the Environment with Hinkley Outdoor Lanterns

Posted by Gavin Martin on Tue, November 10, 2009

HINKLEY'S ENERGY STAR (EST) PROGRAM

Hinkley LightingENERGY STAR qualified lighting provides bright, warm light but uses about 75 percent less energy than standard lighting, produce 75 percent less heat, and bulbs lasts up to 10 times longer.

Hinkley Energy Star® qualified lighting fixtures are equipped with GU24 sockets and include self-ballasted, compact fluorescent bulbs. CFL bulbs use about 75% less energy than incandescent bulbs and last up to 10 times longer. Each fixture also features a daylight sensing photocell, which prevents the fixture from being illuminated during daylight hours, maximizing the fixture's energy-saving potential.

By choosing Energy Star qualified lighting fixtures from Hinkley Lighting, you will save money on energy bills and bulb replacements. With these fixtures, bulbs last 10,000 hours (about seven years of regular use). Hinkley's EST fixtures carry a 2-year warranty.

HINKLEY'S ECO-FRIENDLY OPTIONS

Upon specification, Hinkley outdoor lanterns can be engineered with the following eco-friendly options. To identify a fixture's potential to be engineered with one of the following environmentally friendly configurations, look for the corresponding icons on the product description page.

ENERGY SAVING (ES)

Hinkley's Energy Saving (ES) fixtures are equipped with GU24 sockets and include self-ballasted, compact fluorescent bulbs. ES fixtures support California's "Title-24", a government-backed program that helps businesses and individuals protect the environment through superior energy efficiency.

DARK SKY (DS)

Fixtures come equipped with a captive reflector or other design feature that minimizes or eliminates light glare upward into the night sky.

ENERGY SAVING AND DARK SKY (ESDS)

Hinkley's Energy Saving, Dark Sky fixtures combine Hinkley's energy saving advantages of fluorescent technology together with minimizing the amount of light glare produced in an upward direction towards the night sky. ESDS fixtures adhere to California's "Title-24" requirements.

ENERGY STAR (EST)

Hinkley's Energy Star qualified lighting fixtures meet strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the US Department of Energy (DOE). Each fixture combines a GU24 socket together with a self-ballasted CFL bulb and a photocell that prevents the fixture from staying illuminated during daylight hours, maximizing its energy-saving potential.

PHOTOCELL

Many Hinkley outdoor lanterns can be equipped with a photocell that will prevent the fixture from staying illuminated during daylight hours, maximizing its energy-saving potential.

Tags: Hinkley Lighting, Outdoor Lighting, Energy Savings, Outdoor Lantern, Outdoor Lanterns, Green, eco-friendly, Energy Star

Outdoor Lighting That Helps the Environment

Posted by Gavin Martin on Tue, November 10, 2009

choose to be ECO-FRIENDLY 

Hinkley LightingPeople are paying more attention to the planet than they used to; many of us now understand the importance of decreasing our carbon footprints. With this shift in mindset, a natural extension has been the demand for more energy-efficient lighting options. Hinkley offers a variety of options that allow you to design an outdoor lighting plan with the environment in mind. Fixture shown: Plantation 2124 PZ-ES from the Hinkley Lighting Collection.

ENERGY SAVING (ES)
Energy saving lighting fixtures come equipped with GU24 sockets and include self-ballasted, CFL bulbs. Fixtures meet California's Title 24 requirements.

DARK SKY (DS)
Dark Sky light fixtures come equipped with a captive reflector or other design feature that minimizes or eliminates light glare upward into the night sky.

ENERGY SAVING DARK SKY (ESDS)
Fixtures come equipped with the combined technology of Energy Saving (ES) and Dark Sky (DS) configurations. Fixtures meet California's Title 24 requirements.

ENERGY STAR (EST)
Energy Star light fixtures meet strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the EPA and the DOE. Fixtures combine a GU24 socket together with a self-ballasted CFL bulb and a photocell.

Tags: Outdoor Lighting, Energy Savings, Outdoor Lantern, Green, eco-friendly, Energy Star

5 Energy Saving Outdoor Lighting Tips

Posted by Gavin Martin on Wed, October 21, 2009

Elk Lighting1) Several outdoor fixtures from ELK Lighting in the Barrington Gate collection have been certified Energy Star products.

2) Lights powered by small Photovoltaic (PV) modules that convert sunlight directly into electricity. Consider PV-powered lights for areas that are not near an existing power supply line.

3) Outdoor lights with a photocell unit and motion sensor will turn on only at night or when someone is present.

4) Exterior lighting is one of the best places to use CFLs because of their long life. If you live in a cold climate buy a lamp with a cold weather ballast since standard CFLs may not work well below 40*F.

5) Consider high-intensity discharge (also called HID) or low pressure sodium lights.

Tags: Energy Savings, ELK Lighting, Energy Star

Maxim Lighting Cupola Energy Star Collection

Posted by Gavin Martin on Wed, September 16, 2009

Cupola ES Collection

Maxim LightingModern design and state of the art technology make this a must have for any showroom. Sleek Satin Nickel structure support bold satin White glass shades. The chandelier feature dimmable fluorescent ballasts for optimum energy efficiency and the ability to control light output.

Lighting Catalog has all of your Maxim Lighting needs. LightingCatalog.com is an online leader of Maxim Chandeliers and Maxim Outdoor Lighting.  We are a member of the eImprovement.com Network of Online Stores. Free Ground Shipping on all orders over $99. Large selection, low prices and excellent customer service. The Home Lighting and Outdoor Lighting leader. Why shop elsewhere?

Tags: Energy Star, Maxim Lighting

Ten Things to Know When Buying a Ceiling Fan

Posted by Gavin Martin on Sun, June 28, 2009
Ceiling FansStay Cool! Fans are a breeze if you follow our expert advice on how to go about picking one out. Ceiling Fans used to be about function and circulating air. In today's designer homes ceiling fans are not just about function, but about style as well. Many designer ceiling fans look more like art work that can be the focal point and conversation piece of a room. Ceiling fans are becoming more and more common throughout the home including bedrooms, great rooms, bathrooms and outdoors. You can add designer light kits for general lighting as well as remote controls and wall remotes which can control fan speed, direction, lighting and dimmers.  

1) Energy Savings.  Ceiling Fans are great for improving room comfort while at the same time producing energy and cost savings. Homeowners all over are seeing increased energy costs due to higher prices and it's only predicted to get worse.  There is no time like know to enjoy the benefits of owning a ceiling fan. In the summer ceiling fans allow you to feel cool with wind flow known as a "wind chill" effect. This makes a person feel cooler without having to turn the air conditioning full-on therefore saving you energy and money. Its estimated that be setting your thermostat higher with a ceiling fan running you could save up to 40% on air conditioning bills. Studies show this can make a room feel up to seven degrees cooler. In winter ceiling fans should be reversed and used to push the warm air down from the ceiling to keep heat in the lower part of the room for comfort.  This is especially important in rooms with tall ceilings. This leads to energy and money savings by keeping the heat recirculated and setting your thermostat lower.

2) Larger rooms need bigger fans.  For maximum performance, choose the right fan to fit your room size. In a room up to 50 square feet, like a bathroom, choose a 29" fan. Breakfast nooks and laundry rooms up to 75 Sq. ft. choose a 36" blade span. Medium size rooms up too 100 square feet can fit fans from 36" to 42". Standard bedrooms and family rooms up to 400 square feet work most efficiently with fans that are 50" or 52". Great rooms or large areas over 400 sq. ft. require a ceiling fan with a 54" or larger blade span.  For long or large rooms, you should consider more than one fan to handle your cooling requirements. For maximum comfort, the fan should be placed as close to the center of the room as possible. Keep blade tips at least 18 inches from any wall.

Suggested Fan Size   Application  Room Size
 29" Blade Span  Bathroom, hallways  Up to 50 sq. ft.
 36" Blade Span  Breakfast nooks, laundry rooms  Up to 75 sq. ft.
 42" Blade Span  Small bedrooms, small kitchens  Up to 100 sq. ft.
 50" or 52" Blade Span  Standard bedrooms, family rooms  Up to 400 sq. ft.
 54" or Larger Blade Span  Great rooms, large areas  Over 400 sq. ft.

3) Ceiling height and choosing a fan. Optimal placement would be 8 ft from the floor of your room in the middle of the room for maximum comfort, circulation, safety and style. Most fans right out of the box are designed to fit standard eight-foot ceilings. They typically come with a Ceiling Mount kit or a 3 - 6 inch downrod.  This puts the blades at seven feet from the floor for minimum clearance. 

Ceilings Lower Than Eight Feet. Use the Ceiling Mounting Kit or go with a Snugger or Hugger model to achieve the desired seven-foot blade clearance.

Ceilings Above Eight Feet. For ceilings above eight feet, the fan should be hung by a downrod extension so that the fan is eight or nine feet from the floor. You will want to hang it at this level since the higher the fan is hung above eight feet, the less air circulates near the floor. Select one of the accessory downrods available in lengths of Twelve (12) to Seventy Two (72) inches to achieve your desired height.

Sloped or Cathedral Ceilings Most ceiling fan manufacturers sell an optional Ceiling Mounting Kit or Sloped Mount Kit in addition to the appropriately sized downrod accommodating cathedral ceilings and sloped ceilings up to 40°.

4) Bathroom and Outdoor Ceiling Fans, look for a bathroom ceiling fan specifically designed and UL-listed for damp locations. Bathroom Ceiling Fans start at 29 inch blade spans since smaller rooms require less air movement and space is usually limited. Want one for the covered outdoor patio?  Opt for an Outdoor Ceiling Fan that this is UL-listed for wet locations. Outdoor ceiling fans can also be used indoors. They have protective motor coverings to keep moister from corroding the motor.

5) Fan blade pitch and size. Fan blades determine the amount of air being circulated throughout the room.  You will see fan blade pitch as a specification on a ceiling fan product. Fan blade pitch is usually between a 12-15 degree angle for optimal circulation. Fan blades must be weighted and matched as a balanced set to avoid having your fan wobble. Ceiling fans with less than a 12 -degree angle will not circulate air as well and be less efficient. The greater the angle or higher the pitch of the blade the more air circulation you will have in your room. Quality blades should be made with wood or acrylic. They should be sealed or covered with a protective coating to resist humidity.

6) The most important part of every ceiling fan is the motor. The motor is responsible for producing quiet operation while driving the blades for air movement. Look for high-quality motors with heavy-duty windings and sealed bearings that are permanently lubricated. Emerson Fans invented the first ceiling fan motor in 1890. They know a few things about good and strong fan motors.  Other top mainstream manufacturers are Monte Carlo Fans, Casablanca Fans, and Hunter Fans. The high-end designer scene is dominated by architectural fans from Fanimation, Minka-Aire, and Tommy Bahama Fans.  Smaller, less powerful motors found on lower quality fans may produce higher operating temperatures, lower air circulation and noisier operation. Motors are designed to work flawlessly for long periods of time and should have a long lasting life.

7) Choose a lighting style and kit to match. Too add that finishing touch or general lighting, add a lighting kit to your ceiling fan.  Many fans have one included or give you many options to choose from. Choose from classic to contemporary lights to compliment the look of your fan and your room. There are many light options such as single light bowls, spotlights, or multiple glass shades that can be added to a fitter to enhance the design. Adding a light kit can also be added to match your home décor. Designer line fans may come equipped with uplighting as it creates a more relaxed environment especially at night. Light reflecting off the ceiling creates more of a mood effect than general downlighting.

8) Consider your home's style. If you want the fan to be part of your home's décor, look for colors and detail that are complimentary. Ceiling fans are no longer just about function, many are designed to set the tone for a room. If you are looking for a conversation piece then a designer fan is the way to go. If you want the fan to "disappear", select one that is the color of the ceiling and a little less designer or ornamental. Remember that a high quality finish on the fan blades will resist blistering, tarnishing, fading and corrosion while less advanced finishes can be very fragile and start to peel, bubble and corrode quickly. Brass finishes on the housing are long lasting, scratch resistant and never need polishing. Painted finishes are thick, rich and durable.  We always recommend that you get what you pay for and usually the more you spend the more you get.  This includes fan size, motor power, design and materials.  Also look to see if remotes or wall controls are included. Its worth the money to control all the fans options from a remote without having to get up from your chair.  

9) Consider the warranty. When you choose to purchase a ceiling fan, look for a good warranty or the life of your fan.  Some manufacturers offer a lifetime warranty and in-home service. Good tip is that the larger or more powerful the motor and the more you spend usually correlates to the better and longer warranted fan. Again, we believe there is a true correlation in terms of you get what you pay for.

10) Installation is so easy that with a few basic skills anyone can install the product themselves in an hour or so. Almost all ceiling fans come with step by step instructions so your new fan can be up and working efficiently in no time at all.  You will need to determine if you will need electrical wiring brought to the ceiling of the room where you want to add the fan. Since most of the time homeowners are replacing existing lights with a ceiling fan, the wiring is usually already in place. Some fans come with a support system to assist you by freeing your hands to make wiring connections allowing you to hang a hook from the electrical box to the fan to support it while you install it.

Fanimation   Emerson Fans  Minka-Aire Gyro  

 Fanimation

 Emerson Fans

 Minka-Aire Fans  

Shop for ceiling fans at the following expert locations. Location 1, Location 2.

 

Tags: Ceiling Fans, Buyers Guide, Energy Star

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