NAHB 50+ award-winning home tour

Posted by kbanks & filed under Homebuilders, Interior Design, awards.

We are proud to partner with the top industry leaders in the homebuilding and design community, and want to congratulate designer Doris Pearlman who recently accepted an NAHB 50+ housing award for her work in a Toll Brothers community. If you’ve been following our blog, you know that we have had the pleasure to share design wisdom from Doris in our Designer Series.

Doris accepted the 50+ Merchandising Environment Category for her beautiful work on Toll Brothers’ Anthem Ranch Dunraven model. We were excited to have sponsored the awards event as we watched two of our valued partners take home the top prize. Now, enjoy a virtual tour of the award-winning model – we think you’ll be impressed!

Dining room featuring Progress Lighting's Compass chandelier

Dining room featuring Progress Lighting's Compass chandelier

Toll Brothers' Anthem Ranch Dunraven Model. Project completed by Possibilities for Design with Progress Lighting.

Toll Brothers' Anthem Ranch Dunraven Model. Project completed by Possibilities for Design with Progress Lighting.

Bedroom design featuring Progress Lighting's Brookside sconces.

Bedroom design featuring Progress Lighting's Brookside sconces

NAHB 50plus housing award

3 ways to beautifully illuminate your kitchen workspaces

Posted by kbanks & filed under Kitchen Lighting.

The kitchen is one of the most important rooms of the home to outfit with a well-designed, layered lighting plan. Not only is this area a key space for cooking and baking, but today’s kitchens have evolved to be a natural room for entertaining and social gatherings. A well-lit kitchen invites friends and family in, while also accounting for a safe and functional area for completing everyday tasks. Whether it’s chopping ingredients, reading recipes or doing homework, activities performed in the kitchen require adequate workspace lighting. Read on to learn about three main lighting types that are ideal for kitchen workspace applications.

Pendant lighting

Pendants are a versatile lighting solution that expertly combine beauty and functionally. Available in an endless range of sizes, styles and finishes, pendants allow homeowners to easily further the design of the kitchen. Statement pendants that serve as a kitchen focal point are a popular home trend that ensures high aesthetic appeal while enhancing kitchen usability. Pendants can be lined along a kitchen island, used above a sink, or even grouped over a kitchen table or breakfast nook to offer direct task lighting to workspaces.

Progress Lighting Academy and Brookside pendants, as seen on Property Brothers

Progress Lighting Academy and Brookside pendants, as seen on Property Brothers

Project completed by Synergy Design and Construction featuring Progress Lighting ribbed glass pendants

Project completed by Synergy Design and Construction featuring Progress Lighting ribbed glass pendants

Equinox pendants by Progress Lighting

Equinox pendants by Progress Lighting

Track lighting

Track lighting is a solution that offers numerous benefits in the kitchen. With customizable options, track lighting fixtures and kits bring a high amount of design flexibility in configuring your lighting system. Some of the benefits include the ability to direct light where you need it – creating spotlights, task lights and even ambient illumination. Similar to pendant fixtures, track lights are available in a broad spectrum of styles, colors and finishes. Whether you would like to promote a modern, neutral or traditional look for your kitchen, track lights are adaptable and customizable to meet your unique design needs.

Illuma-Flex Track Lighting by Progress Lighting

Illuma-Flex Track Lighting by Progress Lighting

Illuma-Flex Track Lighting by Progress Lighting

Illuma-Flex Track Lighting by Progress Lighting

Illuma-Flex Track Lighting by Progress Lighting

Illuma-Flex Track Lighting by Progress Lighting

Under cabinet lighting

Under cabinet lighting brings unprecedented functionality to your kitchen workspaces. Low-voltage bulbs make tasks easier by directing light to a specific area for activities such as countertop food preparation. These lights can also be used under floor level cabinets to highlight walkways and prevent accidents. Under cabinet lighting is also highly energy efficient, especially when outfitted with LED bulbs (whether in a puck, strip or tape form). Under cabinet lights also can bring stone countertops to life by illuminating beautiful detailing that makes your kitchen really shine. Additionally, under cabinet lights are easy projects for DIY-ers. It’s a simple installation that takes only a few hours and makes a world of difference in the kitchen.

Project completed by Stephen Alexander Homes featuring Progress Lighting

Project completed by Stephen Alexander Homes featuring Progress Lighting

Project completed by Stephen Alexander Homes featuring Progress Lighting

Project completed by Stephen Alexander Homes featuring Progress Lighting

Project completed by Stephen Alexander Homes featuring Progress Lighting

Project completed by Stephen Alexander Homes featuring Progress Lighting

6 ideas for better outdoor living

Posted by kbanks & filed under Outdoor Living.

Today, outdoor spaces aren’t just used for a few months in the summer and then tucked away for the other nine months of the year. These areas have become a necessary extension of the indoors and key spaces for entertaining, eating, lounging and playing. Industry experts agree that the outdoor room is no longer a trend, but a must-have for today’s home buyers. Equipped with comfy furniture, flat screen TVs and outdoor fireplaces – outdoor living is cozier and more luxurious then ever. Extend your outdoor living areas with these six ideas that will allow you to get the most out of your outdoor living spaces.

Provide comfy seating.

Provide comfy seating for outdoor living areas.

Whether it’s arm chairs, couches or benches – adequate seating is important for ensuring quality rest and relaxation. Curl up with a good book or invite friends to share a cocktail on your lounge-worthy outdoor furniture.

Install a ceiling fan

Outdoor living with Progress Lighting

You’ll be thankful you followed this tip come July and August when you’re begging for a casual breeze to beat the heat. A ceiling fan is an easy installation that can make a world of difference for outdoor entertaining.

Bring your kitchen outdoors.

Progress Lighting Outdoor Kitchen

We’re talking refrigerators, grills, smokers, stoves, sinks. That’s right – bring it all outside! Outdoor kitchens are growing fast in popularity. Serve your favorite dishes and cut down on the indoor to outdoor traffic.

Hang unique lighting.

Extend your favorite living areas well into the evening with a focal lighting display. Hang pendants at varying heights or add wall sconces that further your architectural style.

Gather round a focal fireplace.

How to better your outdoor living areasThere’s nothing more inviting then a warm outdoor fire paired with great food and great company. Be sure to provide adequate seating – such as comfy couches, chairs and benches – around your outdoor fireplace.

Add bold pattern and color with quick accents.

Image courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens.

Image courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens.

Add fun and bright colors to your outdoor seating with patterned pillows or rugs. Think about the accent pieces you love inside your home – and don’t be afraid to emulate that beautiful decor outside, too.

Path Lighting Basics: 5 tips to enhance outdoor safety and security

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

Pathway lighting is an essential way to welcome friends and family members to your home. Not only do path lights greatly enhance safety by illuminating dark walkways that could lead to hazardous falls, they are an easy way to improve curb appeal. When selecting the perfect outdoor path lights, be sure to follow these quick and easy tips for an outdoor lighting solution that will be both beautiful and functional.

  1. Get your height right. To achieve a nice warm glow, path fixtures should be installed about 14 inches high.
  2. Define your edges. For the best safety lighting, place lights about one foot from one or both sides of the path.
  3. Ditch the bargain bin. Consider the make-up of your fixtures (not just the price tag). Fixtures with a glass lens, sturdy construction and weather-resistant finish are essential for long-term use. A powder coated finish has been proven to withstand harsher elements.
  4. Choose LED. The future of pathway lighting belongs to LED sources. LED bulbs burn cool and reduce power consumption by as much as 75 percent. These sources live significantly longer than traditional lights.
  5. Stay warm. Keep in mind that the warmth, measured in kelvins (K), will vary from one product to the next and greatly affects the visual appeal of the exterior of your home. Fixtures with a color temperature of 3000K will provide a nice warm, inviting glow for your outdoor lights.

How to achieve a layered lighting design in your home

Posted by kbanks & filed under Aging in Place, Interior Design, Lighting, Projects, lighting designs, remodeling, renovations.

Layered lighting designs can be seen in a variety of both remodel and new construction home projects these days.

Even designers who are certified in creating Aging-in-Place environments for the older population credit layered lighting designs to accomplishing both functional and aesthetic goals for a particular room.

If you’re wondering how you can achieve a layered lighting look like the pros do, then read this recent Porch.com article written by our own Todd Roy, national sales director of builder marketing. It walks you through the key benefits of ambient, task and accent lighting, while providing several design tips along the way.

How to select the perfect size dining chandelier in 3 steps

Posted by kbanks & filed under Interior Design, Lighting.

Chandeliers add beauty, ambience and functional illumination to your home. Perfect  for entryways, above dining room tables and as living room accents, the styles are far reaching – offering a widespread realm of design possibilities. When browsing through Houzz idea books, Pinterest pins or your favorite design magazine, the placement of chandeliers can often seem effortless. But in reality, when confronted with all the different options, choosing the right chandelier can feel overwhelming.

Streamline the decision making process with these quick tips on selecting the right size chandelier for your dining room.

  1. If you are installing a chandelier and haven’t selected your furniture, add the length and width of the room (in feet) – which will give you the proper diameter for the fixture (in inches). So, if you have a 10 x 14 room, the diameter for your fixture should be 24 inches.
  2. If you already have a table, it’s more important that the chandelier is proportionate to the table than the room. As a general rule of thumb, your chandelier should be approximately 1/2 to 3/4 the size of your table.
  3. When hanging your chandelier, allow 30 to 32 inches from the table surface to the bottom of the chandelier.

Lighting lingo made simple

Posted by kbanks & filed under Lighting.

Affecting both the aesthetics and functionality of a space, most people can agree that lighting is a very important part of the homebuilding and home design process. Today, there are many factors that go into creating the perfect lighting plan that fits your lifestyle.

If you’re not in the lighting industry, the terms used to identify types of fixtures, light sources and light measurements can often feel overwhelming. Here’s a quick guide to all the terms you need to know when creating your home’s lighting plan:

Types of Fixtures:

  • Luminaire: Light fixture, including the lamp (bulb).

Lighting Types

Light Sources:

  • Light Emitting Diodes (LED): LEDs are semiconductor devices that produce visible light when an electrical current passes through them. Generally speaking, LEDs are more efficient, durable, versatile and longer lasting than traditional light sources.
  • Compact Fluorescent Lamp (CFL): CFLs are fluorescent light bulbs that have been compressed into the size of a standard-issue incandescent bulb. Modern CFLs typically last at least six times as long and use around a quarter of the power of an equivalent incandescent lamp.

Light Measurements:

  • Lumen: The most common measure of light output. Lumens measure the amount of light produced by a bulb. The more lumens in a light bulb, the brighter the light.
  • Watt: A measure of electric power (not how bright a light is). The rate at which electric energy is transferred by an electric circuit.
    • Efficacy: A measure of how much light a source produces for every watt of power it consumes. Expressed in lumens per watt.
    • Color Rendering Index (CRI): A unit of measure that defines how well colors are rendered. The CRI means better color rendering, or less color shift. CRIs in the range of 75-100 are considered excellent. An incandescent lamp operates at 100 CRI.
    • Correlated Color Temperature (CCT): Color appearance is communicated using correlated color temperature (CCT) on the Kelvin (K) scale. For most interior lighting applications, warm-white (2700K to 3000K) is preferred.

Why LED lighting is best for 55+ housing

Posted by kbanks & filed under Aging in Place, Homebuilders, LEDs.

Energy efficiency is important to the older buyer because of the impact on the environment and especially the impact on their wallets. In fact, 90 percent said they would purchase energy-efficient products if it would lower their energy bill.

Long-term financial security is a primary driver for this demographic, so they are willing to invest in green solutions now in order to save later.

Brookside pendants by Progress Lighting. Project by Miller and Smith Homes, Jim Kirby Photography.

Brookside pendants by Progress Lighting. Project by Miller and Smith Homes, Jim Kirby Photography.

The Benefits of LED

LED sources are a great solution for aging inhabitants for a number of reasons, including:

●      Safety Benefits: Traditional incandescent sources waste energy – especially through heat energy. LED lamps produce almost no heat, which eliminates the risk of burns.

●      Energy Savings: LED lamps can pay for themselves through energy and maintenance savings, while providing aesthetically pleasing lighting. So although the initial investment will be higher than a standard incandescent source, the long term energy savings offer a healthy return.

●      Low Maintenance: An LED lamp can last for decades, making LED options a low-maintenance solution. Homeowners can say goodbye to climbing a ladder every year or so to change those burnt out lamps. The long life expectancy of LED lamps is of high value.

●      Light Output: As we grow older, our eyes get more sensitive to light sources. Luckily, increases in efficacy (lumens per watt) and warm white color consistency make LED options gentle on aging eyes.

●      Color Output: The key to selecting the right LED fixtures for aging individuals is to have a warm color temperature (2700-3000K) and high color-rendering index (90 CRI or above).

One Fixture, Four Ways: Equinox

Posted by kbanks & filed under Lighting Trends, lighting designs.

Orbs and circular fixtures are at the top of the list of today’s trending lighting designs – which explains why Equinox is one of our most-loved families. But we’re learning that it’s not just it’s distinctive rings and memorable shape that makes this fixture so attractive to designers and homeowners. We are constantly amazed by the applications of our designer partners, which has left us wondering, could Equinox by one of our most versatile collections?

Lighting designer James Thomas chose Equinox as one of his favorite creations for that very reason. “I have seen these fixtures placed in all types of interiors from modern to rustic traditional, so I am happy to see that the design has widespread appeal and is not defined by a single category,” said James.

And James is certainly right! Here are just a handful of the beautiful ways Equinox can be used throughout the home.

Toll Brothers sunroom featuring the Progress Lighting Equinox pendant.
Gather round! Our large Equinox pendant invites guests in and unifies your favorite living spaces. Loving this application from Toll Brothers!

Ryland Homes bathroom featuring Progress Lighting Equinox pendant
Turn your master bath into an area of luxurious relaxation with a striking pendant above the tub. Ryland Homes designed this bathroom beautifully.
Project completed by Mary DeWalt Design Group featuring Progress Lighting Equinox pendants.

Why have one pendant when you can create a stunning spectacle with three? Mary DeWalt Design Group masters contemporary beauty in this dining room setting with Equinox.

Country chic kitchen featuring Progress Lighting Equinox pendant

Equinox can even be used in country chic interiors, and is perfect above a quaint kitchen nook.

Where would you put your Equinox fixture?

Plus – we couldn’t help but share this sneak peek from nationally acclaimed designer Possibilities for Design. This Toll Brothers model home in Fort Collins has a striking two-story entry, now installed with three Equinox chandeliers. What a sight these designs create when hung high!

Equinox pendants by Progress LightingEquinox pendants by Progress Lighting

How to achieve an industrial look with lighting

Posted by kbanks & filed under Interior Design, Kitchen Lighting, Lighting Trends, remodeling.

Vintage, industrial looks are making their way into today’s most on-trend interior settings. When done right, interior designs with an industrial influence can create a sophisticated atmosphere with distinctive character. Attention-to-detail is key with this design style – and a good place to start is your lighting fixtures. Lighting has the ability to transform your home environment. If you are thinking about trying out an industrial design scheme, consider the following lighting design tips.

Achieve an industrial look with lighting

  • Prismatic glass shades to evoke vintage appeal – Fixtures with prismatic glass give nod to a previous age. When paired with classic forms and current finishes, this vintage style becomes surprisingly relevant to today’s industrial interiors.
  • Select fixtures with knob and strap details – Careful details such as knobs and straps bring to life a spirit of craftsmanship.
  • Consider mixing metals – Mixing metals within the same fixture (as seen above with Progress Lighting’s Swing and Archives collections) gives off a warehouse vibe.
  • Use exposed Edison bulbs – Exposed bulbs are extremely popular today. To give this trend an industrial flair, Edison filament bulbs offer a unique look.