One Fixture, Four Ways: Archie vintage pendants

Posted by kbanks & filed under Lighting, remodeling.

It’s time for another round of “One Fixture, Four Ways” – where we show you how our customers’ favorite collections transcend multiple design styles and applications. Today we’re taking an up close look at Archie – a family known for it’s vintage elements, knob and strap details and authentic style. We’ve taken hints from some of our builder and designer partners, and we’ve concluded that Archie furthers a range of home decor themes. Which is your favorite?

Truly Transitional

This Kolter Homes kitchen combines the best of contemporary and traditional elements for a breathtaking kitchen setting. Archie pairs well with the shaded fixture over the table, but it’s Venetian Bronze finish and classic style interact with the warm tones in the flooring.

Kolter Homes kitchen featuring Archie pendants over island

Kolter Homes kitchen featuring Archie pendants over island

Casual Modern

We love how Archie’s craftsman elements complement the unique glaze on the cabinets in this Toll Brothers space. Archie offers a characteristic frame that interacts with other strong elements in the room – such as the bold ceiling beams and ornate cabinetry work – but Archie doesn’t steal the show or overcomplicate the design.

Toll Brothers kitchen featuring Archie pendants over island

Toll Brothers kitchen featuring Archie pendants over island

Clean Contemporary

A smaller version of the Archie pendants gives way to a simple, yet elegant, contemporary design. The Polished Nickel finish adds a modern flair to this bright atmosphere.

Archie mini-pendants in Beazer Homes kitchen over island

Archie mini-pendants in Beazer Homes kitchen over island

Rustic Touch

Archie’s prismatic glass and careful detailing blends well with interiors marked by a rustic appeal.

Archie vintage pendants by Progress Lighting

Archie vintage pendants by Progress Lighting

Why lighting outdoor areas is so important to aging-in-place design

Posted by kbanks & filed under LEDs, Landscape Lighting, Outdoor Living.

Studies show that aging individuals desire a smaller home, but they want size when it comes to their backyards. A big reason for this is to provide privacy from neighbors. With bigger outdoor spaces, it’s important that these areas are well lit for visual appeal, but also to enhance safety and security.

Why outdoor lighting areas are so important to aging-in-place design

When designing an exterior lighting plan for an aging-in-place home, consider the following:

  • Low maintenance solutions: Maintenance can be very challenging for seniors due to reduced physical ability, health issues or budget constraints. Eliminate the need for bulb changes by outfitting exteriors with LED lighting solutions. LEDs are designed to last for decades – making them a great, low-maintenance solution for aging individuals who may be unwilling or unable to replace outside light fixtures.
  • Sensor lighting: Fixtures with sensors enhance safety and security for outdoor areas. Not only can sensor lights scare off a potential intruder, they can prevent accidents in outdoor living areas or along pathways.
  • Lighting along stairs and walkways: Install path lights, step lights or walkway lights to prevent slips and falls after dark.
  • Direct lighting: Exterior lighting fixtures that cast light downward are better than those that direct light horizontally. Avoid creating shadows to reduce tripping hazards

4 benefits of under cabinet lighting (that you probably weren’t aware of)

Posted by kbanks & filed under Kitchen Lighting, energy efficiency.

Under cabinet lighting is an easy, cost-effective way to add visual depth and task efficiency to your most-used workspaces in the home. Perfect for above kitchen countertops or under floor cabinets, the payback of installing under cabinet fixtures is quite significant. While you may be aware of the task applications of under cabinet lights (such as enabling safe food preparation on countertops) here are a few benefits that may not be top of mind – but will make a world of difference.

Layered lighting design with under cabinet fixtures completed by Mandy Brown Architects

Layered lighting design with Progress Lighting under cabinet fixtures completed by Mandy Brown Architects

1. Energy Efficiency

Under cabinet fixtures ensure high energy savings – especially when you elect to install LED under cabinet lights. Not only will LED lights last for decades, but the savings on your energy bill will allow you to pursue other home design projects throughout your home.

2. Aging in Place Value

What’s the three most important elements of an aging-in-place design? Safety, safety, safety. We’ve heard from our top designer partners of the critical importance of equipping homes for aging individuals with features and technology that allow for easy mobility and use. Under cabinet lighting helps promote safety, especially in the kitchen, where cooking accidents are more probable due to poor lighting. Layered lighting is increasingly important as we age – since our eyes begin to fail us and more light is needed. Additionally, LED lights are gentle on aging eyes, eliminating glare.

3. Easy Installation

Under cabinet lighting installation is truly a DIY project. Whether you choose to use tape, puck or linear lights, installation is quick and seamless for any skill level.

4. Room Vibrancy

Don’t underestimate the inevitable beauty of a layered lighting approach. Bring your favorite rooms to life by layering ambient, task and accent lighting. With under cabinet lighting, you have your task illumination taken care of.

Welcome! 3 ways to create an inviting foyer with lighting

Posted by kbanks & filed under lighting designs, remodeling.

First impressions are lasting – which is why it is important to greet your guests with beauty and sophistication as soon as they enter your home. A cluttered, poorly lit entryway can greatly affect the perceived value and design quality of the rest of your home. Ensure that friends, family and visitors are warmly welcomed by installing lighting that will not only illuminate the space effectively – but also, further the design of your home.

Vintage Pendant

A statement pendant in the entryway can offer a stunning focal point. The new Marque collection doubles as a source of light and work of art.  This new fashion pendant collection exudes a chic sophistication. With antique textured glass and an Antique Bronze frame, the vintage pendant can be used as a sleek substitute for traditional chandeliers in a variety of living spaces.

Add vintage flair to your entryway with an oversized statement pendant. Marque by Progress Lighting.

Sophisticated Chandelier

Chandeliers are common for foyer areas – but selecting a fixture with a little extra sparkle can bring added glamour to your entryway. If your foyer has natural light, a fixture with cascading beads may create a beautiful effect through reflecting light. The Nissé collection is a stunning example of a chic, yet sophisticated, fixture that can really make your entryway shine.

Add glam to your entryway with a sparkling chandelier | Nisse by Progress Lighting

Inverted Chandelier

A contemporary spin off a classic chandelier is an inverted, caged light – such as the Caress three-light fixture. A distinctly shaped frame creates a stunning spectacle to greet guests upon their entry. As with most rooms of the home, a well-designed layered lighting plan is key to create a warm, welcoming environment. Pair a chandelier with a matching wall sconce to complete your entryway lighting set-up.

A distinct, modern chandelier creates a stunning display in your entryway | Caress by Progress Lighting

Layered Lighting 101: How to properly light a room for both style and function

Posted by kbanks & filed under Interior Design, Lighting.

Lighting has the ability to make or break the look and feel of your home. Without the right lighting – focal points, architectural details, unique textures and even colors can be lost, overlooked or nullified. The key to a good lighting plan is a layered approach that combines three types of light: Ambient, task and accent lighting. Certain fixtures lend themselves to each category, and just the right combination can bring your home to life.

Ambient lighting provides an area with overall illumination. Also known as general lighting, it radiates a comfortable level of brightness without glare and allows you to see and walk about safely. Ambient lighting can be accomplished with chandeliers, ceiling or wall-mounted fixtures, as well as recessed or track lights. Having a central source of ambient light in all rooms is fundamental to a good lighting plan.

Recessed Lighting by Progress Lighting

Design Tip: For recessed lighting, consider the size of your fixtures to determine appropriate spacing. A common rule is that four-inch fixtures should generally be placed at least four feet apart and six-inch fixtures about six feet apart.

Task lighting helps you perform specific tasks, such as reading, grooming, cooking, or playing games. It can be provided by direct pendant lighting, low-hanging track lights and under cabinet lighting. Task lighting should be free of distracting glare and shadows, while bringing the source of light to exactly where you need it.

When determining the best applications for task lighting, consider the function of the room – what activities will you be performing that require direct lighting? The rooms where task lighting is imperative are the kitchen (such as above counter lighting to enhance kitchen safety when using knives, stovetop, etc.), and the bathroom (where you need adequate light to complete everyday grooming tasks such as shaving or putting on make-up).

Madison by Progress Lighting

Design Tip: Under cabinet fixtures are very functional additions for turning your counter tops into usable workspaces. Under cabinet lighting is available in a variety of options for different applications – including LED, puck lights, linear lights and tape lights.

Accent lighting adds drama to a room by creating visual interest. As part of an interior design scheme, it is used to draw the eye to key features such as houseplants, paintings, sculptures and other focal points of a room. Accent lighting can also be used for exterior applications to highlight the texture of a brick wall, window treatments or outdoor landscaping.

To be effective, accent lighting requires at least three times as much light on the focal point as the general lighting surrounding it. Accent lighting is usually provided by recessed and track lighting or wall-mounted picture lights.

Clayton by Progress Lighting

Design Tip: One of the most versatile fixtures, pendants, can be used for accent applications, especially to highlight favorite pieces on tables and shelves. Select a pendant style that reflects your decor. Modern pendants made of glass exude sleekness, while a shaded mini-pendant offers a more classic look.

Depending on the application, the same fixture style can be a fit for all three categories of lighting. Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box and move away from traditional molds when it comes to creating a layered lighting plan. Try a chandelier in the bathroom, pendants in the living room or a recessed fixture in the shower. The most important thing is that you love the layout and design of your home and are able to perform everyday tasks with simplicity and ease.

Idea Board: A soothing master bathroom inspired by the sea

Posted by kbanks & filed under Bathroom Lighting, Interior Design.

Coastal Master Bathroom - Stephen Alexander Homes

Imagine that every time you step into your master bathroom, the cares of the day behind and the day ahead melt away as you are greeted with the soft, soothing tones and elements of a calm misty day by the sea. We took a few hints from our friends at Stephen Alexander Homes – and we hope you will, too – on what makes up true bathroom luxury. Stay inspired with the components that create this masterpiece of a bathroom.

  • A color scheme defined by comforting blues, neutrals, muted sea foam greens and off white tints
  • A free-standing, soaking tub, glass shower combo
  • A dreamy vanity, made bright by side sconces from the Progress Lighting Fortune collection
  • A simple, yet elegant, chandelier for a touch of glamour
  • A subtly playful pattern splashed on the walls for visual interest
  • A display of beautiful greenery to bring in touches of nature

Which of these elements would you incorporate into your dream master bathroom?

A day in the life of a designer

Posted by kbanks & filed under Employee.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have a career in design? Casual Living recently took an up-close-and-personal look at the life of Senior Product Designer James Thomas. And now, we get to reap the benefits of that interview by sharing all the details with you! From his morning routine to sources of inspiration to maintaining work-life balance, enjoy a behind the scenes peek into the life of a designer – and not just any designer – our very own, James Thomas.

How do you get started each morning?

I have always been a morning person, so I start my days early…at 5:30 am. I have a roughly 15 minute exercise routine consisting of push-ups, crunches, leg lifts, and stretches that I do before anything else. After that, I brew a cup of coffee and spend about half an hour reading, writing, or sketching while the rest of my family is sleeping and the house is still and quiet. By 6:15, everyone else in the house is getting up, and we start the daily routine of showering, packing lunches, eating breakfast and all of the other steps involved in preparing for school and work.

What’s your routine as you work through the day?

I am most creative in the mornings, so I like to sketch and work on new designs as soon as I arrive at the office (around 8:00). There is always a temptation to answer email first thing in the morning, but I find that I am much more productive if I focus on new designs first, and then wait until after lunch to respond to emails and follow up on my projects that are in process.

I feel like my best work happens at the drawing table where I can think with a pencil in hand and freely sketch new ideas. I like to keep my drawing table and computer desk separate so that I am not tempted to check email or look up something on the internet while I am in the “flow” of concept sketching. Once I have an idea that I like in the sketch stage, I can scan it and move to the computer for refinement, either quickly in Photoshop or in Rhino (the 3d modeling package that we use) or AutoCAD.  Sometimes I go back and forth with a design… starting with a rough thumbnail sketch, refining the size and proportions a bit in CAD, then printing and sketching by hand more before refining again digitally. As much as I like computer modeling and rendering, I feel like the creative part of my brain is more fully engaged when I am sketching with pencil on paper compared to typing on a keyboard or moving a mouse. If I spend half of my time at work on the board drawing, I leave feeling energized, but if I spend most of the day staring at a screen, I feel mentally drained by late afternoon.

Where do you find inspiration for your designs?

I look for inspiration everywhere. Art, architecture, furniture, fashion, jewelry, nature…really anything can spark an idea for a new design.  You never know when or where ideas will come, so I often carry a sketchbook to quickly capture them before I forget.

I recently saw an interview with filmmaker David Lynch in which he referred to the incomplete ideas that pop into ones head as “beautiful gifts”. I like that analogy, and I feel like the process of concept sketching is the way for me to compile those random fragments of ideas that come from somewhere into new and whole designs.

What’s the timeframe for development?

It varies quite a bit, but I am often working on designs for products that are close to a year away from introduction.  The design process from rough sketch to approved prototype can range from a few weeks to a few months, but after the bulk of my initial design work is complete, it takes time for others to finalize engineering drawings, set pricing, photograph samples for the catalog, and take care of all of the other steps required to get the fixtures in production and ready to ship to customers.

Sometimes, it can be a challenge to design a fashion driven product that won’t be introduced for a year, but that is why it is important for a designer to understand market trends, and have a good idea of where things are going.

Have you been able to balance your time to make room for family and/or hobbies?

Absolutely! I make time for both, and honestly, I don’t think I would be a good designer if I didn’t. If I don’t get enough exercise, or feel unhappy for any reason, the quality of my work definitely suffers. I believe that a designer must draw inspiration from positive personal experiences, so focusing on work all of the time would be counterproductive.

One specific way that I am able to make time for family and hobbies is by combining them. Whether it is hiking with my kids, or mountain biking with my wife, I love to spend quality time outside with my family.

To view the full interview in Casual Living, click here.

Summer Scenes: Creating your dream outdoor living area

Posted by kbanks & filed under Lighting, Outdoor Living.

Outdoor living remodels are booming. According to a recent article in Qualified Remodeler magazine, “the current level of innovation is dramatic” as consumers desire to bring the convenience and leisure elements of their interior areas to the great outdoors. Specialty fireplaces, heaters, televisions, audio equipment and decorative lighting fixtures are hitting the outdoor scene. That same article reported that 76.1% of remodelers are designing, building and specifying decks, 48.6% have a specialized focus on covered structures – and 33.3% are updating accent lighting in their current outdoor remodel projects.

We took a few tips from our friends at Toll Brothers in the arena of dreamy outdoor areas. Have a look at these impressive summer scenes – with an even closer look at how lighting enhances these areas.

Pool Perfection

Say hello to the perfect setting to take a summer dip or host a sparkling patio party. Take note of the meticulous lighting decisions that really make this scene shine – from landscape lights to outdoor recessed fixtures. Even the details of the trees are brought to life with a spot light to add visual interest.

Curb Appeal Mastered

The beautiful landscaping on this home is illuminated with a technique called “shadowing” – achieved with uplighting placed out of sight to create silhouette images of trees, plants, and accessories. The curb appeal is crowned with oversized decorative lanterns.

Raising the “Bar”

Bar seating with a television creates a prime scene to watch the big game and entertain with ease. A dash of whimsical appeal is added by classic wall lanterns from the Progress Lighting Crawford collection.

Enjoy the Breeze

It doesn’t get more dreamy than a lively pool, indulgent outdoor kitchen and enough seating for all your friends to join! This Toll Brothers space is made complete with a ceiling fan to ensure guests are staying cool and comfortable in the summer heat.

What elements make up your dream outdoor living areas?

All images courtesy of Toll Brothers, Inc.

Dallas Market Highlights: New products, a thriving industry event and a philanthropic award

Posted by kbanks & filed under Dallas Market, special events.

From honorary awards to new product tours to a special presentation from the thriving design platform, Houzz – we had a full week at the Dallas International Lighting Market. In case you weren’t able to join in the fun in our showroom, we compiled a short recap of our exciting week in Dallas. Enjoy!

New collections, popular families and excellent customer service were all on display at Dallas Market Center last week.

A close-up of the new Marque collection in our showroom.

A big thanks to the Houzz team for presenting its Houzz and Home Report at our Dallas Market showroom. Our attendees, comprised of lighting distributors, architects, designers and other members of the A&D community took away a vast knowledge of trends focusing on renovation, custom building and decorating for the year to come.

Our team live streamed the Open houzz presentation so that all attendees – no matter where they were in the showroom – could benefit from hearing the trends report from Houzz.  Houzz representative Lauren answered lots of questions after the Open Houzz presentation. Houzz is definitely a platform that resonated with our audience.

Fred was working hard all week long to create a welcoming showroom and showcasing our fixtures in such a beautiful way. We received lots of compliments on the space, in big part to Fred’s efforts!

Additionally, we were honored to have been recognized by Lighting One for philanthropic initiatives at their 2015 Lighting Convention.

Thanks for following along!

Lighting One honors Progress Lighting with 2015 Humanitarian Award

Posted by kbanks & filed under Dallas Market, Progress Lighting, Public Relations, Uncategorized, awards.

Progress Lighting recognized for its contributions to non-profit projects and activities.

Last night Lighting One hosted its 2015 Lighting Convention Awards in Dallas.

During the awards ceremony, Progress Lighting was recognized with Lighting One’s Humanitarian Award – for the manufacturer’s significant contributions in philanthropic initiatives.

Progress Lighting is committed to making the world a better place by participating in events, activities and projects that serve communities across the country.

In addition to our connection with Hubbell Lighting’s Hubbell Foundation, Progress Lighting supports nationally recognized programs that serve our country’s heroes, including Operation Finally Home, Wounded Warriors and Home for our Troops.

We also uses our expertise in the home improvement industry to serve others through the funding of local projects fronted by organizations such as Habitat for Humanity and the Boy Scouts of America.

Through generous donations and acts of service, our team is proud to promote a culture of giving back. Company employees have followed suit by volunteering with organizations that better the individuals, families and communities where the company conducts business.

For example, associates have dedicated extensive time, energy and resources to support the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, among other local charitable events and initiatives.

We’re honored to receive this award and look forward to continued relationships with our valued partner, Lighting One.