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.

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!

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!

Upstyle Your Space With Elegant Cove Lighting

elegant cove lighting

Are you bored with some of the rooms in your home? Have you been looking for different interior design ideas to bring certain spaces to life?

The answer you need may be more obvious than you think. Cove lighting, for example, is a simple yet beautiful addition to any part of your home. It works wonders to upgrade the look of the bedroom, kitchen, or even the back patio.

The trick is to educate yourself on the wonders of this lighting solution and to get some interior design inspiration going.

Luckily, all the information you need can be found below.

What Is Cove Lighting?

There are floor lamps and table lamps, hanging lights and ceiling lights, and then, there are cove lights.

Cove lighting is the use of concealed light sources that are placed behind corners or in lowered areas to reflect on a ceiling. The reflection creates an illumination that is bright and welcoming, without being too strong or overpowering.

Cove lights are often used in conjunction with other lighting treatments. Such an approach to light design creates a lovely mix. Lights placed at different heights, which have various strengths and settings, can create a texture that is unique, welcoming, and outright stunning.

The use of cove lights is what brings everything in a room together.

Installing Cove Lights

Cove lights are most commonly sold as strips of light, although there are some stand-alone fixtures available as well. The strips are placed along moldings in the home to create the concealed reflection that is standard of cove lighting.

If your home doesn’t have such moldings – which are often found along where a wall meets the floor or just below where it touches the ceiling – you can create crevices of your own. Consider placing cove lights behind furniture or large plants, for example, as a way to direct the light up towards the ceiling and achieve that reflection.

Once you’ve found the right place for your lights, the real work begins. You can choose to do the installation entirely on your own or to have a team of electrical professionals to get the job done.

Remember, there’s a big difference between knowing where you want your lights to go and connecting their wires to the power sources in your home. Don’t attempt this unless you have a basic understanding of how your electric system works.

Design Ideas

Speaking of finding the perfect place for your cove lighting, let’s explore a few options. There are more ways to use such lights to upgrade your home than you might think.

But, the most common are:

As a Bedroom Accent

Have you ever been trying to unwind after a long day, but the bright lights in your bedroom kept you up? This is a common struggle for many homeowners: too much light is bright and bothersome, but not having any light can be more annoying.

Find the balance with cove lighting.

Adding this to your bedroom can create a bit of a dimming effect. It allows you to turn off the main lights, but still be able to move around or read a book from the gentle illumination of cove lights.

Not to mention, the soft light is comforting, cozy, and a bit more intimate than what you might be used to. Cove lighting upgrades your bedroom’s design to be everything you need. It creates a space to be yourself in total serenity, as well as the option to set the mood with your partner from time to time.

To Enhance the Fireplace

Some people skip on cove lights and opt for a controlled flame to set the mood instead. This isn’t always about romantics, by the way. A fireplace or an arrangement of candles is the perfect way to let yourself relax on your own.

If it’s some R&R that you need, why not make it the most soothing it can be?

That’s what adding cove lights does. Most fireplaces are set up on an elevated part of the bedroom or living room. Using cove lighting to line this area enhances the space in a subtle, yet noticeably beautiful way.

Such a simple addition can transform how comfortable this space feels, and maybe encourage you to light the fireplace and unwind more often.

For the Living or Dining Area

Just as cove lights establish a sense of relaxation by a fire, they can create a calm, peaceful setting in other places of the home, too. Consider adding these fixtures to your living or dining area.

Think about it: how much cozier would your living room be if you didn’t have to use bright lights all the time? Would your meals become more enjoyable if you had the option of using cove lighting every once in a while?

The way a person uses light in the home can affect many things. Lighting design is more than just making sure things are visible. It plays a role in how each individual in the space feels, behaves, and processes the space around them.

Outdoor Lighting

As valuable as the right lighting is inside, it also has a strong purpose outside.

All the benefits of indoor cove lighting can easily be taken into the backyard or even the front yard. Think of how you entertain guests or enjoy yourself while you’re grilling or sitting by the fire pit.

Cove lights may be the thing you’ve been missing to make this area complete. The subtlety won’t take away from the beauty of the outdoors, but it can help everyone feel more comfortable and settled.

If you have a large front yard or a long walkway, the use of cove lights can ignite the path for people to come and go. This is useful to have whenever you’re the host for the night, or if you’re just coming home after a particularly long day.

Celebrate Your New Lights

There’s nothing like the feeling of a job well done once your lights are installed and you get to enjoy their beauty.

This will make you want to spend more time wherever it is that you’ve decided to place cove lights. Not to mention, you will definitely appreciate the setting more after putting so much work into getting the design just right.

To share your final product, or get inspired by the lighting creations of others, click here.

Give Your Home Bar a Nightclub Feel With Neon Strip Lights and Other Accessories

Home Bar Nightclub Neon Strip Lights

From the neon sign created in Kris Jenner’s handwriting for Khloe Kardashian’s baby shower to this list of fine artists using neon in their work?

It’s safe to say that neon strip lights are back in a big way.

Whether you want to decorate your bedroom, your dining room, or even surprise a friend with an awesome way to liven up her living room, you can’t go wrong with neon lighting.

Of course, one of the best ways to use neon strip lights as an eye-catching decor element?

By using them to turn your home bar into an incredible, club-like oasis for you and your friends!

But how can you pull off the look for yourself?

Read on to find out.

1. Put Neon Strip Lights Underneath The Bar

So, after what feels like weeks of combing through furniture listings online, you’ve finally found the perfect bar stools for your home bar.

The problem?

Because you want to keep the lighting low and mysterious, you’re having trouble seeing them!

Especially if you plan on hosting a lot of parties in your new space, this isn’t ideal.

So, what’s the solution?

To make things easier to see, while also elevating the overall look of your bar, embrace LED neon strip lights! Place them directly underneath the bar to add a bit of glamour to your lighting scheme.

Not only will this illuminate your beautiful chairs, it will also make it easier for guests to see where they can hang their coats and handbags.

Plus, LED lighting underneath a home bar is also an awesome hack to make a smaller space look much bigger than it actually is. The last thing you want is for your home bar to look like it’s too crowded.

Instead, install runner lights to open up your space and highlight your fabulous seating options.

2. Use Color For An Accent

Do you feel like your home bar still looks a little bit drab?

Are you looking for a way to bring a little life to that exposed brick wall behind your bar, but don’t want to invest in expensive art that changes the look you’re going for?

If so, then LED neon strip lights can help you out in this regard as well. You can place strips on your bar directly (hide them by placing your liquor bottles in front of them or cover them with another design accent like a vase or shot glasses.)

This will help to break up your space and add a seriously chic look to otherwise plain walls. When you’re picking out neon colors to use to accent your walls, always take a look at the overall color scheme of the room.

Don’t forget to take the theme of your home bar into consideration, too!

For example, if you want to create a tropical tiki theme, you’ll likely want to use pink and green. But, if you’re going for more of a “nightclub” look, purples and dark blues will likely complement your style.

3. Light Up Your Wall Shelves

When you create your home bar, we know that you’re likely going to be torn between two big things.

The first? Finding enough space to store both your liquor bottles and your glasses. The second? Pulling off storage space in a way that doesn’t make your space look messy or overcrowded.

The good news?

You can use LED neon light strips to help you to accent and illuminate your shelves, as well as making your storage space a design element of your bar as a whole.

To avoid looking as uncluttered as possible, we suggest sticking to a maximum of two different neon light colors.

Simply run a strip of neon lights underneath translucent plastic shelves (bonus: plastic shelves are a totally affordable option) and light them up!

Not only will this help to elevate the look of your bar, it will also make it much easier to find the bottles you’re looking for!

4. Accent Your Aquarium

Are you interested in creating an ultra-chic, high-end look using neon light strips in your home bar?

If so, then you likely already know that the decor you use to surround your bar will make all the difference in the world. Instead of going for something expected, like a poster or yet another terrarium, we suggest thinking outside the box.

We love the idea of including an aquarium, complete with your favorite fish, in your home bar decor!

Not only is an aquarium an awesome conversation starter, it can also be completely upgraded through the use of neon lighting.

You can turn the water neon by installing a rope of neon light either directly behind or above your aquarium. For a quick and easy video tutorial of how to pull it off on your own, check out this link.

Where Can You Buy LED Neon Strip Lights For Your Home Bar?

We hope that this post has inspired you to start dreaming up some seriously awesome design ideas for your home bar!

Not only are LED neon strip lights an awesome design element, they’re also a much more economical option than other types of lighting. Be warned, though: once you install these lights on your bar, you won’t be able to keep guests away!

Looking for a place to buy the top LED lighting materials? Need a little help with your installation process?

Spend some time on our website to access not only our incredible project portfolio but also our wide range of LED lighting products.

Who knows?

We might even feature your home bar on our website!

8 Ways an LED Security Light Boosts Home Security

Over 3.7 million household burglaries occur in a single year.

Even more frightening?

Nearly 28% of those crimes happen when someone is still at home.

We know that you’re serious about keeping your family safe, protecting your home, and telling burglars and other potentially violent criminals that you’re not the one to be messed with.

One of the best ways you can make sure to protect the people (and the home) you love?

By investing in an LED security light.

But what makes it such an effective security option?

Read on to find out.

1. It’s A Preventative Security Measure

Before burglars rob a home, they’ll usually do a quick casing of the neighborhood first.

They’ll take a hard look at all the homes in your neighborhood, and try to identify which ones are the most vulnerable — the easiest for them to break into.

They’ll avoid homes with alarm systems, security cameras, and an LED security light. Having one outside of your home sends a clear message to criminals to stay away.

2. It Shines A Light On Criminals

Let’s say the worst does happen, and a criminal has decided to burglarize your home.

When the evening of the crime arrives, they step onto your front porch, ready with the tools they need to disarm your alarm and break in through your doors or windows.

Just as they’re about to take their first swing, your LED security light turns on, catching them in the act.

Usually, they’ll flee the scene immediately, often leaving some kind of evidence that can help to put them behind bars. This means that, not only are you keeping your own family safe — you’re also helping to protect your neighbors.

3. It Makes It Look Like Someone’s Home

In addition to checking to see if potential victims’ homes have security systems installed?

The majority of criminals will also take a look to see whether or not someone is home.

In the past, when you went on vacation, you might have hired someone to come into your home and turn on lights in different rooms to create the illusion of someone being there.

But with an LED security light (especially a motion-sensitive option) there’s no need. The light will turn on whenever someone passes by (yes, even an animal in some cases.)

You can also set it on a timer when you head out for an errand.

4. It’s Not Conspicuous

While a home security system is always a smart idea, sometimes, they can be a little obvious.

In addition to possibly clashing with the overall decor and design scheme of your home’s exterior? Security systems that are easy to see can also often be easily dismantled by criminals.

While we spoke about using LED lighting as a preventative measure earlier in this article, there are also more subtle lighting options available that make it tougher for a criminal to know they’re being watched.

5. You Can Place Them Anywhere

Another awesome feature of an LED security light?

You can put it almost anywhere you’d like.

Maybe you’re not as concerned about who is coming through your front door as you are about who is trying to get into your garage.

Maybe you’d like to keep an eye on your backyard.

LED lights have a strong range, which means that you can often use one security lamp to monitor multiple areas of your property.

6. Some Options Are Motion-Sensitive

Looking to take your LED security light to the next level?

If so, then consider investing in an LED light that also comes with a motion sensor.

By picking up on another person’s body heat, these lights are able to tell you the moment that someone sets foot on your front porch on in the vicinity of wherever you’ve chosen to place the bulb.

This means that, whenever someone (or something, if you’re concerned about wildlife threats) crosses the light’s path, it immediately turns on.

Especially if you also have home security cameras, this is incredibly helpful in either catching a would-be criminal or driving them away from your home.

7. They’re Energy Efficient

OK, so the burglar considering breaking into your home isn’t exactly going to care about the fact that your LED security light is energy efficient.

You, however, absolutely should.

First of all, there’s the lifespan of the bulb to consider. While halogen floodlights last only about a year, LED lights can work efficiently for up to ten years. This means you’ll need to replace then far less frequently, saving you some serious cash (and time.)

Additionally, studies from the U.S Department of Energy show that LED bulbs use only about 20-25% of the energy required by other bulbs. This will help you to lower the cost of your energy bills, in addition to saving you cash on the bulbs themselves.

This makes an LED security light an incredibly cost-effective form of home security.

Where Can You Buy A Quality LED Security Light?

We hope that this post has done a good job of educating you about the many ways in which you can use an LED security light to help protect your home and your family.

From deterring criminals from robbing your home in the first place to helping you catch them in the act, these are a wonderful way to keep the ones you love safe.

Now, there’s only one question left:

“Where can I buy these lights?”

That’s where we come in.

At Birddog Lighting, we offer the highest quality of LED lights, as well as other LED lighting products and projects to help you make the most out of your home.

Spend some time on our website and blog to learn more about our both our lighting options and why LED is the best way to illuminate your home.

10 Outdoor Lighting Ideas to Debut This Spring

Spring is coming and soon you’ll be spending lazy evenings in your outdoor space. Adding some new lighting effects to your space is a great way to redecorate it with ease.

Outdoor lighting is showing up a lot in decorating and landscaping trends for 2018. Are you ready to beautify your space? Here are 10 outdoor lighting ideas to get you started.

1. Line Walkways

One of the more common outdoor lighting ideas you see are walkways lined with lights. It’s an effective way to lead the eye through your garden. Don’t overdo it though.

A few lights here and there illuminating the path is gentler and more effective. It creates a sense of intimacy rather than a bright, bold, almost daytime feel.

To keep your lights from looking too uniform, try using different styles. You can also strategically place them near interesting plants to highlight them.

2. Moon Lights

Natural moonlight is soft and beautiful. But you can’t guarantee that it will always be around.

To create a moonlight effect, try hanging lights 30-40 feet up in the trees. To mimic moonlight you want to use cool, blue-toned lighting. Lights with a color temperature of around 5500 Kelvin is perfect.

Done right, this setup casts soft, natural-looking light down on your space. Add a couple spotlights shining upwards on shorter trees. Then you won’t even need to line your walkways. Rather your whole space will seem to ‘glow’ with soft moonlight.

3. Indirect Lighting

What if you don’t have tall trees but want to create a similar moonlight effect? As long as you have something tall, you can use indirect lighting instead. A tall masonry fireplace or something like it would be perfect.

Mount a light on a high point like the peak of your house and shine it on your fireplace. The chimney will reflect soft light down into your outdoor space.

4. Combine Warm and Cool Lights

Another fun effect is to mix up the color temperatures of your lights a bit. Set up some cool-toned moonlights or indirect lighting to light up the space in general.

Then choose some yellow lights. Aim for ones around 2000 Kelvin on the color temperature scale.

Pepper these around low to the ground for an interesting contrast. One good way to do this is to place a few candles on your tables or other low structures.

5. LED Tape on Hardscapes

Run some ropes of LED lights under the lip of your hardscapes. This adds a nice ambient light effect with no distracting or harsh bright points of light.

It’s also a great way to add plenty of light in areas where you need it, like an outdoor kitchen. It can be difficult to hang overhead lights depending on your setup. But you can always run a rope light along the edge of your counter etc.

6. Light Up a Water Feature

If you have a water feature in your yard it’s a shame to let it disappear at night. You’ll still hear the gentle sound of trickling water, of course, but lose the beauty.

Add some lighting either from within the feature or cast light on the feature from without. This creates a stunning focal point for your outdoor space.

Of course, this look is not something that you would find in nature. But it certainly is a great way to add some wow factor to your garden.

7. Light an Object

Even if you don’t have a water feature in your yard, you can still create a lighted focal point. Choose a statue, fireplace, or other interesting focal point and add a spotlight to it. For a more natural look, you can make a tree or other interesting plant your focal point.

If you use a bluer light on plants, it will cause their branches or leaves to look more green. So choose a light that has a higher Kelvin number for shrubs and trees. Most man-made objects look better with a warmer, more yellow light.

8. Fairy Lights Mood Lighting

Hang some ropes of fairy lights around your space for some soft mood lighting. This works well in gazebos or other covered sitting areas to create a cozy space.

In a more open space, you can intertwine the lights along a trellis. These lights are easy to add and have a huge effect on the ambiance of your space.

True white lights can be a bit strong for this style of lighting. We suggest choosing a soft yellow/amber color to make your space feel warm and inviting.

9. Candle Chandelier

This is a fun way to liven up your space for an outdoor gathering or intimate dinner. Get a few little glass jars or bottles and toss a little sand or some pebbles inside. Add a tea candle on top.

With some chains, twine, or even colored string, hang the bottles over your table. Light up the candles and you have a simple DIY candle chandelier. It’s perfect as accent lighting for romancing your sweetie or for a family gathering.

10. Uplighting

You can use uplighting to highlight anything you want in your garden. It could be a bush, tree, statue, fireplace, water feature–whatever. The idea is simply to add some points of interest that will draw the eye.

Light in a dark space is always going to draw attention. To craft an elegant outdoor space, you simply have to know where to place your guests’ attention. Be as soft or dramatic as you like, it’s your space after all!

Create Your Own Outdoor Lighting Ideas

Outdoor lighting ideas are virtually endless. There are so many different looks and ambiances that you can create with a string of lights.

Choose different colors and types. Get creative about where you hang them and what you draw attention to. We have all sorts of different lighting products that you can choose from. You are only limited by your imagination!

Want to share your outdoor lighting ideas with us? Send us a photo for a chance to show up in our lighting gallery. You can inspire someone else with your great ideas!

10 Stunning Ideas for LED String Light in Your Home

Let’s face it: When it comes to all things crafty, spicing up your home decor can be a really fun way to bring some welcome changes to your home. LED string lights are one of the latest trends that are doing the rounds on all things social.

Not only are these nifty little lights super flexible for setting up anywhere you like, but they are also pretty affordable. It’s no surprise that so many people are getting creative with how you can use them in your home.

But there’s a problem. Everybody else might be super creative, but what if you have no idea how to setup these LED wonders in your home or you’re stuck for inspiration?

This article will run through ten of the most creative ideas on how to use these amazing little lights in every room in your home.

Let’s get started.

1. Get Creative in the Bedroom

The advantages of using LED lighting are making creative lighting a lot easier for the nation. The bedroom is one of the best places to use LED string lights. LED’s use 75% less energy and last up to 25 times longer than traditional incandescent lighting. Getting creative and keeping the bills low has never been easier.

Hang Lights in Your Canopy

If you’ve got an overhead canopy on your bed, get crafty and weave some LED lighting through the canopy. You can even drape them over the top, giving your bedroom a beautiful glow.

Toss Lights over the Back of Your Bedframe for Some Instant Mood Lighting

If canopies aren’t your thing, then you can drape some LED string lights down the back of your headboard. This will give off a soft glow. Depending on your color choices you can go for a soft hotel vibe or something straight from the Tron movie.

If You’re on a Bunk-Bed, Drape Your Lights from the Top

If you’ve got dorm bunks or have a bunk-bed for your kids, you can drape LED lighting from the top struts on the bunk bed. This will flow down the side of the bed lighting up the wall next to your bunk.

Effortless and effective.

2. Make a Flameless Fire in Your Living Room

For those who want to add a little something special to the living room, you can go full DIY and create a flameless fire pit in your living space. All you’ll need are:

  • Some lace strips or ribbon
  • Tree branches around 3/4 inches in diameter
  • Aluminium foil
  • Washable school glue
  • Paintbrushes
  • LED string lights
  • Rocks

Placing the rocks at the base, wrapping the branches in foil and then attaching the lace with the PVA glue, and then place them in a circle like a teepee. Place your LED string lights at the bottom and voila! You have a flameless fire pit, ready to go.

3. Fill up Bottles with LED String Lights

There are two major benefits to this technique. First, you need some empty wine bottles, so spend a few evenings accumulating those (perk number one).

Secondly, once you’ve got your empty bottles, drill a hole in the bottom of the empty bottle and thread the cord through. You can now fill up the bottle with your LED string lights if you’ve got multiple bottles the effect looks amazing.

This works well on shelving in a bedroom or living room, but our favorite place to put them is in the kitchen. It can add a little mood lighting to your wine shelf.

4. Spell It Out in Light

Typography has been a huge trend in home decor over the last few years. You have everything from murals to crafted large letters that you can place like ornaments around the home.

Why not spell out your favorite typography in light. Draw a word out onto your wall in pencil, and then trace over it in LED lights.

You can attach the lights with tiny staples.

5. Make Branches Lit

When you want to pack a lot of decorative punch into a small space, this idea can add something extra. Get yourself some dried branches that you like the design of.

Now wrap your LED string lights all around the branches to create a glowing scenery. This is perfect for on the porch and even better in a cozy space or reading corner.

6. Make Your Garden Shine

LED lighting is absolutely perfect for making your garden shine. By wrapping the string lights around trees and garden ornaments, you can bring your garden alive at night.

These work especially well with battery LED options which mean you don’t need to drape an extension cord across your garden.

For maximum effect, try using different colors in tree branches and even different styles.

7. Stuff It in a Jar for Fairy Lights

When wine bottles are a little too PG, you can use the same technique as outlined above to create fairy lights. Mason jars with metal lids make amazing containers for LED string lights.

The effect can look like you’ve trapped a fairy or a thousand lightning bugs inside a jar. Now that’s just magical.

8. Hang Photos with Your String Lights

Why stick to just plain old string for hanging your photos when you can use string lights. Instead of a boring wall frame try placing your string lights in a nice pattern, or a timeline.

Then place printed photographs onto the string for a glowing display of memories.

9. Combine Lights with Ornaments

We all have those ornaments around the house that we once loved but have since become old hat. Spice up your old ornaments by combining them with LED string lights.

You can give everything from old wooden ladders to an unused mirror a new lease of life with lighting. This technique works especially well if you’re prepared to give your old wooden furniture a lick of paint.

10. Light up a Rug

For the last creative idea, why not light up a rug. There are a lot of rug designs that are woven and have gaps throughout.

Wrap your string lights underneath the rug to give your hallway a glowing addition.

Time to Get Creative With Lighting

Now you have a little inspiration, why not get started adding a little light to your home life? For more tips on how to hang outdoor string lights and more awesome advice on LED lighting, check out our blog.

How to Install Undercabinet LED Lighting

If you’re looking for a project to add that wow factor to your kitchen without ripping it apart, look no further than LED undercabinet lighting.

It couldn’t be further from the strip lighting of days gone by that never looked great and blew at the first opportunity. With up to 100,000-hour life expectancy (that’s 11 years of continuous use,) it’s hard to see yourself replacing them.

Additionally, LED rope lights are easy to install, sit nicely out of view and are an affordable way to achieve a high-end finish.

The warm glow of undercabinet LED lighting is also inviting, stylish and practical. Come nighttime, turn this on and your kitchen will really pop.

Here’s our guide on how to install undercabinet lighting and give your kitchen the wow factor it’s been missing.

Preparing to Install

First things first, if you go for a strip system or a light bar with built-in LEDs, there is no need for a fixed electrical connection. They run off a 24-volt power source, so all you need is a power supply.

Plug into an appropriately placed outlet and away you go.

If your kitchen is quite small, a couple of flush mount under-cabinet light bars may be all you need. For a larger kitchen though, it’s good to plan to wire your LED tape lighting through a terminal.

This will let you have a fully connected system out of one outlet, and allow for the addition of a wireless dimmer and switch. If possible, choose an outlet that is normally out of sight, such as above top units.

Think about exactly where your lights are going to go, and measure accurately how much strip lighting you need to buy.

If you’re not sure what LED lighting is right for your needs, check out our wide range by clicking here.

What to Buy

There are two main systems you can go for and both have slightly different requirements.

Light Bars

If you go for an under-cabinet light bar you will need a mounting kit, including mounting clips and screws. If you want to link several bars together in a row, make sure you have an end-to-end connector included in your kit.

LED Strip Lights

Simple to install, easy to cut to size, LED strip lights are a great way to install undercabinet lighting. As they are very shallow and come in narrow strips, they are totally unobtrusive.

You can even conceal them along the edge of your counter given sufficient clearance to the doors below. They also come in a wide range of colors too, giving your kitchen a personalized finish.

Mounting Your Light Bars

Mounting is made easy with the mounting kits supplied with light bars. They come in corner or flush mount options. Corner mount are hidden from view, whilst flush mount direct light directly down onto the surface.

To install undercabinet lighting using this system, simply work out how many you need to connect together. Add a 24-volt power supply and this can be simply connected to a safely located, preferably concealed, power outlet.

Installing LED Strip Lights

Before we go any further, make sure that you do not attempt any part of the actual installation whilst the light strip is connected to the power outlet.

For the installation you’ll need:

  • A reel (or however much is needed) of LED strip lights
  • Power Supply (check voltage needed with light supplier)
  • Electrical tape
  • Low voltage extension wire
  • Strip-to-strip solderless connector
  • Wire nuts

Step 1 – Testing the Gear

Miss this step and you’ll kick yourself later. Unwind the reel, hook up the lights to a power supply and check that they are all working properly. Also, make sure that they are exactly what you want in terms of color and brightness.

Step 2 – Trim to Fit

Carefully measure out exactly where you’ll put the lights and cut your lighting strips down to size.

Step 3 – Connect the Lengths

If you are planning to join two or more lengths of LED strips together, you’ll need to use one of three options – a snap connector, vampire connector or solderless connector. Here’s a detailed guide to using all three.

Step 4 – Preparing to Connect to Power

Once you have found the end of the strip that will connect to the power block, take some low voltage extension wire and strip the ends. Strip the ends of the wires coming from the light strips.

Carefully twist the two positive and two negative wires together, making a secure connection with wire nuts. Connect the low voltage wire to the power block.

If you’re thinking of installing a dimmer switch, now’s the time. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions, installing it between the power supply and the lighting strip. See below for why they are a great idea.

Once all connections are securely made, plug in and test that all lights are working properly before installing.

Step 5 – Position Your Strips

Now it’s set up and working, you’re ready to carefully remove the protective strip and secure them in place under the cabinets. Make sure the surface is totally clean, dry and lint-free.

Using the self-adhesive strip, make sure that they stick securely in place. Connect to the power supply and your LED installation is complete!

Consider a Dimmer

To really amp up the wow factor, consider adding a dimmer when you install undercabinet lighting. Sitting between your LED strip lights and your power supply, this will allow you full control of the mood you want to create.

Both wired and wireless dimmers are available, giving you full control and letting you choose an option that will look great in your kitchen.

Touch dimmer switches allow you to turn the lights on or off and dim them with just the tap of your finger.

Wiring them is simple, but make sure that you follow the directions on the installation guide that is supplied with the dimmer kit. Also, ensure all safety precautions are followed during installation.

The Takeaway: How to Install Undercabinet Lighting

Our guide on how to install undercabinet lighting really shows that anyone with a weekend can transform their kitchen cheaply, safely and effectively.

Follow all safety precautions and manufacturer’s instructions and you’ll give your kitchen the wow factor in no time. LEDs also cut down on power consumption hugely compared to conventional bulbs.

Check out our blog for more inspirational ways to transform your home with LEDs.

Lighting Safety: Here’s What to Know When Decorating Your Home

As a responsible homeowner, you take pride in the appearance of your home. You value a sleek, sophisticated, and friendly aesthetic.

Having your outdoor living space properly lit is a great way to cultivate a welcoming environment. Outdoor lighting can also bring you peace of mind as it can deter potential crime.

For the holidays, in particular, festive lighting can bring a touch of cheer and brightness to your home. If you like to stand out from among your neighbors, you take lighting and decoration seriously.

You might already have the perfect lighting design in mind for your home. If you don’t, check out these designs for inspiration.

If you are ready to install some outdoor landscape lighting, take a moment to read these safety tips before you get started.

Take a Survey of Your Home’s Exterior

Before you set up your ladder, it’s a good idea to survey the entire exterior of your home. You might have been working on its exterior design for a while now, but take a look around from a perspective of safety.

Even if you are only lighting up one outdoor living area, you’re going to be on the roof for a while to install the lights. This means you should have a solid understanding of your home’s structure and the stability of that structure.

Check for things like unstable roofing areas – perhaps such as roofs covering a patio, which might not be as heavy-duty. Take note of all the trees next to your house. Once you get on the roof and moving around, you don’t want to be surprised by a branch in your way.

Especially if you are installing outdoor landscape lighting all over your home for the holidays, you’ll need an accurate layout of the exterior to design a proper lighting display.

Stay Organized and Sensible

No matter what project you are working on, staying organized is essential to efficiency and success. For home exterior projects, in particular, staying organized is a matter of safety.

Consider how many cords and bulbs you are going to be handling. The less controlled all of the materials are, the more likely something will break – and the more likely you could trip over a loose item.

Securely wrap up all extension cords or LED strip lights into tight bundles which you can easily handle. Remember that you will be climbing up and down a ladder, so loose ends are a potential threat to your balance and safety.

Don’t take bulbs out of the safe packaging until the moment you need them. This will make them easier to handle and keep organized. Make sure nothing is damaged, as well, to avoid unknowingly causing damage due to broken glass.

Once it’s time to install your outdoor landscape lighting, only take out one at a time to climb the ladder. Stay aware and be sensible about the safest methods to transport your lighting fixtures from the ground to the roof. Even if this takes a little bit of extra time, the investment in your safety will be worth it.

Only Install Fixtures and Lights Made for the Outdoors

Some lighting is only designed for indoor use and could cause all kinds of problems if installed in the unprotected outdoors. Fortunately, most packages are labeled as either indoor or outdoor, specifically.

It’s not only the bulbs that need to be sturdy enough for outdoor use. There are certain fixtures and outlets that also require a heavy-duty capacity to sit in the exposed elements all day long. One tip is to use LED strips since these are easy to install and less prone to damage than regular bulbs.

If you aren’t sure about whether or not a certain kind of lighting is safe for outside use, do some research online — like reading a quick product review by other customers. You can also reach out to the manufacturer to ask for clarifications.

Keep Lighting Safely Out of Reach

If you are installing outdoor landscape lighting in celebration of the holidays, you might be tempted to go all out with the design. It’s easy to think big when it comes to making a statement about your love of cheer and good tidings.

Nonetheless, you should remember that there might be certain areas around your home’s exterior that wouldn’t do well with the lighting. If you have small children or pets, for example, installing lights in their reach could lead to all kinds of accidents. You definitely want to prevent any damage to both them and the lighting itself.

This also remains true if you are installing outdoor landscape lighting as a permanent decoration for your home. Make sure all fixtures, bulbs, strips, and extension cords can’t be messed with by keeping them out of anyone’s reach.

Weatherproof Your Outdoor Landscape Lighting

Even if you have lighting specifically made for the outdoors, the weather can still be a powerful force. All it takes is one storm to come through to cause damage to your lighting installation.

There are still steps you can take to more thoroughly weatherproof your outdoor lighting.

Once you get the outdoor landscape lighting completely installed, go over every component you worked on. Check for frayed ends or exposed electrical wires.

You’ll have to properly seal everything off to prevent moisture from entering. Shrinkable heat tape is great to patch up small damaged spots.

Hire Professionals to Install the Lights for You

Perhaps you are still feeling overwhelmed about installing your own outdoor landscape lighting. That’s okay because fortunately, there are usually professionals in your area willing and able to take care of that for you.

In fact, this is probably the safest option for you when it comes to outdoor lighting installation. There are services that also install specifically holiday lighting, so use your best judgment to determine whether or not you’d rather hire them.

We are knowledgeable and passionate about lighting for your home. We have a wide, varying selection of products that could prove useful for your outdoor lighting products. For questions or inquiries about any items on our website, we encourage you to reach out to us today.

8 Ways to Decorate Your Home with LED Strip Lights

Are you thinking about getting LED rope or strip lights for your home?

There are many benefits to incorporating LED lights.

They are affordable, including the strips themselves as well as the fact that there is no electric wiring and electricians involved. This also brings confidence in avoiding any potential electrical issues.

LED lights are more efficient than other lighting options. The U.S. Department of Energy claims that LED lights use 75% less energy and can reduce electricity costs by $30 billion in the U.S.

So, they will save both energy and money.

In addition, LED strips are safer than other types of lighting. So, if you have children in the home or want to place lights in areas where they may get wet, LED is the way to go.

Check out these eight creative ways to use LED strip lights in your home.

1. Outdoor Space

This is probably the most common use of LED strip lighting.

When you’re relaxing outside, whether it’s on a porch, patio, deck, lanai, or in a hot tub or pool, LED lighting provides the perfect accent lighting for entertaining or just enjoying some nighttime outdoors.

It is often hard to install outdoor lighting and can be costly too.

Instead, just hang LED strip lighting around the molding of your outdoor space, at the base of stairs, around trees, along gardens and walkways, and around the pool or hot tub.

LED strips are weather resistant, so you won’t have to worry relative issues.

The lights also come in various colors. If you want a club look or a classy feel, you can find LED strips to fit your outdoor space’s need.

You and your friends will love it.

2. Under the Bar

Do you have a great bar space perfect for entertaining? If so, fancy it up and make it feel like a real bar with soft LED lighting.

You can easily string LED strip lighting under the bar and never have to turn on those bright overhead lights again.

Plus, you can put the money you’ll save on your electric bill toward stocking the bar with your favorite refreshments.

3. Bathroom

Not everyone likes to have bright lights in their eyes when they first wake up in the morning and head to the restroom.

Not everyone has time, or the want, to light 10 different candles to provide a calming ambiance for a relaxing bubble bath.

Instead of spending a good chunk of money and time having dimming lights installed in your bathroom, turn to LED strips.

You can place these above your bathroom cabinets, under or at the base of the bathtub, within bathroom shelving, between or around mirrors, and really anywhere your bathroom space allows for.

With LED strips, you won’t have to worry about your eyes and headaches, as well as waking up your partner who may still be sleeping.

4. Around the Bed

Many people spend time in the bedroom not sleeping. You may be one of the 60% of Americans who spend bedroom time reading, searching the web, or watching TV.

Or maybe you get up and ready before the break of dawn every day, but don’t like to turn on those bright lights.

While bedside lamps have worked historically for these purposes, they are not nearly as efficient or versatile as LED strip lighting.

LED strips can be placed under the bed, lining your bed’s headboard or baseboard, or even under your bedside tables.

They will provide enough light for you to see while keeping a tranquil environment.

You can also choose soothing colors, such as blue, with LED lighting– something you cannot easily do with traditional light bulbs.

The best part is LED strip lights can be motion censored. Yes, that’s right. You can get lights that will come on when you wake up and get out of bed.

5. Under or Above Kitchen Cabinets

We spend a lot of time in our kitchens, which means we use a lot of electricity in our kitchens, too.

Save on that light bill by installing LED strip lights under or above your kitchen cabinets. If you have a kitchen island, string lights around

You will get extra lighting while saving money.

Plus, the ambiance looks really cool. Your guests will want to hang out with you in the kitchen.

6. Inside Drawers or Cabinets

We’ve all been there. When we need to find something in a drawer or grab a plate from a cabinet, but we don’t want to disturb others in the home by turning on bright overhead lights.

Luckily, there is a simple solution. Line the inside of your drawers or cabinets with LED strip lighting.

No more fumbling around in the dark.

7. Above Shelving

Nothing says cozy like a glowing bookshelf.

Whether it’s books, photos, or mementos, having lighted shelves will highlight what you choose to display on them.

Lighting above shelving doesn’t have to only be for display shelving, though. It can also be extremely useful in closets and pantries.

Again, when you don’t want to wake your significant other or children, having LED strip lighting to help you find matching shoes for the day or the right type of cereal box will only benefit you in many ways.

8. Under Seating

Have you always wanted to have a movie theater feel in your home?

It’s easier than you think.

Stick LED strip lighting under your couch or recliners. You will have the perfect amount of light to watch your favorite movie and still see your popcorn bowl.

The kids will love this feature, and you’ll be the envy of sleepovers.

Ready to Purchase Your LED Strip Lights?

As you can see, there are many benefits and ways to incorporate LED strips within your home.

If you’re ready to quit searching for things in the dark, wishing for ambiance in certain rooms of your home, and to become the envy entertainer of all your friends, then you’re ready to purchase your LEDs.

Check out all the versatile options we have available.

We also have blog posts with information and resources to better help you understand your options and how to install LED lights.

Why You Need LED Light Installation in Your Home

Many people are choosing LED light installation over traditional lighting because of the many benefits you receive.

Benefits range from saving money due to increased efficiency to contributing to tackling climate change with more environmentally friendly lighting.

Recent developments in LED lighting show the future potential of this illumination source to transform how we light our homes, workplaces, and schools.

To find out more about why you need LED light installation in your home, keep reading.

Long Lasting

Do you feel like you’re changing your light bulbs all the time?

With LED light installation you’ll notice a significant improvement. LED lighting has an operational life of between 30,000 to 50,000 hours. They could last even longer in some circumstances.

Is that difficult to get your head around? In other terms, LED lighting has an expected operational life of 11 years under continuous use.

This means that if you require illumination for your workplace nine-to-five, then you won’t need to replace the light bulbs for another 20 years.

In contrast to normal lighting, in which the bulb immediately burns out, LED lighting gradually fades.

After an extended period of time, the LED lighting diodes emit a lower level of output. This causes the brightness to reduce over time.

2. Greater Energy Efficiency

Did you realize that normal lighting usually operates at 20 percent efficiency?

This means that only one-fifth of the overall energy generated is converted into light. The rest is converted into heat instead. That’s a lot of energy wasted.

By contrast, LED lights operate at up to 90 percent efficiency, with only 10 percent of the energy wasted as heat.

This makes LED lighting much more efficient at fulfilling its purpose.

3. Save Money

Although LED lights are more expensive, you’ll save money in the long run by using less energy. As LED lightbulbs increasingly become the cost-effective option for many households, you’ll save increasingly more by opting for LED light installation.

This greater efficiency and longer life also mean that companies save on maintenance costs.

By saving money on the purchasing, stocking, and replacement of traditional lighting, companies could save thousands of dollars in maintenance costs.

4. Better for the Planet

There are multiple reasons why LED lights are more environmentally friendly than other forms of illumination.

Simply greater energy efficiency has a positive impact on carbon emissions that cause climate change. Research suggests that by choosing to light your home with the LED light installation you could be reducing your carbon footprint by over 30%.

Plus, unlike normal lightbulbs, LED light bulbs are 100 percent recyclable.

There are also a number of toxic chemicals that are used to produce traditional lightbulbs. One of the most notable and dangerous of chemicals is mercury. LED lights don’t contain any of the above chemicals.

If you want to do your bit for the environment, choosing LED light installation is the way to go.

5. More Durable and Resilient

LED light bulbs are much less fragile and much more durable and resilient than conventional light bulbs. They are even less vulnerable to vandalism and destruction.

This makes them especially useful when it comes to severe environments. Because of this, they are increasingly used for workplaces such as factories, construction sites, and hospitals.

LED lighting is also ideal for outdoor conditions because they can withstand any weather. This not only includes storms, rain, and sunlight but also temperature changes. In contrast to normal light bulbs, LED light bulbs operate absolutely fine in low winter temperatures as well as hot summer temperatures.

6. No UV Emissions

Have you ever had an item damaged as a result of its proximity to lighting?

The infrared light and UV emissions that are produced by conventional lighting can cause damage to particular kinds of materials.

However, LED light installation produces almost zero infrared light and UV emissions. LED lighting is increasingly being used to illuminate sensitive materials, such as in museums and art galleries.

7. Enhanced Flexibility and Versatility

LED lighting is available on the market in a variety of shapes and sizes.

However, there is also enhanced control over the strength and color of the lighting. This means that you can set the mood of a room according to taste and occasion with accuracy.

8. Greater Focus

With LED lighting you can better focus and direct light in a particular area of a room. This makes LED light installation much better for creating the spotlight effect.

However, this advantage is really one of efficiency. Instead of distributing the light throughout a room, you can direct it to the location you want.

9. Instant Off and On Use

Have you ever turned on a conventional light and needed to wait for the light to brighten up?

With LED light installation you no longer need to do this. After you flick the switch, the light will immediately brighten.

By turning the LED lights on and off, it doesn’t have any impact on the life of the lightbulb. It doesn’t impact on the emissions either.

10. Only Needs Low-Voltage Power

If you want lighting but you only have a low-voltage energy supply, LED lighting is a great solution.

LED lighting only requires low-voltage to function at its highest operational level. You can connect it to a solar-powered source or low-voltage energy source. This makes it the perfect choice for outside lighting.

Get Your LED Light Installation Assessment

There are so many benefits to switching your light bulbs at home to LED lights. But you may be struggling to know where to start.

That’s where we come in.

Get in touch with us today to talk more about which lighting fixtures might best suit your needs.

We even offer a complimentary LED lighting assessment before you can choose from many different light fixtures.

How to Light Your Man Cave With LED Rope Lights

It wasn’t that long ago that men and their friends were resigned to watching games, playing poker, and smoking cigars in the least desirable room in the house. Often it was the dark, dank basement or the garage. These days the whole concept of a man cave has transformed from a primitive hole in your home to a swanky, sophisticated pad that offers comfort, technology, and everything modern man could want when entertaining guests.

You’ve picked out the perfect lounge chairs, installed your game table, filled in your entertainment center, and stocked your bar. Now it’s time to consider appropriate lighting for your man cave. Pendants over the game table and bar are traditional, and you could certainly add recessed lighting on dimmers for versatility.

However, you might want to kick it up a notch.  Add some unique lighting options that not only illuminate your space, but also create a hip, edgy effect and display your personal aesthetic. If you want to take your man cave to the next level with lighting, here are a few ways to incorporate rope lights in your space.

Bar Lighting

There are a couple of cool ways to use rope or strip lights around the bar. One of the easiest things you can do is run LED strip lights around the edges of the bar, like under the lip of the bar top, under the bottom edge of the bar, or along the inside of the foot rail, just for example.

You can also use rope lighting to enhance the back of the bar. If, for example, you have a mirrored display for barware and bottles, you can really make it pop by adding lights around the perimeter of the mirror or running it along shelving to backlight bottles and glassware.

Think about getting a kit that allows you to integrate your lighting with a smartphone app so you can remotely adjust the brightness of lights, toggle between colors, or create preset lighting schemes for different types of events.

Memorabilia Cabinet or Shelving

Many man caves double as a display space for collectibles like comics or figurines, sports or entertainment memorabilia, or monster masks and hood ornaments that simply don’t fit the average woman’s idea of acceptable decor in the rest of the home. Displaying these items in the man cave is, of course, better than moving them into storage, which is basically just a holding cell for items slated for donation.

If you’re going to showcase your beloved possessions in a curio cabinet or on shelving, why not highlight them with colorful rope lighting? You can easily line cubbies, shelves, or other display spaces as a way to illuminate your favorite pieces or add some artistry to your display.

Don’t forget, you could take the same basic approach with your entertainment center, running rope lights around the interior edges of shelves, or possibly even using it to backlight the entire entertainment center.

Poker/Billiards

Just because billiard lights hanging over pool or game tables is the traditional look doesn’t mean you necessarily have to get in line. You can definitely think outside the box, especially when you employ rope lighting.

For example, you could create a modern version of the classic pendant by crafting a lighting fixture that features a collection of ropes lights on a grid hanging over the center of the game table. You could even tie them together to form a modern, masculine chandelier of sorts.

Another option is to crisscross rope lights overhead to illuminate game stations and give the man cave a fiesta-like atmosphere. You’ll have to decide on the aesthetic that’s right for your space, but if you’re the type to buck tradition, rope lighting provides you with ample opportunities to get inventive.

Create a Custom Sign

Customized lighting decor is all the rage these days. Instead of opting for something boring like a tin box in the shape of your initial, bedecked with light bulbs, consider what you could create with the aid of rope or strip lights. All you need to start is a sturdy wire frame to attach rope lights to and you could end up with a custom piece of wall art that spells out a word or forms an image. It can be as simple or complex as you want.

You might take the opportunity to craft your mantra, be it “power”, “winning”, or “BYOB”. If you’re really crafty, you could use colorful strip lights to design a more complicated piece of wall art such as a flag (with red, white, and blue lighting) or a sport’s team logo. Too complicated? Consider simply backlighting a favorite piece of existing art or hiring help to fully realize your dream of rope lighting wall art.

How to Determine the Length of LED Rope Lights You Need

Illumination is an essential part of any interior or exterior design. Once you’ve painted walls, installed flooring, and added furniture, you still need to make sure your family can find their way around after the sun goes down. Naturally, your home came with some lighting fixtures installed, often overhead dome lights in every room.   You’ve probably also added some lamps to create a more inviting atmosphere. However, you can do a lot more with lighting from both a functional and decorative standpoint. When you decide to add strings of LED rope light to interior and exterior spaces, you have nearly unlimited options for creating the perfect ambience for any room or occasion. Whether you use them to artfully line staircases and bookshelves, you outline doorways or windows, you backlight artwork or mirrors, or you drape them over canopies or pergolas, you can create truly unique and stylish spaces around your home. Of course, you first need to figure out how much product it will take to complete your project. Rope lights come in a variety of lengths, and you can always cut and patch them to make them shorter or longer as needed.  However, it helps to know how much rope light your project requires from the outset. Here are a few tips to help you plan accordingly.

Plan Your Project

The first thing you need to do before you start purchasing rope or strip lights is figure out the scope of your project. What exactly do you want to accomplish? Most lighting projects have a dual purpose. From a practical perspective, you want to add illumination to indoor or outdoor spaces. Even if you have other lighting options, it never hurts to devise alternatives to brighten rooms or add lighting to specific areas. On the other hand, lighting can also serve a decorative purpose. LED rope lights can accommodate on both scores thanks to a variety of colors and options for brightness. You can use them not only to illuminate outdoor pathways, for example, but also to provide a decorative border between hardscape and landscaping features. Indoors, you can use rope lights to cast a colorful glow on shelving or curio cabinets.  They could provide ambient illumination above kitchen shelving, along baseboards, or underneath counters or tables, just for example. Planning out your project in detail before you purchase rope lights can help you to determine the amount of product needed to realize your vision.

Take Measurements

Once you have a clear idea of what you want to accomplish with your lighting project, it’s time to start taking measurements. In some cases, this will be as easy as running your measuring tape along the length of a wall or shelf, or measuring the perimeter of a mirror, for example. Other projects may be more complex. If, for example, you want to spell out a word or create a unique design with your rope lights, you may first have to build a frame or draw out a full-size mockup to determine the precise length of lighting you’ll need. Or if you plan to drape strings of lighting over a canopy or across a patio cover, you might have to multiply or take several measurements, depending on the effect you hope to create.

Overestimate

Taking precise measurements is essential to purchasing the proper amount of product for whatever project you have in mind.  However, it’s always best to overestimate and you should shoot for about 10% more product than you think you need. This way, if your measurements were slightly off or you make a mistake when cutting or installing lighting, you’ll have the extra length you need to complete your project.

Cutting and Connecting Rope Lights

You may not be able to find the precise length of LED rope light needed for your project. The good news is that you can not only trim rope lights down, but you can also connect them to create shorter or longer strings, as needed. This will require some additional products (caps, connectors, etc.) and you’ll have to exercise proper safety precautions any time you tamper with electronics. However, there are many tutorials to help you complete the process and get the exact length of rope light to meet the specifications for your particular lighting project.

How to Brighten Up Your Backyard Party With LED Strip Lights

You’ve weeded the flower beds, mowed the lawn and cleaned the pool. You’ve set up tables and chairs, added balloons, made a party playlist for your MP3 player, and picked up roughly a metric ton of food and beverages. All that remains is to fire up the grill and start your backyard party. If your little shindig will extend into the evening hours, though, you’ve made a major error in planning.  You forgot to account for lighting! Okay, sure, you have a fixture next to the back door to cast a dim glow on the patio.  However, that’s really not enough to give your guests the motivation to dance the night away. Your sad, single bulb will have your friends fleeing for the hills (or tripping in the dark) once the sun goes down. Then you’ll wish you had the foresight to install a colorful, LED rope light or strip lighting.  This added illumination will brighten up your outdoor space and add some pep to your party. It’s not too late.  You can create the perfect party atmosphere with a wide array of strip lighting options that will add color and style to any space. Considering there are products specifically designed for use outdoors, there’s no reason not to explore this opportunity to decorate with light. Here are a few ideas to try in your own backyard before your next soiree.

Showcase Architectural Features

There is no reason to wait until the winter holidays to hang lighting from the eaves. With strip lights you can not only add illumination to outdoor spaces, but you can make your house look like a million bucks and impress all your party guests in the process. You can easily add strip lights under eaves, around doorways and windows, in archways, and pretty much anywhere else an interesting architectural feature exists. If you have a permanent patio cover or pergola, or even a gazebo in your yard, it will provide you with a foolproof way to add some overhead lighting to the most popular social spots in your yard. You can also add lighting strips on hand rails, run them under the edges of stairs, under-light a raised deck or planter boxes, or place them around the edges of counters on your outdoor bar or kitchen cooktop. Consider placement that isn’t necessarily obvious for a unique and wow-worthy display of light.

Highlight Landscaping

While rope lights are ideal for winding up tree trunks and around branches during the holiday season (or any time of year, really), there are also plenty of ways to use LED strip lights to put your landscaping on display and add some much-needed illumination to traditionally dim areas of your yard. For example, you could place strip lights around the borders of planting beds in your yard or use them to delineate landscape and hardscape (i.e. separate lawn areas from patios, decks, and walkways). If you’re going for something more organic and ethereal, consider winding strip lighting through tall grasses, shrubbery, or flower beds. You needn’t necessarily stick to clean lines if the mood you want to create is more romantic, for example.

Get Creative

There’s so much you can do with LED strip lighting, so get creative with your party plans. You might, for example, drape rows of lighting strips across the top of a pergola and let the ends dangle off the side to create a waterfall of light. Do you want a central fire pit without all the smelly smoke? Drape strip lighting over logs for a golden glow, sans fire danger. Create a new spin on paper lanterns by stringing strip lights through them and then hanging the string along the side of the house (like popcorn strings on a Christmas tree). Create wire frames in circles, stars, hearts, or other shapes and run strip lights around them, then hang them from trees, mount them on your home or outbuildings, or lay them on open lawn space. LED strip lights are so versatile that you can really explore your creativity when it comes to brightening your backyard parties. Whether you decide to go the traditional route or get crafty, just make sure to purchase lighting products that are rated for outdoor use.

5 Ways You Can Use Rope Lights Indoors

If you’ve used rope lights in the past, then there’s a good chance you’ve strung them up in your backyard for parties or wound them around banisters and draped them over your mantel for the holidays. Have you ever wondered how to use rope lights indoors for everyday use? Most people rely on a variety of lighting options for different situations. You have bright, overhead lighting for practical purposes like cooking and cleaning.  Perhaps you rely on table lamps for more comfortable lounging activities like reading. You might have activity-specific lighting for working at a desk in your home office or putting on makeup. LED rope light options can also be used in a variety of ways indoors, for both practical and decorative purposes. You needn’t reserve this form of lighting for one month out of the year when the holidays roll around or for backyard summer shindigs. Here are a few creative rope light ideas you might want to try in your home.

1. Around Mirrors

Installing additional lighting fixtures around mirrors to enhance the brightness in your bathrooms, bedrooms, or other areas of the home can be pricy. If you need more lighting for utilitarian purposes like shaving or applying cosmetics, for example, think about running rope lighting around the perimeter of the mirror.  This will help brighten the space, bounce light, and add all the illumination you need. Even if you don’t necessarily require additional wattage for such practical purposes, you can still add rope lights around mirrors or backlight mirror casings for decorative effect. You can apply the same tactic to art or photos, as well as window and door frames, just for example.

2. On Stairs

Staircases provide more than just a way for people to move between upper and lower levels in a structure. They’re also an architectural feature, and one that you can draw attention to by running rope lighting along baseboards on the side of the staircase, under the lip of each stair, or even underneath a handrail. Rope lighting on staircases can serve a dual purpose, as well.  These lights can provide not only decorative appeal, but also a measure of safety. By hooking lighting up to motion sensors, you can ensure that family members and guests need not stumble up or down stairs in the dark.

3. Curtains of Light

Beaded curtains were once all the rage (and they still are for college students living off-campus). Lately, the style is to replace traditional doors in the home with sliding barn doors that take up less interior space. You might also consider the decorative appeal of using rope lighting to create curtains of light. You might not want to replace the bathroom door, for example, since privacy might be an issue. However, placing a waterfall of light between common rooms, like the dining room and living room (or other recreation and entertainment areas) could make for a unique form of illumination and separation of spaces. Another option is to weave rope lighting into canopies over beds or seating areas. Whether you merely add them to the top of the canopy in lieu of a ceiling light or you drape them down the back and sides of a piece of furniture, you can use lighting to spectacular effect.

4. In Display Cases

Display cases are meant to be seen, as are the items you place inside. Whether you’re using shelving to showcase your collectibles, volumes of literature, or dish ware, adding LED rope lights can help to emphasize the items you want to display, even while adding light to your interior spaces.

5. As Custom Wall Art

Some homeowners prefer to hang traditional, framed artwork and photos on their walls, whether they illuminate these pieces with strip lights or not. Others would rather think outside the box, and LED rope lights can add a beautiful and unique element to a number of different wall treatments. For example, you could attach them to the back of driftwood, stacked rocks, antlers, or even industrial finds like giant gears before hanging them on walls as a means of making your “artwork” stand out. You could also create custom cutouts from wood to mount on your walls and backlight these with rope lights. As an alternative, the lights themselves could become the art when you attach them to wiring to create shapes (hearts, stars, etc.) or spell words like family names or inspirational words or phrases. If you truly want to make your decor unique, this is the best way to create one-of-a-kind displays with rope lights.

5 Ways to Decorate Your Home With LED Strip Lights

Most people have seen LED strip lights used under eaves and kitchen cabinets as an easy and attractive way to add illumination to a space. What you might not realize is just how many applications there are for strip lighting in the home, or how creative you can get with this unique light source. Here are a few fun and functional ways to decorate your home with LED strip lights.

1. Plant Shelves and Other Display Areas

You know those virtually unused nooks and crannies in your house, like the tiny space above your kitchen cabinets?  You could always put plants up there – if only you didn’t have to climb a ladder to water them. Why not place an LED rope light or strip lighting up there as a way to display some decorative flair, add ambient illumination, and create a whole new atmosphere? You can also place strip lighting in other display areas like shelves or cubbies throughout your home. Whether you have open bookshelves and curio cabinets or your cupboards have glass panels in the doors, you can add LED strip lights inside to highlight the objects within. You can either put your lighting on a switch of some sort or hook it up to a WiFi controller so that you can control lighting with your mobile phone. If you really want to have fun, trying hooking up lighting in different colors.  This way you can remotely set the mood with just a few taps and swipes on your smartphone or tablet.

2. Tables and Counters

One great way to add some unexpected flair to your decor is by adding under-lighting. You can certainly place LED strip lights under high cabinets to illuminate counter surfaces.  You can also use it under the edge of countertops, the lip of a bar, or even with tables and chairs in your home. This artful use of lighting lends a very cool vibe to any event you host.  You can add a more mellow, ambient light source instead of bright, overhead lighting or bulky table lamps.

3. Artwork

There are practically endless uses for strip lighting when it comes to home decorating.  One truly creative way to use it is to backlight artwork. You can place strips around the edges of picture frames or mirrors, for example.  Another option would be to create a backlit box and print pics on custom materials so that they come to life when lit from behind.

4. Closet Lighting

Some closets come decked out with a very attractive naked bulb. If your decorating tastes tend toward minimalism, you may appreciate this underwhelming style choice. In most cases, however, closets are devoid of even this most basic convenience.  This leaves you groping in the dark or relying on outside lighting to find what you’re looking for. LED strip lights provide an ideal solution to your problem, whether you put them on a switch or a motion sensor. Wouldn’t you love to open your closet door and find the space brightly illuminated, making your wardrobe (or alternately, linens, board games, or other items) appear in their full glory? Wouldn’t you like to have an easier time finding whatever you’re looking for? Strip lights can be both decorative and functional.  They can transform your closets from dark caverns into bright and beautiful storage space for your everyday items. Just make sure to seek out low-heat lighting options for the sake of safety (most LED products fit the bill).

5. Practical Lighting

There is a common misconception that strip lights are only for party pads, but this is patently untrue. LED strips lights can certainly be used for decorative purposes, but they also serve the practical function of providing illumination. As such, they have an excellent capacity to act as emergency lighting, or alternately, as nightlights. By attaching motion sensor technology to strip lighting placed along baseboards throughout the home, you can create custom nightlights that ensure you don’t stub your toes on furniture or step on the dog when you make your way to the bathroom at night or downstairs for a late-night snack. You can even put them in kids’ rooms for dim illumination that is bright enough to stop you from going bump in the night when you check on sleeping tots, yet dim enough to ensure that your little bundles of joy don’t wake up.