LED Rope Lighting vs Strip Lighting: What’s the Difference?

LED Rope vs LED Strip

Looking to improve the ambiance of your home? Or are you only looking to start decorating for the upcoming holiday?

Strip and rope lighting are great for both. They can set whatever mood you want to create and they’re quite trendy too. They can be quite confusing for the average people, though.

Do they have massive differences aside from their appearance?

The answer to that is yes; while they both produce light, they have different applications. Which is the best one for your project then?

Find out below; we’ll see how they compare with each other in every aspect. First, let’s learn what they are.

What are LED Rope Lights?

Rope lights are a string of lights encased in a cylindrical tube. The tube’s material can be epoxy, plastic, or another type as long as it’s clear and can withstand the heat.

Nevertheless, rope lights don’t produce enough heat and light. This is why its applications are for decorations most times. You can cut rope lights, but it has to be at its cut point.

The cut point is different for every model. Some manufacturers place a cut point every 18 to 24″ while some may place it every 36″.

What are LED Strip Lights?

As the name suggests, this lighting fixture is a flat piece of material with LED lights mounted on the surface. The strip is a circuit board, and it usually comes with an adhesive on the backside.

It’s flexible enough for use in different applications, and it’s easy to cut with a pair of scissors, as well. You can also cut it at any length, but make sure to cut between the copper dots at the end of each LED.

Rope Lighting vs Strip Lighting

Now that you have a general idea of what a LED rope light and strip light are, let’s discuss their differences. As they have different capacities even though they look almost the same, the guide below will help you determine which is the right one for your project.

Light Source

Rope lights use LED bulbs most of the time because it’s more efficient. They sometimes use incandescent bulbs, as well. The power input is either at 120/220vAC or 12/24vDC.

Strip lights can come in various LED chip configurations. Some examples are 3528, 5050, 3014, and so on. These numbers refer to the size of the chip in millimeters (e.g. 3528 is 3.5mm x 2.8mm).

Brightness

As we’ve said above, rope lights don’t shine bright enough for use in accent lighting, display lighting, or any application where you’ll need a high amount of brightness. Still, the brightness should be enough if you’re planning to use them for decorative purposes, such as for creating the mood for Halloween and Christmas.

The brightness of the strip lights depends on the LED chip configuration. 5050, for example, has brighter chips than 3528. If you use the latter in a higher quantity that’s comparable to the 5050, however, it can shine brighter.

The 3020 and 3014 can be brighter than both, though. In summary, the brightness of strip lights can vary from low level to high level.

Size

Rope lights are small enough for use in small spaces, but they can be thick if you compare it to a strip light. The diameter of the tubes, in general, measure 1/2″ or 3/4″. Because of this, they can be rather prominent wherever you place them.

Strip lights, even with the mounted LED bulbs, are usually only 1/16″ thick and 3/8″ wide. They are much smaller than rope lights in comparison, which makes them perfect for tight spaces.

Bend Angle

You can’t bend rope lights too much at risk of messing up the internal wiring. On the other hand, you can bend strip lights 90 degrees. This allows you to place them in curved surfaces and on 90-degree corners.

Remember to bend them at a cut line – those 2 copper dots we mentioned earlier. They are rather flexible, as you can even twist or loop them.

Run Length

Both types of lights have a maximum length before they experience a voltage drop. This allows them to operate as normal without the risk of failure or dimming due to an inadequate amount of energy. We refer to it as the “max run.”

With a single power source, both LED rope and strip lights has a max run of 16 ft. with 12V. An incandescent rope light has a max run of 16 ft. as well. For 24V, strip lights can go up to 16 ft. while the others don’t have a specified length.

With 120V, incandescent and LED rope lighting can only go up to 150 ft., while strip lighting doesn’t have a specified amount. With that said, if you need longer lights, you need an additional power source.

Installation

Rope lights require mounting strips, which can make the product thicker, so you can secure them to the surface. Strip lights usually have an adhesive backing; you’ll only need to stick it to the surface and it will stay there for a long time.

Effects

Do you like your lights to change colors? Strip lights have that ability while rope lights aren’t capable of changing colors. Both are dimmable, though, and both have strobe effects. Strip lights can’t have a chasing or twinkling effect, though, both of which a rope light can do.

Indoors or Outdoors

If you plan to use them outside, you can choose whichever because both can also work outdoors. Note, however, that you can’t submerge them in water; they can only tolerate a little moisture. Sun exposure is a factor, as well.

With that said, many people prefer rope lights for outdoors, such as around the trees or around the door. You can usually find strip lights indoors, such as in cabinet shelves or on the walls.

Which One is the Right Type for Your Project?

Now that you know their differences, you should be able to decide which of the 2 would be great for your project. Whichever you choose, keep in mind that you have to choose high-quality ones. Visit our website now to see our vast collection of high-quality lighting.

If you have any questions about strip or rope lighting, feel free to contact us!

10 Unique Ways to Use LED Strip Lighting in Your Home

10 Unique Ways to Use LED Strip Lighting in Your Home

Your home is your castle, the place where you feel like you can be yourself the most. That’s why you feel a drive to make your home’s style represent you and your tastes.

Sometimes with home decor, though, it’s hard to find original ideas. If you want your decor to stand out from the crowd and be uniquely you, you might need to get creative.

That’s where LED strip lighting comes in. These modern light strips come in any variety of colors and strengths. When you use them right, they can accent and beautify any area of your home. Try these ideas.

Ways to Use LED Strip Lighting for Home Decor

Accent lighting is a great way to warm up any home, but you don’t need bulky fixtures or dozens of light bulbs to do it. Try these uses for LED strip lights instead.

1. Countertop Accent Lighting

Of all the ways to use light strips in your home, this may be the most classic. When you install light strips on the bottom of your kitchen’s upper cabinets, they shine down on your countertops and create a warm glow.

That glow brings out any sparkly notes in your countertop. As an added bonus, it adds a touch of extra light to your kitchen to help you whip up your signature dishes. Because the lights are LEDs, though, they’ll last for years and cost a minimal amount to operate.

2. Toeboard Lighting

Sticking to the kitchen, you can follow the same protocol for countertop light but install the lights under your bottom cabinets instead. This creates a unique look that’s getting more and more popular in homes with traditional and modern styles alike.

The area you’re lighting up with called a toeboard: the few inches below your bottom cabinets. In most kitchens, it’s wasted space. Why not turn it into a decor feature instead?

3. Accent Ceiling Details

One of the best ways to make a room look high-end is to have interesting ceilings. Perhaps you’ve chosen a tres ceiling or maybe you’re going with more of a cove look.

In some of these styles, especially with a ceiling cove, LED light strips can enhance your design choices. Uplighting inside a cove will offer a soft and relaxing ambiance while making your home look even more luxurious.

4. Turn Shelves Into Displays

Wall shelves are handy for storage, sure, but they have the potential to be so much more. Turn them into full-fledged displays by using LED light strips to your advantage.

This tends to work best with enclosed shelves like those in an entertainment center. When you install LED lights around the back perimeter inside the shelf, creating a glow that draws anyone’s eye.

5. Light Up Your Aquarium

For some homeowners, their aquarium is their passion project. For others, it’s just a casual hobby. In any case, you can turn it into a great design feature as well.

LED light strips above or around your aquarium will take it to the next level and bring in that beautiful blue light throughout your home. Of course, you should only do this if the plants and fish in your aquarium can thrive with the additional light.

6. Outdoor Uplighting

Let’s step outdoors for a moment. LED light strips can be a great way to accent your landscaping as well with strategic uplighting.

Try installing some light stips at the base of pillars in front of your home. You can also place them at the bottom of trees or other landscaping. It’s easy to experiment, but these light strips are a great way to add some curb appeal.

7. Under-Mirror Lighting

The bathroom is one of those rooms that’s hard to style. When you have the big items in place like your vanity, shower, and tub, there isn’t much room to add personal decor.

That’s where strip lighting comes in handy. When you install it along the underside of your bathroom mirror, it adds a luxurious touch without taking up space.

Depending on the size of your bathroom and your mirror, you could place the lighting around the entire perimeter of your mirror.

Keep in mind, though, that this may create a glare that covers several inches around the edge of the mirror. That’s why this only tends to work on huge mirrors.

8. Make the Most of Decor

Let’s say you have some favorite decor pieces in your living room, like a beautiful painting. While your painting looks great, it doesn’t “pop” like you thought it would.

Enter LED light strips. Install these light strips around the edge of your painting to make it stand out. For a more subtle look, you can put the lights behind the painting instead so the glow is soft but still eye-catching.

9. Modernize Your Furniture

If you’re a fan of an ultra-modern look, you may be missing an easy way to capture it.

Install strip lighting on the bottom of select pieces of furniture like your entertainment center or your bed. The unique lighting makes it look like your furniture is made with space-era magic.

For most people who choose this look, colored LEDs work best. Blue and red are popular choices, though it depends on your room’s decor.

10. Style Your Deck

Revisiting outdoor options, let’s take a look at your deck. As beautiful as a deck can be, the right lighting can make it stand out even more and give it an inviting feel.

The most popular choice is to install strip lighting on your railing around your deck. Whether you place it on a few accent posts or around the entire railing, it can give your outdoor space a warm and inviting feel.

Styling Your Home with LED Light Strips

If you’re like many homeowners, you’re always on the hunt for the next great way to decorate your home. Instead of scouring every decor store for that perfect piece that brings a room together, keep lighting in mind.

The right lighting will change the entire atmosphere of a room. The ideas above can help you do that with LED strip lighting.

To get started with your decor lighting today, shop for LED lights online.

10 Creative Ideas for Outdoor Holiday Lights

10 Creative Ideas for Outdoor Holiday Lights

Is National Lampoon’s Christmas your ideal when it comes to outdoor holiday lighting?

Regardless of the holiday, don’t get stuck in the same old decorating rut this year. We’ll help you pull out all the stops, and show those neighbors what’s up.

We’ve got your guide to 10 original ways to vamp up your outdoor lights this holiday season.

10 Creative Outdoor Holiday Lights

Get your creative juices flowing and choose an outdoor holiday lighting style to match your desired exterior look.

1. Vintage Pieces and Lights

Coordinating your outdoor lighting with charming decorative pieces can add a cozy touch to your display.

The vintage look is especially fun to try during Christmas by combining something like an antique sled with the classic, large-bulbed, colored lights. Simply drape your brightly colored bulbs over your old-school sled, and let the Norman Rockwell style Christmas begin!

For more vintage pairings, try draping your colored-bulbs with other pieces like beach cruiser bikes, wagons, or an old pair of skis.

2. Backlit Decorations

This style of lighting decor is striking for any holiday. Create spooky Halloween lighting with a witch’s silhouette. Simply use cut wood in the witch’s shape, paint it black, shine those spotlights on it from behind, and voila.

A versatile style of lighting, backlit decorations can also give off a reverent tone where desired.

Add a humble glow to your nativity scene at Christmas with some soft backlighting shining on your manger.

3. Whimsical Lantern Light

You’ve probably seen them everywhere from Home Depot, to Home Goods–mini lanterns are in when it comes to decorating.

Try lining your walkways or patios with these little lanterns, but instead of filling them with candles, try battery-powered string, or LED lights.

You can use anything from white twinkle lights to pumpkin lights, to vintage colored bulbs. This creative lighting is sure to make a statement.

4. Remote Controlled Lasers

Did the little child in you just thrill at the idea of remote-controlled lasers? Mhmm, we thought so.

These are fantastic for those looking for an easier way to impress with lighting this year. No muss, no fuss, and best of all, no ladders. Simply direct one little laser light at your home and sit back in your recliner and press your remote to turn them on.

These lights come in a variety of colors and displays. Give your neighbors a little show, and if you’re feeling really ambitious, add some theme music to accompany the changing look.

5. Natural Pendants

Pendant lighting is not just popular for interiors lately. Romantic, mysterious, natural pendant lights such as those made from willow are a unique way to add glow to your exterior.

Just throw some LED or twinkle lights into the middle of your pendants and hang them from your desired location. Group them in clusters to hang from your trees, or tastefully hang some on a patio.

Willow pendants are especially effective at adding texture and an outdoorsy feel to your exterior decor.

6. Moravian Stars

Shoot, these are magical anywhere you put them, hanging from trees, strung in a row, inside a tent, over a nativity, heck–in a kid’s playroom.

But we digress, these Moravian stars are fun to look at and are a refreshing break from the standard white twinkle lights.

These multi-point stars are also generally easy to store, as most fold up quite neatly come time to put them away.

7. LED Trees

“Branch out” this holiday, (see what we did there?). Create anything from your own haunted forest to a winter wonderland with beautiful LED trees. These can often be found in varying colors, with white being one of the more common.

These pre-lit trees eliminate the hassle of having to string twinkle lights on every branch of your own trees. They are conveniently lightweight.

For added interest, try hanging other holiday decorations from them. For Halloween, hang some paper bats from their branches.

For Christmas or other winter holidays, add some ball ornaments for a splash of color and fun.

8. Pine Garlands and Wreaths

Sure, you may be thinking, “is that …unique?” The answer is, YES. Bring back the classic look while every other yard on your street is donning the kitsch light-up reindeer and blow-up Santa’s.

White lights with pine garlands and wreaths are always in fashion and always classy.

Give your exterior a tasteful look to impress this winter with a pre-lit wreath on every front window. Harken back to a good old New England Christmas with pine garlands wrapped around banisters, porches, and doorways.

9. Wine Bottle Lamps

We all know that during the holiday season you probably have a few more wine bottles lying around than usual. Why not put them to good use?

Clean those beautiful bottles out and fill them with battery powered lights, or LED twinkle lights. Line your sidewalks or porch banister with this unique take on lamp lighting.

Not a drinker? Use another form of glass containers such as soda bottles or mason jars.

10. Fairy Lights and Snowflake Dust

This extra romantic take on white twinkle lights are not only fun to look at, but they’re a great craft to do with family to fill those longer winter nights.

Simply grab your string of white twinkle lights, a pair of scissors, some tulle, and rubber bands.

Cut out one 8×8 inch square from your tulle for every light bulb. Then, using your rubber band, tie the tulle around each bulb to create a little white “skirt” for each.

For the snowflake dust lights, you need: white twinkle lights, white “bouquet holders,” (aka doilies), and scissors. Cut a small hole in the center of each doily and poke the bulb of each twinkle light through the center.

This fanciful snowflake light looks especially lovely in a winter window.

Let There Be Light!

Now that you’ve got some unique, new ideas for outdoor holiday lights, be sure you’re hanging or setting them up properly.

Educate yourself and check out our helpful blog post on 10 key tips for how to hang outdoor string lights.

How to Install LED Strip Lights: Your Ultimate Guide

Want to learn how to install LED strip lights?

Did you know that residential LED products use 75% less energy than incandescent lamps? They also last 25 times longer. How does that affect you?

Well, let’s look at the big picture. By 2027, widespread use of LEDs could save the U.S. 348 TWh. That’s equivalent to a total savings of $30 billion.

When you install your strip lights, our country is one step closer to achieving that goal. Plus, you’ll have a reason to throw another house party.

We’ll make a bargain with you. If you take care of the installation, we’ll take care of the instruction. Below, we’ll outline the steps required for DIY LED light strip installation.

Read on to discover more.

Warning

This guide assumes that you have experience working with 120v power connections. If your uncomfortable working said connections, contact a local electrician for assistance.

Things You’ll Need

Below is a list of basic tools you’ll use for the project:

  • Lighter
  • Wire stripper
  • Power adapter
  • LED light strips
  • SPST toggle switch
  • Heat shrink wire tubing
  • Soldering iron and solder
  • Scissors (or knife) to cut the power cable
  • 3-prong AC power cable (for harvesting and rewiring)
  • Basic multi-meter to determine proper wiring on AC power cable

Note: if you’re confused about with LEDs to buy, read LED rope vs. strip lighting. It’ll give you a better idea of what’s available.

Power Supply: Choose a power supply that’s specifically built for the setup you have in mind. If possible, choose one manufactured by the same company that makes the LED strips you’ve chosen.

We’re using a 12V 18W power supply with a three wire input. The three wires have standard AC connections (for the U.S.). The first wire is the ground; the second, live; the third, neutral.

Power Cable: Choose a three-prong AC power cable that you can destroy. One customarily used for monitors is a good choice.

Prepare the Power Cable

You need access to the wires in the power cable. To expose them, cut off the end of the cable. Leave as much usable cable behind as possible.

Then use the wire strippers to cut through the wire’s plastic outer molding. Give yourself enough wire length to work with, but not so much that you’ll end up with exposed wire in your finished product. 2 1/2 inches should suffice.

Now, remove the casing. If you pull on the free end of the casing, it should slide right off the cable and expose the three wires inside. Remember to be gentle. If you pull too hard, you may destroy the wires.

Untwist and separate the wires inside. Pull them apart, so two wires form a “V” shape, and the other cuts the shape in half.

You then need to identify which is your ground, live, and neutral wire. The wires should be color coded:

  • Ground: Green or Bare Copper
  • Neutral: White or Grey
  • Live: Black, Red, White with Red or Black Tape, Blue, or Yellow.

If you used a monitor cable, you will likely find a green, a white, and a black wire.

Next, use the wire stripper to cut off a half inch of the casing, exposing the raw wire underneath.

Arrange the Shrink Tubing

The shrink tubing will cover the live wires to act as an insulator. The goal is to cover each individual exposed wire. Then, cover all three for additional protection.

It works best if you use small tubing for the wires and large tubing for the cable. Cut three pieces of small tubing. Each should be 2″ long.

Then cut a piece of large tubing that’s 6″ long. Slide the large tubing over the three exposed wires. Continue until it covers a section of the cable above the wires.

No part of the tubing should be touching the wires at this point.

In a similar fashion, slide one of the small pieces of tubing over the neutral wire. Push it further up the wire until it’s past the exposed wire. Follow the same procedure for the ground and neutral wires.

Solder the Wires

Grab your solder, soldering gun, and power supply. The power supply should have a cable with three exposed wires coming out of it, very much like the one you just created. Follow the chart above to discern which wire is the ground, the live, and the neutral wire.

Match each with its counterpart on the power cable. Ground to ground. Neutral to neutral. Live to live. Now solder each together with its counterpart.

When you finish, slide the small tubing down to cover the freshly soldered neutral wires. It should cover the entire exposed wire. It will replace the casing you stripped off earlier.

Now, shrink the tubing with the lighter. Shoot for a tight fit.

When you finish, follow the same procedure with the ground and live wires. Then, wrap up by covering all three with the large tubing. It should cover all the work you’ve done so far.

When you shrink it into place, you should see two black cords separated by your large tubing. The rest of your handy work should be hidden.

Strip the LED Wires

Get out your LED lights. Now strip the cable and wires in the same manner you used on the power cable. You’ll find only two wires inside the outer cable. Strip each wire, leaving 3/4″ of exposed wire.

Do the same to your toggle switch, leaving two wires. The exposed parts should only be 3/4″ long. Your goal is to wire the toggle switch directly to the LED plug.

You’re going to follow the same procedure you used to cut and place each shrink tube. Then, you’ll solder each of the wires to its counterpart. Finally, you’ll cover the exposed wires with the tubes and shrink it into place.

When you’re finished, plug in the power supply and test the LED strip.

Mount the Lights

This last part is actually the easiest part. Start by measuring the length of the light strip you’ll need. You strip will have guides written on it, telling you exactly where you can cut it. Cut the side you need.

Then measure out two pieces of double-sided adhesive to cover the underside of your adapter. Remove the non-adhesive tape to expose the sticky adhesive and stick the power adapter in the location you desire.

The back of your strip lights has a similar, strong adhesive. It’s also covered with a non-adhesive tape. Remove it, and stick your lights to the location you desire.

Double check to make sure your lights work, and you’re done. Great work.

After Your “How to Install LED Strip Lights” Guide

So, are you ready for your next lighting project? After you discover how to install LED strip lights, it’s simple to repeat the procedure. They’re excellent under shelves, desks, and entertainment coves.

Keep up the good work so that we can hit the goal of $30 billion by 2027.

If you found this information helpful, take five minutes to browse our library of all things LED.

So long and good luck!

LED Ambient Lighting: How to Create Ambient Lighting With LED Strips

Ambiance isn’t just a nifty sounding French word to whip out at social gatherings. It has some direct effects when applied to the real world.

Creating ambient lighting in your home bridges the gap between your internal and external worlds. Why not paint the walls with a mood and let it radiate how you feel?

With LED ambient lighting effects and designs, you can transform a space into a setting. Not just one setting either, the newest LEDs feature programmable options so you can build several effects in the same room.

Read on to learn why ambient room lighting has become a decor must.

LED Ambient Lighting Benefits

Would it surprise you to find out that LED (light emitting diode) light is naturally colored? This quality makes them use slightly more power when creating white light over colored lighting effects.

No other choice for lighting provides as much energy efficiency for the same effect. LED ambient lights also broadcast little heat. This means their use in tight locations won’t cause burning and discoloration like other lights.

Outside of these nifty benefits, LEDs also boast significant Longevity and Versatility. These traits grow when compared to other light sources.

Longevity

According to the US Department of Energy, the median lifespan of LEDs is 52,000 hours or 6 years. That is if they were running continuously the whole time.

Many people run their lights only for an average of 6 hours a day (8 in the winter). That puts the lifespan of an LED fixture in the ballpark of 18-24 years.

Versatility

The power source for LEDs run in serial circuits along long chains with no loss of brightness to units at the end of the line. This provides bright and even lighting across large surfaces.

Neon lighting effects are notorious for bright and black spots (which, admittedly is its own kind of ambiance).

LED mood lighting strips are low profile. You can attach them on to the floor without fear of tripping over them. You can stick them under a counter or even suspend them from string easily.

No other light source can get into as many places with DIY techniques. Other light sources require professional lighting engineers to construct installations. Even then, the effects are often limited.

Ambient Lighting Ideas

Ambient lighting combines several different concepts and techniques to create an overall mood.

Consider all of the surfaces of a room and where light can come from. While overhead lighting may be most effective for seeing with, lower lighting can provide depth. Combinations of dimmer and brighter light give shape and contour to shadows, which can change the visual dimensions of a room.

Reflected light can diffuse and scatter which creates new tones and qualities. Targeted task lights can draw the eye to a key feature or provide exceptional visual assistance.

Let’s break down the four key techniques for establishing LED mood lighting.

Dimmers

Dimmer switches make any lighting project better. You literally dial in the level of light you want.

Dimmers attached to multiple light fixtures can allow you to shape and contour the light in an area as if you were painting with the light.

Darkening the ceiling and brightening the lower lights creates an ethereal or spectral feeling. The reverse forms a warm and inviting space perfect for reading or enjoying company.

Dimmers are best installed by a professional for set light fixtures. However, with LED mood lighting strips, dimmers operate through a control unit. A computer program directs the unit with easy software and no extra knowledge needed.

Accents

Accent lighting is about adding color and illumination to areas that normally fade into the background. The same way accessories draw attention to otherwise overlooked bits of the body.

Mounting an LED strip to the underside of a counter can create a wonderful glow for enticing the eye to the contents above. Lights along molding or cabinets provide ways to show off curios and collections.

Light runners along the floors can create pathways which can be color-coded to direct traffic at an event.

The flexible housing of LED lights allows them to be quickly molded to any shape needed. Anchor the lightweight LED strips adhesives or spaced brackets and staples.

If you use staples, you want to go with something larger than the strip so as not to pierce the housing. This won’t cause an electrical shock but can interrupt the flow and blank out sections of a strip.

Task Lighting

Design spotlights for helping with a job or delivering specific attention to a feature with LED strips. Diffuse lighting built into the wall of a bedroom provides enough direct illumination to read while being soft enough to sleep under.

LED lights are durable. Consider freezing them into a block and then shaping the block into a quick geometric pattern for an amazing DIY ice sculpture.

Provide extra light to a work area like a sewing desk, a painting easel, or a workbench. Simply stick up the lights to any nearby surface. House lights in reflective surfaces to amplify their power.

Task lighting lets you bring one area of a room into full view and still have the rest in a combination of smooth and dim illuminance.

Indirect Lighting

A touch of color or the addition of a shadow manipulates the way we see space. Apply some LED strips if you want a hallway to look as if it goes on forever or stops in sudden darkness.

Evening out the lighting in a room can open it up and make the whole space feel usable. Too often incandescent bulbs create halos of light which force you into the center and away from the shadowy corners.

Stairways and bathrooms become safer to traverse later at night. Dim but visible lighting lets you operate without waking up the house or giving you eye strain.

Soft but lower perception lighting has a history in sleep studies with creating different levels of sleep. These can help children sleep better and wake up faster.

Make It Your Own

Don’t limit your lighting choices to old concepts of placement. New lighting technology gives you the freedom to reimagine every space and make it your own.

Ready to get started on your own LED ambient lighting projects? Check out our shop and get started today. We have plenty of other light related advice and information as well.

Decorating With Christmas Lights When It’s Not Christmas: 8 Ways to Pull It Off

If you go a little overboard on Christmas lights and decorations, you may have a surplus of festive decor just laying around 11 months out of the year!

Sure, you may not be racking up $82,000 in energy bills, but it’s easy to fill a crowded garage, attic, or basement with unused equipment.

It seems like such a waste to spend money on beautiful decorations only to use them for a single holiday. This is why we’re looking at other options for decorating with Christmas lights.

Today, we’ll show you the best ways to use your lights even outside of Christmas!

Decorating With Christmas Lights: Easy Mode

Before we get into some specific DIY Christmas lights decorating ideas, we want to cover a simple and easy rule of thumb…

Use white string lights whenever and wherever!

There are lots of options out there for Christmas lights, but many people tend to opt for simple, white stringed lights.

This is great because white stringed lights go with almost anything. Usually doesn’t even matter what the decor of your house is, white stringed lights are practically universal.

It’s a little more difficult if you’re a colored Christmas lights type of person, but not necessarily impossible.

There are still some more specific ideas on how to decorate with Christmas lights, though, which we’ll delve into now.

String Up Your Patio, Porch, or Lanai

Just like under cabinet lighting, you want to use lights to set a certain mood and ambiance.

What better place to spruce up the ambiance than with outdoor Christmas lights?

The good news is that you’re planning on decorating outside of the (presumably) cold winter months, so now is the time to move those lights outside.

An easy way to do this is simply stringing them up above you. Give the strands of lights a little sag, which adds an extra touch of visual aesthetics to your patio lighting too.

Make sure to grab some suspension cable if your patio or porch doesn’t have a ceiling or isn’t already conducive to hanging lights.

Wrap Them Around Plants and Trees

Decorating with Christmas lights doesn’t need to be tied to just Christmas trees.

If you like to have indoor trees and plants in your house, feel free to wrap some Christmas lights around them anyway.

Again, especially if you use plain white stringed lights, this look is timeless and doesn’t need to just be used from December 1st to the 31st.

Highlight Your Bedroom Mirror

A tall bedroom mirror is great for double checking your outfit for the day or adding the illusion of more space.

Try highlighting your mirror by framing it with DIY Christmas lights. You can either make it a simple border with 90-degree angles or add some wavy and chaotic pattern for some flair.

Either way, this makes for a very cool effect as they’re reflected on the mirror and it adds to the overall lighting of the room.

It’s always good to get some extra lighting when checking yourself out anyway.

Create a Reading Nook

This idea is especially useful when you have young children.

Reading is important for childhood development (or anyone, really). But some children are resistant to reading when so many screens and devices crowd their attention these days.

That’s why it’s important to make reading as inviting and accessible as possible.

A good idea is to make a themed reading nook or corner and decorating with Christmas Lights.

You could simply string the lights up in a tent shape or frame around a corner of a room with a small bookshelf and some bean bags or a bench.

You could also go heavier on the theme. For example, make it space themed with astronaut or spaceship figurines on the bookshelf. Then, you can make a quilted mural of a moon and/or stars and highlight the moon or stars with cut-outs.

String the Christmas lights behind the quilt and have the lights poke out through the cut-outs.

This will incite creativity in your child’s mind and make them want to go to the reading corner.

Then again, you could scrap the idea of a children’s reading nook altogether and just make one for yourself.

Hang the lights up from a hook on the ceiling and then drape them down in a tent-like shape above a chair or bench. Create a little space for yourself removed from the rest of the world and have reading lights all in one design!

String Up Polaroids and Pictures

In the digital age, physical pictures become rarer and rarer.

Still, some people like to feel a picture between their fingers. Physical photos can make for some interesting decorating ideas, too.

One way to mix photos with Christmas lights in the living room is to use the strands of Christmas lights as a string for creating a mural of photos on the wall.

Simply grab some clothespins and clip them on the strand in between the lights.

It will make for a well-lit and story-filled centerpiece.

Bundle Them Up

There are a lot of places to use this idea, but consider taking strands of Christmas lights and bundling them up like a ball of rubber bands.

This makes the lights more concentrated and brighter.

Put the ball in a glass container like a mason jar or vase and next thing you know you’ve got a bright light source that’s aesthetically pleasing.

An idea like this can even be a replacement for a lamp itself!

Thinking Outside the Box with Lighting

Similar to colors, lights are a fun way to play around with the look and decor of your house.

Decorating with Christmas lights doesn’t have to only be for the month of December, too. Feel free to play around with strands of Christmas lights (especially if you have plain white ones) every day of the year.

They don’t need to waste away in boxes in your garage, attic, or basement. Feel free to pull them out year round and make your home happier, brighter, and more playful.

If you think you have some interesting ideas for LED lighting, feel free to submit your project anytime!

10 Halloween Lighting Ideas That Will Scare Your Guests

Decorating for Halloween can be a lot easier than most people make it out to be. Forget about the mess of putting up fake spiderwebs and sacrificing your spare bed sheets to make yard ghosts. The best way to make your home a little spookier is to use Halloween lighting!

The right lighting is sure to create the look you’re going for. Whether you want to be the scariest house on the block or just have a little fun when handing out Halloween candy, you have to figure out what kind of lighting will best set the scene.

Here are ten cool Halloween lighting ideas for you to choose from.

1. Backlight Halloween Objects in Your Windows

To backlight something means to illuminate it from behind. It’s basically the opposite of creating shadows, but when used correctly, it’s even spookier.

This is a great option if you have yard decorations you want to take to the next level or indoor Halloween items you want to backlight for onlookers to see. Backlighting something as simple as a hand or an outline of a witch’s hat or a scary cat is an easy way to give the house the right sense of scariness.

2. Candlelight the Doorway

If you’re not trying to completely freak people out, you may be better off setting up candles around the doorway. Get creative with your jack-o-lanterns this year. Try to make them all cohesive instead of coming up with super different designs.

More so, create as much room for the candles to shine through as possible. This helps illuminate the porch as trick or treaters get closer to the door. Not to mention, they’re pretty entertaining to look at when there’s a line of people waiting for their candy.

3. Fog Light the Yard

Get some fog lights if you want to turn the spookiness up a notch. All it takes is two or three of these to transform the whole yard.

Fog lighting is one of the easiest ways to turn your property into the ultimate Halloween house. It’s also easy to manage if you’re someone who likes to have their Halloween decorations up as long as possible.

4. Create Shadows in the Driveway

While it’s good to put up some decorations a week or two before Halloween, this lighting idea works best on the night of. Set up items in your yard that you can cast shadows with onto the driveway or the side of the house.

Shadow figures can make it look like there’s a monster hiding in the bushes or a creepy creature following people as they go to get their candy. It takes a bit of extra planning to get the shapes and shadows just right, but it looks really cool when you figure out how to pull it off!

5. Put a Strobe Light Inside

This is one of the easier Halloween lighting ideas, but it never gets old. All you have to do is put a strobe light somewhere near the front windows of your home. It can be right by the front door or off to the side.

But, keep in mind this will be going all night. You don’t want to put a strobe light in the living room if you plan to be watching TV as you wait for trick or treaters. If this is where the biggest window is, though, put something behind the strobe light so that the effects mostly affect the outside, not the inside.

6. Color Light the Whole House

Another way to have some fun with lighting this Halloween season is to color light your home. You can put red all over the yard to create a scary scene or shine an orange-colored light to spread the spirit of Halloween. Maybe even combine a few different colors to see what kind of unique, spooky setting comes of them.

7. Light the Fence

If you have a fence that is a good distance away from the front door, don’t forget to light this part of your home, too. Try to get lights that go on and off in a flickering fashion for a scary effect. For something more light and cheery, jack-o-lantern string lights should do.

8. Skip Candle Jack-o-Lanterns for Artificial Ones

Speaking of light-up jack-o-lanterns, consider putting these all over your porch and yard. These are much easier to set up and manage than regular candle jack-o-lanterns, plus you can reuse them year after year.

You don’t want to have the same jack-o-lantern all over the place, though. The trick to using this Halloween lighting style is to find different light-up designs.

9. Use Sensory Lights

Here’s another interesting option to think about: sensory lights. These are the fun, spooky alternative to having objects pop out at people as they get their Halloween candy. Instead, sensory lights are what pop out of nowhere and make your guests jump back or think twice as they walk along their path.

10. Combine Different Halloween Lighting Styles

Keep in mind you don’t have to pick just one or two of the Halloween lighting ideas on this list. The best way to create the ultimate Halloween lighting is to mix a few of these suggestions together!

One way to do this is by putting strobe lights in the house and color lights on the outside, with artificial jack-o-lanterns everywhere. Or, go the classic approach with traditional jack-o-lanterns and fog lighting with a bit of shadow lighting placed strategically around the yard.

Bring Your Favorite Halloween Lighting Ideas to Life

You can read about Halloween lighting ideas all day, but at some point, you have to get to work. Take a moment to choose the decor suggestions you want to use this year then figure out how to make them happen.

For more holiday lighting tips and tricks, click here!

What the Puck Are These For? 8 Great Uses for Puck Lights

Light is so powerful that light therapy is used to treat the 4 to 6% of Americans who have Seasonal Affective Disorder. Seasonal Affective Disorder, also called winter depression, is most likely caused by the long, cold winter nights and lack of sunlight.

Sunlight and good lighting can make a difference in our mood and overall happiness.

Good lighting is important for your home as well. Interested in a lighting project for your home? Not sure what kind of lights you need and where to place them? We suggest you try puck lights.

Puck lights can do wonders for your home. They can illuminate areas you never thought of and cast a warm, happy glow around your home. Not sure how to use them? Read on to learn about 8 great uses for puck lights.

What is a Puck Light?

A puck light is a small light that is shaped oval or round. These LED lights are convenient and easy to mount. You can buy them in various intensities. You can even get dimmable puck lights for nighttime use.

Puck lights can be battery operated, or you can plug them in. You can mount them on the wall, or you can attach with velcro. There are puck lights that turn on with the touch of your hand.

Why Use Puck Lights?

Puck lights are great for adding accent lighting to areas in your home.

Most commonly, they are used in the kitchen to highlight countertops.

However, you can use them in a variety of other ways. You can use them for lighting projects throughout your home or as additional lighting for your workspace.

7 Creative Uses for Puck Lights

1. Underneath Cabinets

The standard use for puck lights is underneath kitchen cabinets. The soft glow of the lights illuminates your countertop space.

The bright general lights in your kitchen don’t do much to reflect the beauty of your countertops. If you have a reflective countertop surface, such as granite, puck lights are perfect for highlighting their beauty.

2. Highlight Decor on a Shelf

Puck lights are not just for practical uses. The effect of puck lights casts a spotlight on the item it illuminates.

The lighting is perfect for highlighting your favorite vase or decor piece on a shelf.

3. Inside Kitchen Cabinets, Drawers, or the Pantry

Want a late night snack but don’t want anyone to catch you? Don’t turn on the light! Instead, install puck lights in your cabinets and food pantry. Guide the way to bedtime snacking.

Have fancy tableware? Install puck lights in your kitchen drawers to show off your silverware too.

4. Create a Reading Nook

The soft glow of puck lighting is perfect for reading.

Do you have a window seat? You can create a small reading nook with fluffy pillows, a fuzzy blanket, and dimmable puck lights. No window seat? Clear out a corner of your bedroom and transform it into your reading space.

Puck lighting can make it easier for you to read before bedtime.

Now all you need is a good book.

5. Walkways and Outdoor Seating Areas

Summer nights were made for sitting outside on your porch swing or outdoor patio. Finding the right lighting can be difficult. You don’t want the lighting to be too bright and feel like you’re indoors. You also don’t want a bright light that would block out all the stars.

Puck lights can cast the perfect light outdoors and retain that dark, cozy atmosphere.

You can also install puck lights to your walkway to make it easier to find your footing at night.

6. Hallways

Have you ever found yourself stumbling in the hallway in the middle of the night? Or if you have young children, it can be difficult for them to see where they’re going at night.

You could put a nightlight in the hallway, but that can look childish. Instead, you can install classy puck lights along your hallway to avoid nighttime stumbling.

7. In the Bathroom

Imagine yourself waking up in the middle of the night. You’re half-asleep, and you need to go to the bathroom. You walk into the bathroom and turn on the light. Your eyes take a few seconds to adjust.

After a few minutes, you are suddenly wide-awake. You go back to bed, and you spend the next hour or two tossing and turning.

Why does this always happen?

Light interrupts our circadian rhythm. Our circadian rhythm is how our bodies regulate our sleep and wake cycles.

The light you turned on signaled your brain that it’s daytime, and it’s time to wake up.

To avoid this, you could add dimmable puck lights in your bathroom. The dimmed light is less likely to affect your circadian rhythm, and you’re more likely to drift off to sleep easier.

8. In Your Office

Our productivity is affected by light. Research shows that 68% of workers are unhappy with the lighting in their offices.

Bright, harsh office lights can reduce our productivity and make us stressed by increasing our cortisol levels. Lights that are too dark can strain our eyes. The best type of light for our productivity is light that is soft and looks natural.

With puck lighting, you can do away with the bright lighting and customize the intensity of the light that you want for your workspace.

Interested in Installing Puck Lighting?

Are you feeling inspired to take on a lighting project for your home? Want even more inspiration for puck lights? Read our blog for more project ideas and tips to get you started.

LED vs Halogen, CFL, or Tungsten: Which Bulbs Are Better?

LED bulb prices have dropped 85% over the last few years. Combined with long-term energy savings of thousands of dollars, LED bulbs are enticing.

When it’s time to replace the light bulbs in your home, you have a choice to make. You could choose LED, halogen, CFL, or tungsten.

LED bulbs have a higher up-front cost but save you money long term. Halogen and CFL bulbs are cheaper but also less efficient.

We’re going to help you compare led vs halogen, CFL, and tungsten. We’ll look at how they function, energy consumption, and lifespan.

Let’s dive in!

LED

LED bulbs produce light by passing an electrical current through them. They’re the most energy efficient and last the longest.

How It Works

Two semiconductors create the light in an LED. One has electrons and the other has holes. The current passes through the two of these semiconductors.

When this happens, the electrons and holes combine to create photons. This is where the light comes from.

This reaction needs and creates the least amount of heat. This gives them the ability to last longer and work in cold temperatures.

How Long They Last

A single LED bulb can last 50,000 hours. You could go years before ever thinking about replacing your Christmas lights.

The Light Produced

The light produced by an LED contains no infrared or ultraviolet light. You would have to buy an LED meant for this light if that’s what you wanted.

You can find LED bulbs in a variety of light colors. Choose from amber, cool tones, warm tones, or pure white light.

Halogen

Halogen light bulbs are like incandescent bulbs but with some key differences. There’s a tungsten filament, but they also have halogen gas.

How It Works

The gas and tungsten mix together and go back onto the filament. This makes the bulb last longer.

It also makes the bulb run at a higher temperature. The higher temperature makes it have a brighter light output.

The bulb has an outer envelope made of quartz instead of glass. The quartz handles the increased heat better.

CFL

Compact fluorescent lamps save energy with the hope of replacing incandescent light bulbs. The base of these bulbs fit into fixtures meant for incandescent bulbs.

How It Works

A CFL bulb produces light by passing an electrical current between two electrodes. There’s an electrode placed at each end of the tube.

The gas-filled tube contains the reaction between the current and the gas. The combination creates ultraviolet light and heat.

This creation converts to light when it comes into contact with the phosphor coating. The whole process can take 30 seconds to 3 minutes to complete.

LifeSpan

Over time, your CFL bulb will dim. After about 4,000 hours, you’ll lose 20-25% of the bulb’s lumens. This is about halfway through a CFL’s 10,000-hour lifespan.

Tungsten

You probably are more familiar with the name incandescent. These bulbs are the least efficient and are going through a phase-out.

Incandescent bulbs are glass instead of quartz. Inside you’ll find a brittle filament wire.

How It Works

Inside each bulb is a small wire. As an electric current flows through this filament, it heats up and glows.

Heat then radiates out like it would in a space heater. A small amount of this heat converts to light.

When the light is on, the heat produced burns the tungsten filament. This burning continues until the filament breaks and the bulb is “dead”.

Legislation

As of 2012, the first phase of the federal government’s regulations went into effect. These regulations set maximum wattage requirements for bulbs produced.

In 2020, the second round of regulations will take effect. This phase will mandate all general-purpose bulbs to be at least 45 watts.

LED vs Halogen

You’ll find that halogen bulbs come in wide variety of shapes and sizes. They’re most commonly used as spotlights and floodlights.

When comparing halogen vs led lights, halogen bulbs produce a lot of infrared and ultraviolet radiation. They also produce a ton of heat.

The high amount of heat makes it possible to get burned if you touch one. Cold temperatures also reduce their ability to function.

Unlike LEDs, touching a halogen bulb can cause it to malfunction. Skin oil will cause the bulb to stop working or even burst.

The light you get from a halogen bulb is a cooler white light. You can expect to get 3,600 hours of light from a halogen bulb.

CFL vs LED

You’ll notice that CFL light bulbs have a spiraled curly look to them. While LED bulbs are long and straight.

CFL bulbs use a quarter of the energy that incandescent bulbs once used. LEDs beat this by using 75% less energy.

LED bulbs contain no mercury or harmful gasses or toxins. They also don’t have a brittle filament or delicate outer casing.

LED vs Incandescent

Incandescent bulbs cannot come close to LEDs when it comes to efficiency. They only use about 10% of the energy they consume to make light.

That means 90% of the energy consumed gets wasted. So much used energy and the bulb only lasts 1,200 hours.

The light produced isn’t clean, meaning it contains infrared and ultraviolet radiation. This radiation damages fabrics and art.

You’ll find that you cannot buy a 40 or 60-watt bulb in the United States. The bulbs you can buy are fragile, making them more delicate than LEDs.

Which Is Right for You?

It shouldn’t be a tough decision between led vs halogen or any other type of bulb. LEDs provide the most light while using the least amount of energy.

They are shockproof which makes them durable. You won’t get this durability with halogen or incandescent bulbs.

While the initial investment of LED bulbs is higher, they last a lot longer. You can expect your LED bulbs to last 42 times longer than your incandescent bulbs. They can last 13 times longer than your halogens bulbs.

Start outfitting your house with LED lights.

Get Lit: How to Give Your Bar Cool Mood Lighting and Improve Its Atmosphere

How much thought have you given to your bar lighting?

You probably put careful thought into the seasonal decor, the drink specials, the menu, and of course, the staff you hire. But if you’re not invested in the best restaurant lighting design, you’re missing an important piece of the puzzle.

Research has shown that lighting can change a person’s subjective response to a situation. That means you can literally change how your patrons feel while they’re in your establishment by changing up the lighting. They might not consciously notice the difference, but they’ll find themselves coming back to your establishment again and again.

Ready to learn what you need to know about bar lighting? We’ve got your answers here – keep reading to learn more.

1. Consider Color Temperature

Yes, colors have a temperature! At least, they look like they convey a sense of warmth, coolness, or something in between. And the temperature you choose to convey can say a lot about your space.

As a matter of fact, lights don’t just appear to be warm or cool: they literally have a temperature, which is measured in Kelvin. Each source of light has its own color temp. But color temperature isn’t like body temperature – it’s actually not related to heat output.

If you want warm light, that doesn’t mean you need to buy heat lamps. Lower color temperatures are actually associated with warmer-looking colors. As the Kelvin color temperature goes up, the light veers into cool-looking blue territory.

It’s a bit confusing, but it’s basically just the opposite of the way we usually think of temperatures. Warmer light temps mean cooler light colors and vice versa.

What’s the right temperature for your bar? Most experts agree that warm-looking amber hues are a winner. They make people feel comfortable, which can encourage them to eat and drink more. If the light color is too cool, it takes on a greenish cast, which makes people, food, and drinks all look unappealing.

Color Caveats

Sometimes, you’ll be restricted by certain things that affect the color temperature you can choose.

You’re probably working with a budget, and with local building codes. For example, the local codes might require you to use LED lights. LEDs also help save money, keeping you under budget. However, there aren’t many colors to choose from when it comes to these lights, so this might restrict your temperature choice.

However, over the years, lighting manufacturers are gradually introducing more variety in the bulbs you can choose from. There are also other ways to visually change the color of the space. If the light is too cool, use warm paint on the walls to counteract the effect.

2. Choose the Right Brightness

How bright or dim should your bar be?

People have different associations with different brightness levels. No matter what the color temperature is, if the lights are too dim or too bright, it will mess up the ambiance. Bright fluorescent lights are harsh, not welcoming. That’s why they’re used in fast-food establishments; they don’t want people to stay longer than they need to.

Of course, you don’t want your bar lighting to scream “fast food.” Dim light is usually ideal for upscale food and drink establishments. Be especially careful if you’re designing with exposed light bulbs since they can easily become way too bright.

Then again, you don’t want the light to be too dim. People will get annoyed if they feel like they need to use their phone’s light to read the menu.

The light in the kitchen always needs to be on the bright side, so your staff can see what they’re working on. However, if you have an open kitchen concept, make sure the light looks pleasing to patrons, even though it’s bright.

3. Use Layers of Light

A layered look is a great way to get the bar lighting just right. The best lighting almost never comes from having all the lights at the same height.

Especially for tricky situations like an open kitchen, layering can help. Try using lower ambient lighting so the staff can see their work, without blinding the eyes of your patrons. For a bar, pendant lightings always look nice, but you don’t want them to be too low. Otherwise, it will seem like there’s a wall between the customers and the staff.

No matter what, if you use layered lighting, you need to plan for a cohesive-looking result. It shouldn’t seem haphazard.

4. Placement Matters

It goes without saying that where you place the lights is an important factor in restaurant lighting designs. But which placements are best?

The right temperature, fixtures, and lighting output will do no good if the lights aren’t in the right places. For example, it’s nice to see lighting over restaurant tables, but if it’s too close customers will feel like they’re in a spotlight.

Even if you want more of a nightclub feel, there needs to be brightness in the appropriate places, even though you don’t want it too bright. The bar needs to be lit so people can easily find it. People also need to be able to see the dancefloor, the DJ, and any performers. No matter how dim you want it, strategic lighting goes a long way.

5. Try to Be Invisible

Your lighting, if it’s done right, is something most customers will never notice. It should blend into the background and become an “invisible” part of the experience.

If the lighting is off, anyone will notice it. If the lighting is just right, only people who consciously pay attention to design will take note – and it will be in a good way.

Ready to Buy Better Bar Lighting?

Did some of these bar lighting tips come as a surprise? Hopefully, you now have a few ideas for how to design the lighting in your new establishment – or upgrade the lighting in an existing one.

Looking for more commercial lighting tips? Learn how you can make more sales with great retail lighting here.

Pimp Your Ride: How to Install LED Rope Lights On Your Car

If you’re in the market for some new upgrades for your ride like in Need For Speed, take a look at LED rope lights. LED light strips are great options that are affordable and easy to install. Are you wondering how to install LED light strips in your car though? If so, don’t worry. We’ll break down how you can pimp your ride in no time.

What Are They?

LED light strips are strips of LEDs. Some of them have adhesive backs. Others need items like zip ties to hold them in place. You can apply them onto various surfaces and turn them on to illuminate your surrounding. LED light strips are programmable. That means you can set the colors to whatever you want. You can even make them blink or flourish. The LED nature of these lights makes them perfect candidates for customization.

The best thing about LED light strips is the fact that they don’t cost much to buy. You can buy big rolls of them in bulk and apply them to whatever you want. All you need is a power source and some proper planning.

Where Should They Go?

When we’re talking about cars, the sky’s the limit. You can apply it anywhere that you’d like. Here are some ideas:

  • Inside the door frame
  • Rear window
  • Trunk lighting
  • Under the chassis
  • Roof of the car

For most purposes, people like to place them on the bottom border of their vehicle. This gives a nice lighting effect to your vehicle. It looks even better when your car is in motion.

In this article, we’ll break down how to install these LED light strips onto the bottom of your vehicle.

Supplies You’ll Need

To install the LED light strips to your vehicle, what are some of the tools you’ll need?

Make sure you have your cross driver, some wire cutters, a hanger, and a wrench. You might also need a soldering station, depending on the LED strip you get. If you have alternatives that also work, that would be fine.

Also, you’re going to need your supplies. You will need your LED strips, electrical wire, electrical tape, and wire connectors. You can get an on and off switch if you’d like. You could also use zip ties or 3M double sided tape if you prefer. We recommend zip ties as they’re less likely to come off.

How much of these supplies you buy also depends on how much lights you want to hook up. If you only want to do the two sides of your car, you’ll need less. If you want to do all four sides of your vehicle, you’ll need more.

How To Install LED Light Strips In Your Car

Here, we’ll break down the various steps to installing LED light strips on your vehicle. These are general instructions that can be used or modified to fit any situation you have. Depending on the brand and make of your LED strips, you might have to alter some of these instructions. Let’s get started.

1. Find Mounting Spots

The first step you’ll need to take is check underneath your vehicle. Look for mounting points on your car. If you’re doing all four sides of your car, you’ll want to look in the front, back, and sides of your car. Some cars will have bolts, brackets, or other openings that you can attach the LED strips to.

A good rule of thumb is to use a zip tie for every 12 inches of LED strip at a minimum. You can do a bit more if you want. Zip ties will be a lot more secure than 3M double-sided tape. Even if your LED light strip comes with an adhesive back, you should still use zip ties.

2. Line Up Your Wires To The Module Box

After you’ve secured your LED light strips into place, you have to route your wires. Figure out the best positions to place your wires by mounting them to the various holes you’ve found. You’ll need to zip tie them into place so that they don’t become loose. The wires on these units are usually pretty thin. If they touch the ground, there’s a high chance they’ll shred.

Once you’ve begun mounting them, route the wires up to the engine bay and connect them to your module box. If you don’t have enough wire from the rear bumper, you can use extensions. This can either come as a pre-packaged item or you might have to solder additional wiring.

3. Connect To Battery

Now that all your LED strips and wiring is mounted, you can connect your LED to the battery. The red wire from your module box should make contact with positive. The black wire will make contact with negative. If there are any optional wires on your module box, check with your unit to see its function.

4. Secure The Module Box

Now that everything’s hooked up properly, you’re going to want to secure the module box. You want to place it near the battery, but not too close to anything that gets too hot. This includes the engine or radiator. Heat can damage the module box and make it malfunction. You also can’t let your module box get wet. The battery and fuse box of your car is set to be dry at all times. Keep the module box close to them so that it gets the same treatment.

On the module box, you’ll want to extend the antenna so that you get a better signal. Regardless of whether the hood is opened or closed, you should get a strong signal throughout.

5. Test It Out

Now that everything’s done, test out your LEDs to make sure it’s all working! Test it out and enjoy the fact that you have lights under your vehicle!

Do You Want To Pimp Your Ride?

Now that you know the steps, are you ready to pimp out your ride? People love to live out their Fast & Furious fantasies. Why shouldn’t you? If you’re looking for LED strip lights for your vehicle, we have the best varieties. Check out our direct mounting instructions for more details!

What’s the Difference Between LED vs Incandescent Lighting: A Guide

One lasts between 1,000 and 2,000 hours. The other can last anywhere from 20 to 50 times more!

You read that right. In the battle of LED vs incandescent lights, the former outranks the other in terms of hours of life. That’s because LED (light emitting diode) bulbs can light up your world (sorry) from anywhere between 20,000 and 50,000 hours!

That alone should already make you want to switch to LEDs ASAP. But that’s not the only benefit of doing so.

Aside from their longer-lasting service life, they also differ from other lighting products in terms of safety and durability. They also have an energy consumption advantage.

What exactly is the difference though? Also, does the initial cost make LEDs worth it?

Keep reading as we answer these questions and more!

LED vs Incandescent: The Difference in Technology

Did you know that the size of one diode in an LED is the same as that of a fleck of pepper? As small as they may be in size, quality LED light bulbs shine brighter than their incandescent counterparts.

Size and brightness aren’t the only differences though. They also differ in the following aspects:

Light Production

Incandescent bulbs use electric current to heat a tungsten filament. They use enough electricity to create heat that makes the filament illuminate. Simple, yes, but quite energy-consuming.

In LEDs, the light production process is more complex. They still use electrical current, but the bulbs pass this through a diode rather than a filament. When the current exceeds the voltage, that’s when it emits light.

Heat Generation

You may have tried touching one of these bulbs soon after you turned them off. Hot, right? That’s because these bulbs release as much as 90% of energy in the form of heat.

Because LED converts little energy to heat, you don’t have to worry about experiencing the same accidents as with incandescent bulbs. LEDs also combine various colors (red, green, plus blue) to give you that white light.

Illuminating Direction

When it comes to incandescent light direction, you need to use objects such as deflectors with incandescent and other lighting systems. That’s because their light spreads out. In fact, some of these bulbs may only reflect half of the light generated, with the rest staying in the fixture.

LED lights come out in a specific direction. This then minimizes the need for light-trapping objects like diffusers and reflectors. In other words, you get the most light from LEDs.

When They Go Out

Another good way to differentiate between incandescent vs LED is lighting hours.

Say you have incandescent bulbs throughout your home. You have them lit for at least five hours every day.

With their 1,000- to 2,000-hour lifespan, that means you’d need to change them after 200 to 400 days, or in about seven to thirteen months. If you use them for longer periods of time, then you’d need replacements sooner.

Now, consider the average number of hours you can get from LEDs. Even if you had them shining for 10 hours a day (for example, you work from home), they won’t burn out for up to 2,000 to 5,000 days! That’s somewhere around the ballpark of 13 years!

If you stick with incandescent lights, you would have to replace them 14 to 28 times within the same lifespan of one LED. That’s a lot of time and hassle you could have saved yourself from if you made the switch to LED.

The Upfront Cost

If LED is so amazing, why are households in the country still using more traditional options like incandescent and CFL?

The primary reason is because LED, with all its amazing technology, started out quite heavyweight in the price section. For instance, in 2009, only about 400,000 of these lights saw use in the U.S due to price constraints.

But as researchers continued to study and improve upon the technology behind LED, they saw many opportunities to reduce its cost. Nowadays, super-efficient LED lights are as much as 85% cheaper than their predecessors.

Granted, LEDs still aren’t as cheap as your regular $1-incandescent or $2-CFL. But if you take the time to research, you’ll find deals and offers that’ll cut back your costs when buying LEDs.

The Long-Term Cost

The saying “You get what you pay for” applies to your lighting systems too. If you want energy efficient, safer, and longer-lasting bulbs, then consider investing a bit more money for LEDs.

LED vs CFL vs Incandescent

The CFL we mentioned above refers to compact fluorescent light bulbs. They’re more energy-efficient than incandescent, as they use only about a third of energy that the latter does.

However, these lighting products require more energy to light up when you first turn them on. They then need to regulate the electricity (the function of the ballast).

Because of this, you’ll notice that CFL bulbs don’t light up right away or are dim at first. In some products, the process only takes about half a minute. Others, for up to 3 minutes.

On average, they only cost a dollar more than incandescent. This has given rise to their popularity. Note though that many of the CFLs you’ll find in the market today have some mercury, a chemical that can harm your health and the environment.

This should already tell you that LED still leads the pack, despite being the costliest option.

Final Pro Tip Before Replacing Your Current Light Bulbs

Let’s say you want to renovate and are thinking of lighting upgrades or changes. Now that you know more about LED vs incandescent (or LED vs CFL), you’re gearing towards the former.

Before you start replacing everything though, it’s best you take note of how many light bulbs you need and want to change. If you have the budget, then by all means, switch all your traditional bulbs with LED ones. If you can’t replace them all at once, you can do it one by one, starting with the areas you need the most artificial light in.

Want to start your green lighting renovations ASAP? Then please feel free to connect with us! You may also want to check our blog for more lighting tips and tricks like this.

LED Rope Lighting vs Strip Lights: What’s the Difference?

differecnes between led rope lighting and strip lights

LED lighting is one of the best ways to illuminate a space. LED lighting solutions use very little power and are exceptionally bright. And luckily, for more challenging lighting solutions, LEDs don’t only come in bulbs.

LED rope lighting and LED strip lights are both flexible solutions for creative lighting needs. But while the two may have a lot in common, they aren’t the same. Read on to discover some of the differences between the two.

Light Source

One of the biggest differences between LED rope lighting and LED strip lights is the light source. LED rope lighting is made up of individual LED bulbs encased in a clear plastic tube. These may come in different colors, but you can’t change the color of the bulbs.

LED strip lights are comprised of surface-mounted LED chips affixed to a flat piece of tape. They do come with color changing options, as well as a variety of single colors. These tend to produce a more diffuse light than rope lighting.

Round or Square Corners

You’ll want to take a look at the area you plan to affix the LED lights and determine if it has square or rounded corners. LED strip lighting is better suited to rounded corners than to square ones. It can’t bend very well around corners, and if you want a tight fit, rope lights may be your best choice.

You should keep in mind that if you plan to install rope lights in a square corner, you’ll have to cut the rope light and incorporate a corner or T-connector. With tape lighting, you can fold the tape around the corner at a junction between two of the light chips.

Brightness

Of course, the brightness of your LED lights is an important factor when choosing between rope lighting and strip lights. If you’re lighting a workspace or someplace that requires bright light, you’ll want to go with tape lights. They produce a very bright light and can be dimmed as the occasion demands.

LED rope lighting is much dimmer. It’s an excellent choice for mood lighting or soft illumination around a pool deck, outdoor gazebo, or similar. But if you’re looking for bright task lighting, these are not the lights you’re looking for.

Run Length

The length you’ll need to run LEDs for your project will also affect your decision between rope and strip lights. In part, this will depend on your lights’ voltage. Generally speaking, LED rope and strip lights come in either 12V or 120V.

The maximum run length on lights refers to the maximum length of light you can plug into a single energy source before you’ll start flipping breakers.

If you’re using 12V LED strip lights, the maximum run length will be 20 feet. If you’re using 120V rope lights, you won’t want to go more than 150 feet on a single power source. But if you’re using LED strip lights, a single power cord can power up to 330 feet.

Special Effects

One of the big appeals of LED lighting is its potential for special effects. Being able to change the color of your lights with the push of a button or to dim them when the situation calls for it is a big perk.

Both LED rope lights and strip lights offer dimmable or strobe options for the nights when you have company over. Both are sold in RGB color changing, though the LED strip light has more uniform light due to not using individual colored bulbs.

Ease of Installation

If you’re a confident DIY-er, rope and strip lighting installation isn’t anything to worry about. Depending on how involved your planned setup is, you may need to do some splicing. That being said, if you’re just looking to hang them on a fence or similar, your only concern will be making sure the electrical connections are water resistant.

Learn More About LED Rope Lighting

LED lighting is one of the best options on the market today, for environmental and financial reasons. The flexibility LED rope lighting and strip lighting offers makes illuminating your space a breeze. Make sure to determine your needs before you buy and you’ll have a solution that will last you for years.

If you’d like to learn more about using LEDs to light your house, visit the rest of our site at Birddog Lighting. We have all the information you need about LED lighting projects. Check out our posts on LED technology.

7 Tips for Choosing the Best Under Cabinet Lighting

choosing the best under cabinet lighting

Is your kitchen dim and dark? Do you struggle to see what you’re chopping? Maybe it’s just difficult to get your dishes clean because you can’t see properly?

If so, you may not have the right lighting. Illuminating your kitchen can brighten up your workspace and make your kitchen more welcoming. It can also help you set the mood at dinner parties if your kitchen backs up onto your dining area.

So, if you need to brighten up your kitchen, why not look at under cabinet lighting?

While this type of lighting offers great functionality and style, today there are hundreds of designs to choose from.

With this in mind, check out these 7 tips for choosing the best cabinet lighting.

1. Think About the Wiring

When choosing the best under cabinet lighting for your kitchen, you need to consider the type of wiring you want.

Do you want lighting that connects to your electrical outlets? Or would you prefer lighting that connects to the mains in your home?

Under counter lighting that connects to your outlets is the easiest option. That said, they don’t offer the same slick look because there will always be visible leads in your kitchen.

They’re also not great if you don’t have that many outlets in your kitchen. And, they can be hazardous if they’re close to hot appliances.

Hardwired lights are best if you want a permanent solution. They are more complex to install but that’s nothing your electrician won’t be able to handle. Plus, they look nicer and they don’t come with as many safety risks.

2. Don’t Forget About Voltage

When choosing under cabinet lights, you have to think about whether you want low (12V or 24V) or high voltage (120V).

Low voltage lighting allows you to use smaller fixtures. This means you can fit more lights under your kitchen counter. This option is great if you want to illuminate the entire counter space.

That said, if you do go for low voltage lights, you’ll need to install a transformer. This transformer should go somewhere along the circuit, for example, inside the cabinet.

3. Be Energy Efficient

Aside from the cost-cutting benefits of energy efficient light bulbs, you’ll also have less of a negative impact on the environment.

By avoiding traditional incandescent light bulbs, you’ll reduce your energy usage by anywhere between 25 and 80%. Not only this, these energy-saving alternatives last 3 to 25 times longer depending on your choice.

Incandescent light bulbs aside, there are various options to choose from aside from. Some of these include:

  • LED lights
  • Xenon lights
  • Halogen lights
  • Fluorescent lights

LED fixtures are your best bet if you want to save energy. In fact, some of them use as little as 5 watts without compromising quality. And, if that’s not enough, you can dim them to enjoy further energy saving capabilities.

4. Choose Under Cabinet Lighting With Little to No Heat Output

When it comes to choosing under cabinet lights for your kitchen, you must think about the heat they produce. If you choose light bulbs that emit a lot of heat, you may struggle to prepare food that is sensitive to heat.

LED lights are once again your best option. They emit little to no heat in comparison to incandescent bulbs which release 90% of their energy as heat.

Avoid Xenon lights as these produce more heat than both LED and fluorescent lights. That said, they’re still a better option than incandescent bulbs.

5. Remember That Prices Vary

The amount you spend on your under counter lights depends on your budget and preferences. You can find affordable options that you can install yourself or opt for more expensive and higher quality bulbs.

By spending a little more, you could save money on your energy bills while installing lighting that accents your space. Plus, your electrician can install your new lighting so that there are no wires showing.

Remember that you’ll most likely need more than one light. Unless you’re doing it yourself, you’ll also have to cover the installation costs.

6. Think About the Amount of Light You Need

Most people add under cabinet lights to their kitchen when they already have a good amount of overhead lighting. If this is the case for you, you won’t need your lights to be too bright.

That said, if you want good lighting to complete specific tasks such as fine chopping, then you may want to opt for brighter bulbs.

With this in mind, you need to consider how many lights you need to install and the style of the lights you want.

This brings us to our next point…

7. Consider Which Style of Fixture Will Look Best in Your Kitchen

There are various styles of fixtures you can choose from. Some of the most popular ones include:

  • Puck lights
  • Button lights
  • Light bars
  • Tape lights
  • Rope lights

Puck and button lights are great if you want a spotlight on a specific area of your kitchen. These are great for the avid cooks that like to get creative in the kitchen. These types of lights are brighter but focus on one area.

Rope and tape lights, as well as light bars, illuminate the entire counter. They spread from one end of your cabinet to the other, providing light to your entire surface.

These types of strip lights often come with LED light bulbs and offer great lighting for your entire counter. They’re also great for setting the mood in the evenings.

Buy Linear Lighting Solutions at Birddog Lighting

Taking the time to do your research before buying under cabinet lighting will save you a lot of money in the long run. By making the right choice, you can cut your electricity bills while also adding some ambiance to your kitchen area.

If you want energy efficient, low heat output, great looking lighting, opt for LED strip lights. This type of lighting comes in a variety of colors for you to choose from as well as high and low voltage alternatives.

If you believe this is your best option, visit Birddog Lighting today.

Our LED strip lights come in various colors as well as different price tags depending on your individual needs.

9 Unique Rope Lighting Ideas to Light Up Your Home

rope lighting ideas for the home

Have you been looking for a unique way to illuminate your home? Something as simple as rope lighting can achieve just that, make a statement while providing a functional and aesthetic source of lighting.

A distinctive lighting design can complete a home design and by incorporating different rope lighting ideas you can elevate the ambiance of your interior or exterior space in a cheap, simple and energy efficient way.

There are plenty of ways to introduce rope lighting into a home, it really just depends on what fits your taste. Luckily for you, we’ve created a list of a few great ways to add rope lights to your indoor and outdoor space.

Keep reading to find out 9 unique ways to use rope lighting techniques to light up your home.

What is Rope Lighting?

Before we go into the ways to use rope lighting, lets first define what is it. Simply put, a rope light is a string of lights that is encased inside a plastic tube.

These lights are easy to wrap around objects and pillars and provide a soft twinkling light. The glow of these lights can be pretty dim so its best not to use them as a primary light source.

Rope light can be held in place easily with zip ties, staples and hooks and don’t get tangled up like string lights do.

They can set a mood and create a subtle but dynamic look in and around your home without breaking the bank.

Interior Rope Lighting Ideas

1. Bathroom Lighting

Instead of using harsh and unflattering light in the bathroom, try wrapping rope lights around your vanity mirror for a soft lighted glow. If you put them behind the mirror it can give a nice backlit look to the vanity itself.

This can be helpful in creating a calming environment in your bathroom, perfect for a soothing nighttime or morning hygienic routine.

2. Lighten up your Kitchen

String some rope lights to the bottom of your kitchen cabinets and illuminate the countertops. This can look great and be practical when using the kitchen in the evening or at night.

Another idea would be to line the inside of the cabinets with them to add a bit of flair and light to your dishware and glass display.

3. Brighten up a Dark Corner

You know that one dark corner of your house that refuses to capture any light? Make that space functional by lining the ceiling or floor with a rope light.

Another fun way to use the rope light in that space is by bending it into a cool shape or a ball and hanging it from the ceiling. It can create a distinct light fixture or lit art form.

It will turn that dark and frustrating corner into a cozy and warm alcove of your home.

4. Hallways and Stairs

Lining your hallways and stair with rope lights can be helpful when you are trying to navigate your house in the dark.

Just like an airplane or a movie theater, they can guide a person for the dangers of tripping or running into objects or walls.

They are dim enough to not disturb the peace of the house at night but can be helpful in directing you around in a safe way.

Exterior Rope Lighting

1. Garden Decor

Putting rope lights along the path of a garden can create a fairytale-like look to an outdoor space. Especially if you enjoy spending time outside, using rope lighting to accent your backyard and garden can allow you to enjoy it both during the day and at night.

2. Holiday Boost

Decorate your exterior for any holiday with the use of rope lighting.

Line the roof, windows, and base of your house with the lights and impress the neighborhood with your holiday spirit.

3. Porch Lighting

Using a rope light to illuminate your porch can be helpful because it attracts fewer bugs than a typical light bulb and can create a moody atmosphere for nighttime hangouts and parties on the deck.

Line the base itself, or wrap around the deck railings to give your porch an elevated feel.

4. Tree Lights

Rope lights are perfect for wrapping around trees and bushes because of their flexibility and contained structure. Encompassing your tree in a soft light gives a magical and distinct look to the foliage of your yard.

5. Make Your Swimming Pool Glow

For those of you with a pool or a hot tub, a great outdoor rope lighting idea would e to string the lights around the edges of the pool or hot tub.

This will make your pool functional for night swimming and give your hot tub an aesthetic boost. You can even choose different colored lights depending on the atmosphere you would like to create.

How Do I Install Rope Lighting?

Installing rope lighting can be a simple and cheap task if you know what you’re doing.

Most rope lights will already have an end cap with a power cord, but if the need to install one yourself exists, it is not too difficult.

Just line up the prongs of the power cord with the two wire of the rope light and push the two together. Make sure the wires are touching the power cord prongs. This tutorial can help give you a visual.

Knowing how to install a power cord into a rope light can be helpful because it allows you to cut the rope light to create smaller or larger pieces for whatever your need is.

Illuminate Your Home

If you want to boost the look at your home and use lighting to create a unique style and mood for both the interior and exterior of your home, incorporating rope lighting can provide a great opportunity.

Not only will it provide functional lighting without being too harsh, these simple rope lighting ideas can turn a basic and unexciting space into one with ambiance and character.

When it comes to rope lighting, the possibilities are endless.

For more exciting ideas on how to light up your home, check out our blog and get started on making your house the space of your dreams.

How to Create Funky Lighting with LEDs: DIY Lamp Ideas

DIY Lamp Ideas

Do you love to change around the lighting in your home?

Light fixtures, lamps, and pendants can be quite pricey and often aren’t worth what you’ll pay for them. If you’re thinking of switching out your normal lights for LED bulbs and want to switch up your lighting fixtures while doing so, consider taking on the project yourself.

We’ve laid out a guide to some DIY lamp ideas which will revamp your home and cut down on energy costs at the same time.

What Is LED Lighting?

If you aren’t familiar with LED lighting, now is the time to learn the ropes. LED, otherwise known as light emitting diode, is about 90% more efficient than your typical light bulb. This is why homes and offices around the world are making the switch.

You can expect these bulbs to last longer, produce less heat and reduce your energy bill every month. These bulbs won’t burn out, so you won’t have to walk into a room and find out you have no light. Instead, they’ll begin to dim over time, alerting you that it’s time to swap them out for new bulbs.

You can expect your LED lights to last about three years. That’s much longer than your usual bulbs. Now that you know why you should make the switch to LED lights, let’s explore all the DIY ways to create lighting for yourself at home.

Ceiling Lights

Sounds ambitious right? Think again! There are plenty of ways to DIY a ceiling light at home. These pieces will add some personality to your space and be a great conversation starter when you have guests over. Here are some to try out.

Mason Jars

These trendy pieces aren’t reserved for the ground anymore. Lately, you may have seen mason jars put on the floor with candles inside of them at parties and weddings. The glass is a terrific way to reflect light, making it glow with a romantic and warm ambiance.

Achieve this aesthetic at home with a ceiling pendant. Get colored mason jars (they come in blues, greens, and even a burnt orange). Most mason jars come with a metal top to screw on. You can make a small hole in the top of that metal to then string a light through and attach a bulb on the other side.

Twist the top closed and you have yourself a pendant. Try getting a few mason jars in different colors and sizes to make a showstopping piece.

Industrial

Industrial lighting is very on trend but you don’t have to invest in a pricey light fixture to enjoy this look at home. Head to an antique store or even a garage sale and keep an eye out for a funky piece of metal, the more aged it looks the better.

Try to find something in an interesting shape that looks like a piece of art on its own. You can wrap an Edison bulb or two around the piece so that it’s held up toward the ceiling where your bulbs are. Secure the piece of metal to the ceiling with a chain or other strong material that nails into the ceiling.

Basket Pendant

If you want something a little warmer and less industrial, try a basket pendant. Head to that same flea market, antique store or garage sale and pick out a few baskets in a style you like. You could get matching ones or have them all look different for a more eclectic vibe.

Cut a small hole in the bottom of the basket and hang them upside down so the open part faces the floor. You can also cover the conduit in a twine or basket-like material so that the whole piece looks like one.

Floor Lamps

Column

An antique column is something you can likely find at a junkyard or flea market for very little money. These are easy and funky floor lamps and simple to make. If the column is in good shape, leave it as-is or try giving it a fresh coat of pain, especially if it’s not in a color that works for your home.

After a fresh coat, you can drill a hole in the top of the column and run a wire through the bottom, and poof, it’s a floor lamp. Pick a shade that matches the column and you’re done!

Books

Clearing out your home and have a bunch of old books you’re planning to throw away? Think again and consider making them into an antique-inspired floor lamp. Determine the way you’d like to stack the books from the bottom up, then drill a small hole in each book so you can run a wire to the top.

Get an Edison bulb and an industrial, metal shade or wire basket to complete the look. Don’t forget that if you don’t have any books lying around you’d like to use, you can always hit a flea market and get books for a dollar or less.

Sidetable

Get functionality and style with this type of lamp. If you don’t have room for a floor lamp and a side table, or can’t find a table lamp you like enough to buy, drill a hole in the top of the side table and run a wire through the bottom.

Be sure to get a shade that’s big enough to balance out the width of the nightstand or side table on the bottom so it looks purposeful and the proportions match.

Try These DIY Lamp Ideas Today!

If you’re looking to redo the lighting in your home but don’t want to break the bank, try some of these DIY lamp ideas. You’ll create one of a kind pieces that are unique to your home, making it feel warm and special every time you look at it.

We’d love to help you make the switch to LED lighting. Contact us for more information and don’t forget to check out our blog for more lighting tips.

DIY LED Lights for Your TV: A How to Guide

DIY TV LED Ambient Lighting

Home entertainment has never been so immersive. Top-of-the-line home theater systems can still run you thousands of dollars.

Though, thanks to the evolution of the flat screen TV and wireless sound systems, you can create your own home theatre for a fraction of that cost.

The clarity of both screen and sound in today’s TVs and sound systems provide a rich experience. Why not enhance that with ambient lighting behind your screen?

Some people call this ambient lighting. Others refer to it as bias lighting.

Whatever term you use, the setup requires that you install backlighting behind your television screen to enhance your viewing experience. DIY LED lights are a perfect, affordable option for this feature.

Interested? Let’s find out how to install LED lights for flat screen TV.

Why Ambient Lighting Around Your TV?

The ambient light around your flat screen gives off a balanced hue. You can focus your eyes on the screen without straining them. Thanks to Netflix and other streaming services, we can settle in for movie marathons.

If you’re a hardcore gamer, then you’re up for extended gaming sessions. Both of these activities cause undue strain on your eyes.

Why Watching TV in the Dark is Bad

In low light, your pupils increase in size to let in light. Your eyes take up to five minutes to adjust to low light. When you add the vibrant light coming from your LED TV, you have light and dark at the same time.

Your eyes have to adjust to both, all the while you are reacting to the action on the screen.

Adding ambient light offsets the contrast between the light on the screen and the dark of the room. Your eyes can adjust with ease. You can binge-watch your favorite show all night long. And, they’re just cool.

Bias Lighting

The other term you may hear is called bias lighting. Bias lighting is any light source that illuminates the area behind your viewing screen.

Bias or ambient lighting also enhances the image quality on your TV. It does this by increasing the contrast of the colors on your screen. Or, at least creating that optical illusion. Either way, your movie looks better, and your eyes will thank you.

Single Color DIY LED Lights

The easiest way to get LED ambient light is to purchase enough LED strips to go around your television. The strips are more common in single colors.

You can choose between shades of white, such as warm white and white light. You can also select yellow, red, and other colors. Warm white is recommended.

Tip: Be sure the strip has a 3M tape on the other side.

Installing LEDs Behind TV

Here’s what you need to set up your own LED system. First, measure your flat screen. You’ll need long enough LED strips to fit it.

You also need electric wire, a connector, and a 12V adaptor. To put it all together, you’ll need a soldering iron and insulation tape.

You can install the lights on the back of your television, around the sides. If you want a lower radius for your light, you can configure as one strip across the back center of your TV.

1. Connect the LED strip to the adapter with the soldering iron. Next, connect the + and – wires to a plug. Or, you can map the wires to a switch.

If you go with the switch, do not interchange the poles when you connect the wires to the socket. That could damage the lights.

2. Next, remove the backing tape from the LED lights. Apply the lights to the back of your TV. If you put them in a straight line, the light will be dimmer. Though, it will still be evenly distributed.

3. Use the insulation tape to cover any exposed contacts. You’ll thank yourself the next time you need to reach around to the back of the TV to plug something to it. You can also tape the adapter to the back of the TV to keep wires hidden.

That’s it!

Multi-Single Color DIY LED Lights

Using multi-color RGB LED lights for behind your TV gives you a different, and fun, aesthetic look. Installation is basically the same, though the LED lights are more expensive.

You will purchase higher quality RGB LED strips. You still need the adapter. But, you’ll also need to add a driver and remote control.

Install as you would the white lights. Though, be sure to position the driver so that the remote works with it. Most remote systems work with infrared. You need to ensure that the two components have an unobstructed path.

The remote enables you to select the color that your LEDs illuminate. You can visually set the mood for your house, even when the TV isn’t on.

Choose between a warm red or orange glow. Or perhaps you’d like to go with purples for a party. Of course, pinks and yellows create a more romantic atmosphere. It’s up to you.

Off-the-Shelf Light Packs

This article is focusing on budget-friend DIY LED lights for your TV. There are off-the-shelf bias light kits you can purchase that are much more expensive.

Most of these kits require an Android (or another operating system) device with a USB to run the light kit app. Depending on the app you choose, the features can be kind of fun. Some synch the colors to the program you are viewing.

One problem with these light kits is that some TV USB ports are rated at 500mA. Some bias lights need more than that to operate. Many TVs cannot support these. You would need to spend even more on a USB adapter.

Ready to Install Your DIY LED Lights?

Installing DIY LED lights for your TV are an inexpensive way to add to your movie watching experience. They also put a splash of color into your room.

Check out our products catalog online or contact us if you have questions about LED lights for your flat screen.

Mood Lights: How Lighting Affects Your Emotions

Mood Lights and How Lighting Affects Your Emotions

Did anyone ever give you a mood ring when you were a kid, swearing that the color it turned revealed how you were feeling at that very moment?

The mood ring fad might have been junk science, but the studies about mood lights aren’t. There’s a lot of ongoing research trying to figure out how lighting affects mood. Even though most scientists agree that more work still needs to be done before we can understand everything about how it works, the preliminary findings still show that light and mood are interconnected.

That means that the lighting in your house could be affecting how you feel in your everyday life. Do you have difficulty falling asleep, or have you noticed that your mood starts to shift when you get home? You might want to consider the lighting you use.

Read to find out more about how lighting affects your emotions.

What Are The Psychological Effects Of Light?

So how does light affect our emotions, anyway?

As humans, our bodies are programmed to be outside, not indoors. That means that our bodies take a lot of cues from our environment — most importantly, the sun and its light.

We rely on sunlight to regulate our circadian rhythms, which function as our internal clocks. When you get super jet-lagged, it’s because your circadian rhythm is thrown off — your body think’s it’s ten o’clock at night when it’s two in the afternoon in your new time zone.

Lighting can either help or disrupt those natural rhythms, which in turn can lead to changes in mood, energy level, and even what hormones your body produces.

Our bodies rely on that internal clock to help regulate their internal functions. Lighting plays a big part in how well that internal clock works.

So what are the different ways that light can affect us?

Light Makes Our Emotions More Intense

Picture an interrogation scene in a movie. It probably starts with a dark room, before the police officers or detective shine a bright light on the suspect’s face. Or maybe it starts off in a room that’s already lit with harsh lighting.

The lighting is important in both scenarios because light can make our emotions more powerful. Research shows that under intense lighting, both positive and negative emotions feel heightened. The study found that people chose spicier food, rated people as more attractive, and thought certain words were more positive when they were under brighter light.

On a sunny day, you might feel more hopeful about a project you’ve been working on, while on a cloudy day you could have a more pessimistic opinion about the same project.

Maybe that’s why people suddenly get stage fright when the lights come up?

Mood Lights Can Increase Productivity

It’s not just our emotions that lighting can affect. It can even change the way that we work.

If you’ve ever tried to read without sufficient light, you probably already know how much of a pain it is — literally. Trying to focus on something in a dim light can lead to strained eyes, headaches, and other problems.

When that occurs in the workplace, there’s understandably a dip in productivity. Dim lighting can also make you feel sleepy and less focused.

On the other hand, lighting that’s too harsh can induce stress. People who work under harsh lighting are more likely to be dissatisfied with their jobs.

Lighting Can Help Or Harm Our Sleep

Since we mentioned circadian rhythms earlier, you’ve probably already guessed that lighting has a big effect on the quality and quantity of sleep you get.

Blue lighting, like the light from your phone or laptop, can make us feel more energetic. If the first thing you do when you wake up is check your phone, this might be helping you to shake off the drowsiness and actually get up to start your day.

On the other hand, that same lighting can cause problems when you wind down to go to sleep. The light that gives us energy in the day still sends signals to your body that it should be awake and alert. If you’re having issues falling asleep after looking at your phone, this might be why.

Light Can Affect Your Appetite

Think about the lighting in a fast food restaurant versus an upscale restaurant.

Chances are that when you thought of the lighting in a fast food place, it was very brightly lit. For the upscale restaurant, the lights were probably dimmer, creating a more intimate and relaxed atmosphere.

The lighting doesn’t just signal to us what kind of place we’re in, it also has an effect on how much and what we eat. In the upscale restaurant with dimmer lighting, you’d be more likely to eat slower. However, you’d probably also order unhealthier food, because you’re more relaxed and not paying as much attention to calories.

In the fast food restaurant, you’ll eat more food in a shorter period of time, since the lighting and colors make you want to speed up.

Light Can Alleviate Symptoms Of Depression

Finally, the type of light you surround yourself in can have a serious effect on not just your short-term mood, but your mental health.

Research has shown that going outside and being in natural light can help to alleviate depressive symptoms. Although sunlight alone can’t singlehandedly cure people of depression, it can help to mitigate the effects a bit.

Exposure to sunlight can also improve your sense of well-being, no matter who you are. It goes back to those circadian rhythms — the more we can stick to those, the better our bodies function.

What’s The Best Mood Lighting For Your Home?

As great as natural light is, it’s not as though people can just magically make more windows appear in their homes. So what’s the best lighting to use in your home?

Try to avoid fluorescent lighting as much as possible, since the lights are harsh and can have a negative effect on your moods. It’s also advisable to install dimmers in areas like your living room and bedroom. That way, you can adjust the mood lights according to your needs.

Find the right lighting for your home now.

How Led Grow Lights Are Taking the Cannabis Industry to a New High

How Led Grow Lights Are Taking the Cannabis Industry to a New High

When’s the last time you met someone with 29 fridges running in one room? Sure, it seems like a waste, but an indoor grow of four plants uses just as much energy.

I don’t think anyone wants to pay that electricity bill, however, we have a creative solution that could save you a different kind of green. With one-third of cannabis plants being grown indoors, its fair to say that someone’s cracked the code on the ideal indoor growing conditions.

Enter LED grow lights.

LED grow lights are the hottest trend hitting the cannabis industry. They’re energy efficient, cost-saving, and most importantly, yield-increasing.

It’s no coincidence that LED rhymes with weed. Let’s dive into why growers across the country are using LED lights for marijuana growth and their advantages over traditional grow lights.

What are LED Grow Lights?

Grow lights are a type of artificial lighting that mimics natural sunlight which therefore triggers photosynthesis in plants. Indoor gardens and grow facilities across the country are using these types of lights because they have proved to be the most efficient when compared to traditional lights.

The options for grow lights are plentiful with lighting distributors providing different types of lamps: high-intensity discharge (HID), compact fluorescent lights (CFLs), metal-halide, high-pressure sodium lights, and most notably, light emitting diodes (LEDs).

Everyone knows that switching from incandescent bulbs to energy efficient bulbs like LEDs or CFLs is great for your household electricity bill, but why should your business lighting be any different?

Read on to discover the advantages of LEDs for growing weed that expands beyond your budget.

Advantages of LED Grow Lights

We know light bulbs aren’t the most interesting topic, and we certainly don’t suggest rattling off all the facts you’re about to learn at your next cocktail party. What if we told you that LED lights are not only better for the world, but better for your plants?

Basically, we mean you can yield more weed with LEDs. Yep, lightbulbs just got a lot more interesting.

1. Product Yield

When it comes to the yield of your cannabis, some things are out of your control, like the genetics of the plant. However, aside from that and your training in indoor growing, there are other factors you can completely control. Lighting is one of them.

LED lights are the most cutting-edge light technology to hit the cannabis scene. LED manufacturers have created special lenses to penetrate the plants, resulting in an increased yield. These newer LED lights have a wider spectrum of light that produces healthier looking buds.

When it comes to color, the wavelength of LED grow lights filter out the colors that plants don’t use, such as the green and yellow light that traditional lights produce.

Many growers swear that after switching to LED grow lights for cannabis, their plants have increased in density and potency as well as reporting a more increased smell and taste.

2. Energy Efficient Helps Your Budget

Keeping up with a greenhouse takes a lot of work–and energy. Maintaining the proper temperature and atmosphere can be costly, but with LED lights you’ll have less work and fewer bills.

LEDs are more efficient than its competitors a few reasons. For starters, for the same light output, LEDs use drastically less energy. LED lights consume 60% less energy than lights with the same output which translates directly into a smaller electricity bill.

LED lights, unlike their competitor, stay cool by producing a high-quality, not quantity, stream of light. Less heat means you save on your cooling/ventilation system bill and won’t have to work hard to account for the heat given off by traditional grow lights.

3. The Lifespan of LED Grow Lights

One of the biggest complaints about traditional lighting, is that you’re constantly changing bulbs. LED grow lights are different.

The lifespan of LED grow lights is incredible lasting anywhere between 50,000-100,000 hours. This makes them the best choice of weed growing light if you plan to do this for a long time.

LEDs run cool, avoiding burnouts and saves you from purchasing expensive replacement bulbs. Reducing the heat is one of the best ways to save on both replacement lighting costs and also on your electricity bill.

4. LED Grow Lights are Less Work

Unlike their competitor lights, once you set up your LED grow lights, you no longer have to adjust the lights. Other grow lights require different amounts of lights during the varied growing process of cannabis, however, LED lights for growing provide everything your plant needs through the entire stage of its life.

At this point, we’re convinced that LEDs are the best choice in grow lights. Before we go any further, there are a few things to consider when choosing LEDs.

Choosing your LED Grow Lights

When it comes to deciding on the right LED lights for your indoor grow, its a decision only you can make. Before you buy, be sure to do your research consider the following criteria of your lights: the quality, quantity, size, output, and color.

Now that you know the cold hard facts behind why LED lights for growing cannabis is superior to the traditional grow lights, its time to make the switch.

Will You Switch To LED Grow Lights?

Sure THC is great, but have you experienced the high of saving on your electricity bill? LEDs are not only friendly to the environment, nice to your checkbook, but they’re also your plant’s preferred choice.

Check us out here to switch you’re current grow lights to LED grow lights to not only save on your electricity bill but increase your plant yield.

The Ultimate Guide to LED Garden Lighting

LED Garden Lighting

Are you considering lighting options for your outdoor garden?

Depending on how you use it, LED garden lighting can add an extra dash of magic to any landscape. Not only that, it’s cost-effective and a great energy saver.

If you find that you don’t know where to start, keep reading to learn more about your lighting options and how to use them.

LED Garden Lighting

After working so tirelessly on your new garden, you’ll want to make it stand out. Outdoor lighting not only enhances the look of your home, but it can be used to add extra dimension to your garden’s best features.

LED lights are energy-efficient, durable, and eco-friendly. LED lighting does more than the name suggests; it creates a safer environment all around.

They have nearly no UV emissions. Just another pro if you have sensitive plants within your garden.

For more information, check out our complete LED guide.

Types of Lighting

Your first jump into the world of outdoor LED lights can be overwhelming. There are many different options for you.

Each light is completely unique and offers a different experience. Some are more for safety while others are purely aesthetic.

Below, you’ll find some of the best.

String Lights

They’ve been named one of the easiest, fastest, and cheapest ways to spruce up your outdoor scenery. String lights are beautiful, and with a little creativity, they can be used in numerous ways.

One method is to line them either around the perimeter or along the seams of an umbrella. Although such a thing is unneeded at night, it can liven up any garden space for after dark relaxation and other activities.

You can also take advantage of multiple anchor points within your garden. You can use fencing, lighting posts, trees, even your home’s balcony as a start. The lights can then be stretched in almost any direction.

With multiple strings, you can create zig-zag patterns. If you have a large garden area to work with, you can use them to separate it into different sections.

Rope Lights

If you’re looking for minimal accents to go under or around railings, try rope lights. They’re similar to string lights, but instead are long, cylindrical tubes that house spaced sources of light.

In many cases, they’re able to give the appearance of glowing or twinkling light. This creates a dynamic and aesthetically pleasing environment.

Remember, light output for these tend to be minimal. It is primarily recommended for decorative purposes.

Spotlights

These bright beams are a go-to for most landscape lovers. Used correctly, spotlights can add extra dimension and fun shadow-work to your garden.

There are many different types of spotlights to choose from. Each one has its own unique flare.

Some are equipped with broad beam light. They’re similar to floodlights and are perfect for illuminating large areas. In fact, they can light up to a 15-meter distance.

You can also choose directional beam lights. They can shine up to 8 meters and are more for shining on specific pieces.

These lights can either be staked into the ground or mounted on a wall.

Grow Lights

Created for the indoor gardener in mind, grow lights are a type of hydroponic lighting. They masterfully illuminate your plants and encourage them to grow healthier.

LED grow lights are small, long-lasting energy savers. This makes them the preferred option in the hydroponics market.

They also have high luminous efficiency in comparison to fluorescent and incandescent lights.

Lighting Techniques

Creativity is key when planning how you will light your garden. Be open to experiment with various techniques until you find what works best for you. It should be a fun experience.

Uplighting

Placing lights on the ground and beaming them straight up at a high object is uplighting. For gardens, it can accentuate large trees and statues.

Downlighting

The opposite of uplighting, downlighting involves placing the light high and aiming it downward. This technique is used to diffuse light across large surface areas.

Use it to illuminate a patio or deck among your garden.

Moonlighting

Similar to downlighting, this effect is created when fixtures are placed high in a tree and aimed down. You can place multiple fixtures that will cast light through leaves and branches.

It creates beautiful shadows on the ground, and it only gets better when the wind blows.

Cross Lighting

This effect lights a feature from two sides. Cross lighting can be difficult to accomplish; overdoing it can wash out the object.

Used appropriately, it can highlight the main feature of a garden and soften it just as well. If the object is in front of a wall, massive shadows can form, creating a larger-than-life appearance.

Grazing

The technique of grazing is used to highlight textures. If you have a stone wall or even a tree with a unique texture, you can use grazing to highlight the texture and create interesting shadow play.

Silhouetting

A fantastic option for accentuating large pieces is silhouetting. Just as the name suggests, you can place a single light behind a large statue, tree, or plant.

Light will beam around the edges of the figure, giving your garden complex and interesting views.

Light Up Your Garden and Your Life

There are so many options for you when it comes to LED garden lighting. No matter how big, small, or unique your set up is, you can find a lighting system that works for you.

Again, after all that work you put into your garden, why wouldn’t you want to be able to enjoy it at night? It can be a whole new experience and become the perfect backdrop for a gathering.

If you’re ready to begin, head on over to our shop for all your lighting needs.