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.

LED Lighting: How Many Lumens is Enough?

How many lumens is enough?

What, in the world, is a lumen? And, with LED lighting: how many lumens is enough? All your questions, answered, right here.

Isn’t wattage the important thing? Not anymore!

Before LED lighting, the brightness of a light was measured by its wattage output. Then, LED changed the game. LEDs use less power to create the same amount of brightness.

Wattage is a measurement of power expenditure – not brightness. Incandescent bulbs work from a uniform standard of power usage. LED lights do not.

Why LEDs are Great

A Light Emitting Diode, or LED, is a group of three individual diodes that produce red, blue, and green light photons. Put a bunch of these little diodes together, and you have an LED lighting unit. By controlling the three diodes duty cycles, LEDs can produce many colors.

Traditional light bulbs produce heat in order to create light. Incandescent lights create brightness by heating a coil or filament. The light, emitted by heat, is called incandescence.

LEDs do not emit heat, so their brightness can’t be quantified in incandescence. Instead, LEDs produce light through cold radiation, called luminescence. Even, running full blast, LEDs are cool to the touch.

The luminescence of LEDs can be customized without adjusting the bulbs wattage. That means you get more light, for less money.

Incandescent lighting produces enough heat that they alter a room’s temperature when lit. Green lighting with LEDs will help you save on electricity from your lights and your air conditioner.

Buildings with thousands of individual lights are behooved to look into why you should invest in LED lights for your business.

LED lighting is the reason why the brightness of a light can no longer be expressed in wattage. LEDs create light differently than all other lighting sources.

In 2011, the Federal Trade Commission required the measuring of light bulb brightness output to express lumens – not wattage.

So, here is the lowdown, on how many lumens you need…

How Many Lumens do I Need?

The first thing you need is some context to understand how bright a lumen is. Too much light can be as detrimental to your aims as too little. So, deciding how many lumens is enough depends on what’s being lit.

How Bright is a Lumen?

On a clear and sunny day, the sun’s brightness is over 7.5 million lumens. If you fit that many lumens into a ceiling light, everyone in the room would go very blind.

The amount of light disbursement makes a big difference in how many lumens you want. The sun’s millions of lumens don’t blind us, because we are far away. And, because you don’t look directly at the sun – or else you go blind.

Take care when it comes to lighting your office, building, or home. The closer to the light source, the more important luminescence is. When it comes to man-made lighting…

The brightness of an HID car headlight is 3,000 lumens. Those are the really bright headlights, that seem like high beams from oncoming traffic. Obviously, that is too bright for standard room lighting, as well.

Standard 60 watt living room light bulbs produce 800 lumens. Overhead T5 tubes produce around 1,200 lumens. Candles give off about 12 lumens, depending on the candles size.

If you use candles to light your space, you will save lots of money on electricity, but you won’t be able to see much.

For general space lighting, the U.S. Department of Energy suggests you shop for light that is in the range of 450 to 1,600 lumens per bulb.

How Lumens Effect LEDs Color Temperature

The color temperature of a light source is in reference to warmth or coolness of the hue. The Kelvin Scale measures the appearance of a light source’s color temperature. The scale is based on metals absolute temperature when heated.

The longer the metal is heated, the more its color changes from red to blue-white. The low end of the degrees-kelvin scale is warm in tone, leaning towards red-orange. The high end of the scale is cool in tone, close to a blue-white color. The high end of the Kelvin scale is closest to daylight.

Most lighting instruments are on the Kelvin scale from 2700 Kelvin to 6500 Kelvin. LEDs can very much more on the scale, to produce warmer or cooler light.

The more lumens in your LED, the cooler the color of the light. Cool lighting is better for visibility. Warm lighting is better for relaxation.

LEDs for your home will mimic the light of a traditional filament bulb, at around 2700 Kelvin. Vintage styles are lower, around 1900 Kelvin, producing Edison bulb style light.

The question, of how many lumens is enough, depends on your preference of lighting color. Do you want bright lighting for an office? Go with LED lighting that is cool in color and high on the Kelvin scale. Looking for LED lights for relaxing in your home? Get LEDs low on the Kelvin scale, warm in color, and low in lumens.

Lumens per Square Foot

So, the more lumens, the brighter the light. The brighter the light, the cooler its color temperature, represented by a higher number on the Kelvin scale.

To figure out how many lumens you need per light depends on the size of the room. Use a square footage calculator to get the proper measurement of the space to be lit. This will determine the number of lights you should incorporate into your LED lighting design.

The Illuminating Engineering Societies handbook on lighting suggests floors be lit with at least 20 lumens per square foot. Tabletop surfaces and other raised objects should be lit with at least 30 lumens per square foot. Use at least 50 lumens per square foot to provide higher visibility to workspaces, desks, and areas of productivity.

Consensus on LED Lighting: How Many Lumens is Enough?

Living rooms, that are about 250 square feet, will need eight individual 10-watt LED lights. That will produce around 5,000 lumens of brightness, spread out to cover each square foot with 20 lumens, each.

For reading area’s, like your couch or desk, you want 200 lumens. For task area’s, where focused lighting is needed, four square feet of 50 lumens each will do the trick.

If LED Lighting: How Many Lumens is Enough helped you, leave us a comment. If you are still wondering about how many lumens you should use, leave a question in the space below and explore more of our lighting resources. Thanks for reading!

How to Pimp Your Ride with LED Strip Lights

How to pimp your ride with LED Strip Lights!

Unfortunately, it’s too late to apply for the MTV show “Pimp My Ride” but you can still keep your ride looking bangin. It doesn’t cost much and all you’ll need is some led strip lights and elbow grease.

Well… elbow grease and some knowledge of cars, electrical systems, or a willingness to spend time learning about them on youtube. Since we like to show you what our lights can do, we thought we’d add this cool tutorial to our projects page.

Read the tutorial below and then let us know if you’re going to take a wack at it!

What You’ll Need

The Lights: Obviously you’re going to need lights for this project, but what type? Retailers carry a lot of choices and they don’t look like Christmas light strings anymore.

Instead, they are a flat wire with square-looking LED lights about a half inch apart (or more, it depends). They come in different colors, different warmths of white, volts, and lengths.

For outdoor projects, we like “RGB Color Changing Chasing LED Strip Light – 12 Volt – High Output Outdoor Use” lights. These bad ass babies have green, blue, red, cyan, purple, yellow, white color options.

Along with solid colors of the above, they offer a three LED chasing option, which looks exactly as it sounds. The colors (three different) chase loop on a track.

This looks SUPER cool when you’re at car clubs or parked to show off. If that option is a little too much for you, you can choose their slow fade option which is more subtle but just as fun. Watch this video to see all the options.

Once you have your lights picked out (the fun part) you’ll need

-Wire
-Electrical tape
-Female Power Connector
-RGB Controller Connector
-12 volt 6 Amp Standard Power Supply
– Remote
-Weatherproof heat tape
-Waterproof Sealant

If you buy the above lights, the kit comes with everything but the weatherizing aspects and wire/tape!

Decide Where LED Strip Lights Are Going

The easiest place to install LED lights is inside your car, since you won’t need to waterproof or heatproof anything. It looks cool, your passengers will love it, and if you drive for ride service, it could really make you stand out!

Where you put them inside your car depends on its design. If you have an overhang console over your media center, that’s a great place to stick a small strip.

If you have roof interior fabric that you don’t mind messing with, run some strip lights around the edges. Put the fabric back and you’ll have a subtle but cool effect.

If you’re like us, your car is either show-it-off clean or a total mess. Either way, placing LED strip lights under the seats looks cool. If you’re the latter, it can help you find rouge items in the dark.

Outside

Yes, you can use our LED light strips outside, but it will take a little more work. Though the lights themselves are for outdoor use, the electrical casings need protection from the elements.

For your convenience, we have a silicone sealant to add on to your purchase.

The best places to put your led lights on the outside of your car? On the bottom of your body kit of course!

This looks especially cool if you have a lifted truck or SUV with foot rails.

We also love them around license plates, front or back, but only if you’re a good driver!

Finally, if you have the room, think about putting led light strips in your tire wells. Mounting them in the inner body of your wheel well gives your car a space-ship like look.

Things to Think About: Cutting

Cutting electrical equipment is something to be careful about. Our lights (and others) can only be cut at specific intervals. Learn more below.

First off, never cut lights or any electrical supplies while they’re plugged into a power source.

When you’re cutting the length of lights you want, look for four small copper dots with a cut line. ONLY cut on the cut line.

If your strip doesn’t have four dots but instead copper ovals, cut immediately in the center of the copper. Any adult-grade scissors should work.

Things to Think About: Heat

Though LED lights are much lower heat than normal bulbs, they get hot when turned on in their spool. Please, unravel them before you turn them on.

If you don’t, it could cause damage our warranty won’t cover.

Things to Think About: Moisture

Our outdoor lights aren’t perfect, but they try hard! While the light casings themselves can handle some splashing, the connections need to be covered.

Things to Think About: Mounting

Our strips come with a 3M mounting strip on the back so you don’t have to mess with glue or tape. We want to make your life easier!

Before you mount, make sure you wipe down whatever surface with ISO alcohol or plain water. Let the area dry and give it a dry wipe to get rid of any dust.

Once the area is cleaned and prepped, peel the backing off the light strip as you apply. Pulling and pressing as you go will keep the strip from getting air bubbles.

Learn more about lighting mounting with our official directions.

Pimping Your Ride

Now that you know the basics of pimping your ride with led strip lights, all that’s missing is early 00’s rapper Xzibit.

If you want to channel the MTV Pimp My Ride vibe, listen to Xzibit on Spotify while you’re installing your new lights!

Get all your project supplies here.

10 Ways to Use Kitchen LED Strip Lights

Kitchen LED Strip Lights

LED lights have revolutionized the lighting world and are allowing homeowners to become more creative. LEDs are known for their energy efficiency, durability, and brightness. As such, they can be a great addition to your kitchen.

Whether you need to see better when you’re cooking or your kitchen is just too “blah” at the moment, kitchen LED strip lights can be the perfect solution.

Read on to discover ten ways LED strip lights can make your kitchen shine.

1. Under Upper Cabinets

One of the most popular places to put kitchen LED strip lights is on the underside of upper cabinets. This provides terrific lighting for your counter, making your workspace much easier to see. This can also bring wonderful ambient lighting to your whole kitchen.

You will want to take into consideration where electrical outlets to power your under-cabinet lights are located. Place the lights at the front of the underside of the upper cabinets, and, as far as possible, try to pick a discreetly placed outlet to plug the lights into. Use a staple gun to carefully attach the cord to the bottom of the cabinets such that it drops down to the outlet at the back of the cabinet.

2. Under Islands

If you have an island in your kitchen, placing LED strip lights around the bottom edge of it can make that feature pop. It helps to create some ambient light, but more than anything, this will help make your kitchen look sleek and modern.

Again, you’ll want to consider the location of your outlets before you begin the installation. Attach the lights to the bottom overhang space on your island, being sure to hide any cords.

3. Under Bottom Cabinets

As with an island, placing LED strip lights on the underside of your bottom cabinets can make your kitchen shine (in more ways than one). They can create an almost runway feel, making your kitchen someplace you always look forward to entering. And on a more practical note, they can serve as good nightlights if you have little ones or midnight snackers in the house.

In addition to electrical outlets and cords, you want to make sure that your kitchen LED strip lights don’t block your cabinet doors from closing. Keep them close enough to the edge to create the beautiful glow you’re looking for, but far enough back to be out of the way.

4. Under Counter Edges

If your counters have an overhang, this can be a perfect place to install kitchen LED strip lights. As with the under-cabinet lights, this can be an excellent source of ambient lighting. But whereas the lighting under the bottoms of cabinets creates a more subtle effect, having lighting under the edges of your cabinets will create a bold, modern feel.

Because counter overhangs tend to be narrow, you want to be sure to measure the depth of the overhang and check it against the LED strip lighting you plan to buy. Make sure to leave enough space to keep the strips hidden, and verify that they won’t bump against any drawers when they open.

5. On Top of Cabinets

Perhaps the best way to get soft ambient light in your kitchen is to place kitchen LED strip lights on top of your cabinets. Depending on the color you get (more yellow, natural light or bright white light), LED lights on top of your cabinets can create the subtle effect of daylight streaming into your kitchen. If your d?cor scheme is less modern and more classic, this style may suit your kitchen particularly well.

Although you will still want to watch out for cords and the like, installing LED lights on top of cabinets is one of the simplest locations. If your cabinets have a crown molding at the top, it will be even simpler to hide the lights from view.

6. Inside Cabinets

How many times have you dug around in the back of a cabinet trying to find the one pan you were looking for? Seeing inside cabinets can be a pain, but installing kitchen LED strip lights can make that aspect of cooking much easier.

The best place to install lights inside lower cabinets is at the tops of the back and sides of the cabinets, being sure the lights don’t interfere with drawer function. In upper cabinets, you may want to install the lights on the bottom of each shelf at the back. This way they will illuminate your cabinets without blinding you every time you open the doors.

7. Inside Drawers

Similar to cabinets, kitchen drawers (especially large ones) can be frustratingly dim. Not only will having LED-illuminated drawers make your cooking life easier, but it will also add an automatic air of luxe to your space. Imagine sliding open a drawer to reveal shining cooking utensils illuminated by clean white light.

There are a few drawbacks to installing kitchen LED strip lights inside drawers, namely power supply and placement. You may want to look into battery-powered lights if possible since the mobile nature of drawers will make it hard to manage a cord and plug. You also want to install the lights around the inner sides of the drawer at the bottom. This will mean the light getting covered up some, but other locations are likely to interfere with drawer function or blind you every time you open the drawer.

8. Inside the Pantry

If your pantry needs additional light, but you don’t want to pay an electrician to install a light fixture, LED light strips may be the solution. Stick a few strips around the inside of the pantry door, and voila! Your pantry is now beautifully and simply lit.

The only downside is pantries often do not have electrical outlets nearby. This may be another situation in which battery-powered lights are best when possible.

9. On the Bottom of Open Shelf Units

Do you have open shelves in your kitchen? LED strip lights may be a great way to set them off. Because you frequently use these shelves for display purposes, LED lights can show off your beautiful kitchen pieces.

Much like with the inner cabinet lights, you want to install these kitchen LED strip lights along the back of the bottom of each shelf. You may want to drill a hole in the back corner of each shelf to run the cords down through.

10. Around Windows

If you live in a place that doesn’t get a lot of sunlight or if your kitchen doesn’t have very many windows, LED strip lights can help create the illusion of natural light in your kitchen. You’ll probably want to choose a bright white light to help create this effect.

Curtains will be your friend in this operation. You want to install the lights around the backs of the top and sides of each window. Make sure you have curtains (light, sheer curtains are better) that will cover the LED strips but still let the light through.

Your Source for Kitchen LED Strip Lights

If you’re in the market for LED strip lights, go check out our fantastic selection. We have high-quality lighting at affordable prices, and our customer service is officially Shopper Approved. Start on a project to light up your life for the best price today.

6 Outdoor Lighting Ideas For Your Next Party

Outdoor Lighting Ideas

There’s something special about parties that include outdoor space. During the day, people can soak up sunshine and enjoy the fresh air.

But when the sun goes down, you need some outdoor lighting to keep the party going.

Choosing how to light the great outdoors for parties can be tricky. Even if you use a moon calendar to hold the party during a full moon, you can’t count on it being a cloudless night.

You need to add some lighting. And maybe more than one kind. For example, you might want bright light near the food and subtle lightning around seating.

But don’t worry, we can shed some light on the topic! Read on for six ways to add light to your next outdoor party.

1. Fake Fire Pit

If you have enough space, adding a temporary fake fire pit can provide light and draw people together.

You can find a variety of styles and sizes at home improvement stores. Some use electricity to create the illusion of flames and can work well on patios. If you do choose an electric fire pit, make sure the electrical cord is secured with reflective tape to prevent tripping.

But if you’re feeling creative, there are many ways to make a fake fire pit that adds a comforting element to your party decor.

2. Lanterns

There is nothing more classic than outdoor lighting from lanterns.

The most common type of lantern uses battery-powered LED bulbs in the shape of a tealight or flame.

A benefit of lanterns is that they can be used in different ways. Hang them from tree branches. Sit them on tables. Place them on flat ground near pools, at the edge of lawns, or along the edge of the house.

If you use them on the ground, be sure to keep them away from heavy foot traffic to prevent falls. If you use them to create a lit “runway” through a garden or across a lawn, keep them secure by looping string through the handle then “pegging” it like a tent.

3. String and Rope Lights

String and rope lights are the most versatile option for outdoor lighting. In basic terms, they’re strands of small light bulbs along lengths of coated wire. String lights have the bulbs (often in ornamental shapes) hanging from the wire. Rope lights have the bulbs encased in continuous pieces of translucent plastic.

String lights have been around for ages in the form of Christmas decoration.

But the introduction of LED bulbs boosted the year-round popularity of strings of lights and made rope lights possible.

LED lighting is safer than incandescent because it emits less heat. It’s also more cost-effective and energy-efficient.

String lights are great for spanning spaces such as patios, across pools, or between trees. Place them so that the decorative bulbs are at least two feet above head level.

Rope lights can be placed anywhere. Secure them around door jambs or archways. Run them along the underside of deck or terrace edges in multi-level outdoor spaces. Wrap them around tree trunks or weave them through gazebos.

Many people leave rope lights in place after the party. This is a great way to continue enjoying them. Just make sure they are weatherproof.

Both string and rope lights make adding different colored lighting easy. You can even get rope lights that cycle through multiple colors, for outdoor lighting that creates a unique atmosphere

4. Water Reflections

Do you have a pool or water feature where you’re holding your party?

If so, consider using the reflective properties of water to enhance your outdoor lighting.

Place lightweight plastic trays and tealights atop the water to create an elegant and romantic vibe. For the best effect, use clusters of 3-5 tealights and space them out.

If you have a pool but don’t want people swimming in it during the party, floating tea lights is a great option. Tealights spread out across the surface create a gentle but clear “no swimming” sign.

But this kind of outdoor lighting isn’t just for people with pools. You can use tealights in glass bowls filled with water to gain the benefit of water reflections.

Get creative and include water-holding items in your decor and use them to float lights. For example, use rain barrels for a party with a rustic theme. Or, use colorful, large plastic tubs for a beach-themed gathering.

5. Garden Lights

Adding points of light throughout a garden or other landscaped area can be practical as well as engaging.

Well-positioned garden lights can help guest find pathways or guide them toward activities in another part of the yard or property.

When used in gardens they can highlight especially beautiful trees, shrubs, or flowers. Space them far enough apart that their light doesn’t overlap to get the best effect.

A bonus of installing garden lights is that you can continue using them after the party. For that reason, choose a style that suits the everyday aesthetic of your home and landscaping.

Note that some garden lights require electrical wiring. Installation isn’t difficult, but it should involve a qualified electrician. It’s also more difficult to rearrange the lights so take some time to plan the arrangement.

But there are also solar-powered garden lights. Installation involves little more than securing them in the ground like a stake. And there’s no maintenance or worrying about turning them off or on.

They automatically charge during the day, and sensors trigger them to turn on as the daylight wanes.

6. Centerpieces

For formal or semi-formal outdoor parties with a dining table or bistro tables for people to eat together, illuminated centerpieces are a great idea.

Flowers are always a nice touch to any table and it’s easy to add battery-powered LED lights to enhance floral arrangements. Using candles is generally a bad idea.

Most home improvement and big box stores offer a wide selection of single, battery-powered LED lights. They range in shape and size from tiny icicles to huge spheres.

There’s no shortage of internet videos that walk you through how to make a centerpiece with lights. So, have fun with it.

Just remember that the LED lights can never be in contact with water so you might want to stock up on floral foam.

Closing Thought About Outdoor Lighting

Adding light to your outdoor space can help turn a good party into a great one.

Remember always to put safety first and think of your guests’ comfort. Avoid putting bright lights at eye-level. Don’t create tripping hazards or put hot, exposed incandescent bulbs within ordinary reach.

Don’t limit yourself to only adding light to the back of the house where most parties happen. Simple lighting in front yards and around front doors can add a welcoming touch.

Also consider reusability, which improves affordability.

At Birddog Lighting, we have seen some astonishing transformations of space through the use of LED lighting.

Whether you’re decorating for a party or everyday life, you can’t beat the ease, safety, affordability, and range of aesthetic appeal of LED lights.

To learn more about LED rope and strip lights and how to install them for your next party, check out our FAQ page.

Then visit our online store to get your new outdoor lighting today!

How to Install LED Cove Lighting

Installing LED Cove Lighting

Considering LED cove lighting?

Did you know that replacing your homes traditional lights with LED lighting can increase its value? It can bump the value by up to 3%.

So why are you hesitating?

If it’s because you’re uncertain how to proceed, we’ve got you covered. In this article, we give you all the information you need to choose and install your cove lighting. Read on to learn more.

Best Lights for Your LED Cove Lighting

It’s imperative you choose compatible LED lights, transformers, and dimmer switch.

With transformers alone, you have a vast variety. Transformers come in 12-volt, 24-volt, nonmagnetic, magnetic, non-dimmable, and dimmable.

We recommend you choose the following setup:

  • 12-volt dimmer switch
  • 12-volt dimmable transformer
  • 12-volt, high output, indoor LED lights

You may, of course, pick what you like. We’ve found this setup optimal for small to midsize rooms. In which type of room do you plan to install your LED cove lighting? In large rooms (or those with exceptionally high ceilings), you need a system pumping out more lumens.

Note: Make sure you buy light strips, not light ropes. Strips are more expensive, but they produce more lumens. You can also cut trim them down to fit properly.

The same can’t be said of light ropes.

Mark Reference Lines

Pull out your handy pencil and measuring tape. It’s time to mark up the wall. Your goal is to draw reference lines to indicate where the bottom of your light strip and your base will go.

At every corner, measure down from the ceiling. Place a mark where you want the bottom of your light strip and one where you want your base. Then move about two feet to your left or right and do the same thing.

Mark the entire section you intend to install your LED cove lighting.

Houses settle over time. This settling may create uneven angles or irregular lines. Don’t worry if your ceiling isn’t level.

Now take a long level or measuring stick and connect the dots you marked. The line doesn’t need to be precisely straight or level. It does, on the other hand, need to be a consistent distance from the ceiling.

That’s what human eyes will pick up on when they critique your work.

Install Your Lights

It’s easier to install the lights first, then the cove. So let’s begin with the lights.

The goal of this next step is to stick your LED lights to the wall. It’s a simple process.

Locate the spot where you will later install the transformer. Leave on the tape backer (the strip covering the adhesive) for the first few feet of the LED strip. You want it lose. You need room, so you can manipulate it when you install the transformer.

The adhesive on the light strip is super sticky. It’s tough to remove without peeling off the paint. That means that once it’s on the wall, it’s staying.

Be sure you put it where you want it.

Peel the adhesive cover off the tip of the light strip. Press the adhesive to the wall, and hold it there.

Now reveal a few more feet of adhesive. Move down the wall and attach the adhesive to the next point. Repeat this procedure twice more.

Check to make sure your lights are straight. If it’s crooked, adjust it.

If it’s straight, adhere the strip of lights hanging loosely between the points you’ve attached. Again, you’re shooting for a line which runs roughly parallel to the ceiling.

Follow the same procedure around the entire area you wish to cover.

When you come to an end, you may wish to trim your lights down to size. Yes, most brands of strip lights allow you to trim them.

Look for clearly marked cutting lines on your strip. They typically fall at intervals of two to four inches. Use a sharp blade to sever the strip in two. Then you’re finished.

Build Your Cove

Next, you’ll install the base, aka the piece of wood your crown molding to which it will attach. The goal is to screw your base in roughly parallel to the ceiling, below your LED strip.

Find the studs in your wall and mark their location. Then take your base and secure it to the wall at every stud, using two-inch wood screws. (Self-tapping trim-head screws are the ones we recommend.)

Drill the screws high on the base, so the crown molding will later cover it.

Note: To make room for your transformer, you might need to notch a section out of the base. It’s dependent on the size of the transformer. Imagine what it’ll look like after you install it.

Can you see it from your standing position? What about from the floor?

Next, you need to cut out blocks which you’ll attach to the base. You’ll later use these blocks as attachment points for your crown molding.

Figure out the angle at which the crown molding will be from the wall. Adjust your table saw blade to match that angle. Then rip a 2×4 at this angle.

Next cut the 2×4 into four-inch pieces. Mark, each piece to show which way is up.

Head back to your wall, and fasten your blocks to your base with two-inch brads. Stagger the blocks about every foot and a half.

Finish by installing the small cove at the bottom. Fasten it with one and one quarter inch brads. Angle them up into the base.

Install Your Cables and Transformer

The minutiae of wiring your house for electricity is beyond the scope of this article. We will assume you know how to mount your transformer box and cables. We will also assume you can wire it to the nearest circuit.

You’ll also need to wire up a dimmer switch. You need a low voltage switch, not an LED switch. If you choose the wrong one, your lights will flicker or shut off altogether.

After everything’s installed and wired, move to the next step.

Install Your Crown Molding

Tack the bottom of your crown molding to your base using one and one-quarter inch brads. Also, attach your crown to your blocks using two-inch brads.

Aim your nail gun straight at the wall. Don’t angle it toward the ceiling or your nails will drive up through the top of your blocks. That way you can avoid poking yourself on exposed nails, or damage your light stip.

Now it’s time to test your LED cove lighting. Flick the switch and marvel in the glory of your efforts.

After Installation

You’re done! Take a few minutes to breathe in your success.

Now it’s time to build on that success. Do you have your project in mind?

If not, take a look at our site. We offer a wide variety of ideas to spruce up your house with lighting. Take a few minutes now to browse through our articles.

So long. See you again soon!

How to Have Fun with LED Rope Lights

How to Have Fun with LED Rope Lights

Are you looking for fun and unique ways to use LED rope lighting? You’re in the right place!

The possibilities are endless with rope lights. No matter what space (or object) you want to adorn with light, these are the easiest options to choose.

The best part is anyone can set them up. You don’t have to be an electrician or an interior designer to make these look good and work. You can make it a family project or surprise a loved one with them.

If you’re ready to make the most of this easy decor hack, keep reading.

Why LED Rope Lights?

The versatility of rope lighting makes it the most optimal choice for most at-home DIY lighting projects.

Being able to fit into tight spaces is a huge selling point for rope lights; you can place these in smaller, tight spots without the rope even showing. Not only is this space-saving, it looks really cool!

Perhaps the number one reason people love using LED rope lighting is its cost efficiency. By using LED lights where you would have used regular bulbs, you are decreasing your energy bill and getting the best bang for your buck.

Here are some awesome ideas for your LED rope lighting.

1. Inside the Home

It doesn’t take a genius to know you need proper lighting when it gets dark outside. The problem is, regular bulbs waste a lot of energy and burn your money faster than a fire.

Where possible, try switching to LED rope lighting. Not only will it be energy-efficient, it adds a stylish element to your home decor.

One of the most common uses for rope lighting is in the bathroom, especially for families with children. When your little ones get up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom, optimal lighting is key to them feel safe and find the toilet.

Parents have said that having rope lighting under the bathroom cabinets and near the toilet help their kiddos find the toilet, have better aim, and not feel scared to be in the dark.

Plus, since these lights are dimmer than the switch light bulbs in your ceiling or fixtures, your child won’t be woken up as intensely and will be more likely to fall back asleep.

Some other awesome ideas for inside your house are:

Another awesome idea for string lights is in a home theatre room. In the aisle between the seats, secure LED rope lights to illuminate the path without distracting from the movie.

2. Outdoors

All backyards are lacking ambiance if they don’t take advantage of LED rope lighting.

They create an elegant, inviting, and relaxing atmosphere perfect for dinner parties on the patio or spending time with your family under the stars.

The most popular way to use rope lighting outside is to outline paths to make it easier to see where you’re going. Since LED lights can come in a variety of colors and brightness, you can incorporate them into your outdoor design.

Another gorgeous way to use them is around your gazebo or patio. Who wouldn’t want to enjoy an evening drink in your well-lit and ambient backyard gazebo?

Here are some other cool ideas for your backyard:

  • Around window frames
  • Around fountains
  • Around tree trunks

LED lights are a perfect way to light the driveway for whoever’s coming home late at night without skyrocketing your electricity bill. They even look cool during the daytime!

3. Other Wacky Ideas

The fun doesn’t end with home decor–there are even more unique ways to use LED rope lights.

First, you can use them to adorn your vehicles.

If you’re a truck fanatic, nothing draws more attention to it than rope lighting around the frame of your vehicle. Truck owners also use rope lighting around the bed of the truck for optimal visibility. They’re practical and cool.

You can use rope lighting to decorate and light your boat or yacht. When the sun goes down, it can get hard to see on the water. Placing rope lights in the aisles and pathways ensures all your guests’ safety.

Plus, it creates a romantic and inviting atmosphere.

People have used LED rope lights on their cars, trucks, boats, golf carts, skateboards, bikes, and more.

Some other wacky ideas:

  • On your shoes
  • Costumes (Buzz Lightyear, anyone?)
  • Dog collars

Using LED rope lighting has become all the rage with teens; some even going as far as wrapping them around their body for themed parties.

Interested in Learning More?

There are tons more awesome ideas for LED rope lights, as well as a variety of string light options to choose from. The variety of lengths, colors, and brightnesses available make them customized for every DIY project.

The price points also vary for the quality of lighting you choose as well as the different components each kit comes with.

To learn more before you buy, check out our blog.

6 Modern Lighting Design Trends You Won’t Want to Miss

Modern Lighting Trends

When decorating, people generally focus on the decor, the furniture, and the carpentry…lights tend to come as an afterthought. But lighting plays a really crucial role in your home.

In fact, lighting can seriously affect your mood and emotions. If that’s the case, then you really need to plan your lighting, just as diligently as you would plan your color scheme.

But what unique lighting styles are trending this year?

Keep reading for 6 cool modern lighting design trends you don’t want to miss!

1. Versatile LED’s

LED lights are efficient, powerful and look super cool. In recent years they have become a “must have” in the modern home.

Incandescent bulbs waste most of there power in the form of heat. They aren’t very efficient or environmentally friendly. That’s why there has been a big push to change over to LED lighting over the past few years. Although they are a bit more pricey initially, they can save you quite a lot of money in the long run.

LED lights aren’t only practical, they are also really trendy and unique. You can get LED lighting in multiple colors, shapes, and sizes, making them truly versatile for any style you’re going for in your home.

Whether you choose bulbs to add to funky fixtures, or you buy an LED downlight, you’ll be creating a modern bright ambiance to any room and be saving energy too!

2. That “Wow” Factor

For that “Wow factor in modern lighting design, bigger fixtures are a great option. Not only do they attract instant attention with their striking size, but they give extra lighting!

More than just a light, these fixtures become an ornate centerpiece to the room. They are great for large rooms with open spaces, such as hung over the dining table or in the hallway. Many use large lighting fixtures over their kitchen island.

Most modern lighting design today is based on clean and sharp lines. Excessive ornamentation and complex designs are losing favor in the world of modern decor.

Many homeowners with a modern style home opt for minimalistic looks, such as simple geometric shapes, neutral tones, and bold designs.

LED panel lights are great for the ultimate modern look. It can work in any area of the home but is great as a statement piece. Let the lighting fixture become the main attraction, without being crowed by other fixtures.

3. Snazzy Strip Lighting

Another wonder of LED lighting is in strip form. This is a really unique and novel way to modernize your home and add some really fun touches.

You can use LED strip lighting under your couch for a snazzy hipster style look. Or strip lighting under the edges of your bed to recreate the feel of a swanky hotel. Some use LED strip lighting to decorate picture frames, mirrors or even their coffee table!

Strip lighting also looks great on shelving, in drawers, under cabinets, and even up the staircase. Not only does it look cool, but it’s also practical and can help you see better into dark shadowy areas.

Light bars are similar to strip lighting, as they are great for lining furniture. They are more rigid than strip lighting but are useful for specific projects. For example, you could use the bars to line shelving, or around picture frames. They also come in a variety of different vivid colors.

Yes, incorporating lighting into furniture is the next big thing in modern lighting design.

4. Glowing Rope Lighting

Another LED illumination that becoming extremely popular with homeowners is LED rope lighting.

It can add a stylish glow to several areas of your home. You could use it to line a headboard in your bedroom or to tuck the lights around your bathroom mirror. If you have a bar, you can use rope lighting to add a modern edge.

A cool place to use rope lighting is in your attic or basement. It’ll give you practical lighting and will make those dark rooms look a bit less spooky too!

One really awesome thing to do with rope lighting is to create a piece of artwork. For example, use custom cut rope lighting to create your initials, a message, numbers or even a funky design as a statement piece.

5. Glowing Gardens

As the night draws in, your garden can become a little bit less hospitable. It’s lovely to gaze at the stars in the dark, but when it’s a warm summers evening you want to be able to sit out and chat with your friends.

Garden lighting can be spectacular if designed correctly. You can use LED lighting around your deck, swimming pool or even down the garden path.

Add string lights to your trees and around outdoor buildings. You can enjoy a sparkly festive spirit all year round.

And when it comes to the holidays, there are several vivid designs you can choose from. With lasers and show motion displays, you can really make a statement and stand out from your neighbors!

6. Accent Lighting

Just like strip lights and rope lighting, puck lights are trending now, mostly for the accent lighting they can create. Accent lighting is used to highlight a particular area or object.

Puck lights in LED are great for any accent lighting project and are the simplest way to brighten your workspace. You can use them in your kitchen, to light up your workspace. Or you could add them to a cabinet or alcove to display your collection of fine china.

Puck lights can also be a useful nightlight, not just for kids, but for you too! You can stick them to your headboard, or even to the skirting board or staircase to help you navigate your home in the dark.

Modern Lighting Design Trends

As you can see there are many super cool lighting trends for 2018.

2018 is looking futuristic with minimalist or LED designs, whatever you choose you’ll find something awesome to light up your home!

For more tips on lighting trends and “how to” guides, check out our illuminating blog!