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  • Understanding Modern LED Lighting: Behind Numbers + Names

    Modern LED Lighting

    Image from Bjorn Sorensen

    Modern LED lighting can seem very complex. There's a litany of numbers and names to understand: color temperatures, lumens, and watts.

    On the other hand, understanding modern LED lights can also be very simple: they either look good or they don't.

    understanding led lightsHoltkoetter, makers of the self-described "ultimate lighting machines," recently introduced a great looking LED swing arm floor lamp (pictured above and below). Featuring two lighting levels, this energy efficient design is as beautiful as it is functional. And it's also the perfect piece to help illustrate what all the LED numbers and names mean. 

    LED floor lamp

    First, let's look at the product literature:

    "Operated by a 2x dimmer switch, the lamp includes a mix of two 4 watt LEDs that put out 424 and 536 lumens, and have 3000K and 5000K color temperatures respectively."

    Now, let's take a closer look at the terms:

    The first general rule in lighting is more watts equals more light (and a subsequently bigger electrical bill). But not all bulb types produce the same brightness per watts used. So we look instead to lumens to get a sense of how bright a light is:

    lumens to watts chart

    Lumens is the light output, or measure of brightness of a given light. Because modern LED lights are so energy efficient, they require a much lower wattage to produce the same "brightness" or lumens as incandescent and CFL bulbs, as you see in the lumens-to-watts chart above. 

    Still following? Lastly, we look at the color quality of the light.

    For this we turn to color temperature. Measured in Kelvin (K), the lower the color temperature number, the "warmer" the light looks. Manufacturers will vary as to what they refer to as "warm", "daylight" and "bright white", so below is a simple LED color temperature chart to give you a sense of what color temperatures look like to the naked eye.

    led color temperature chart

    Image from Laura Cannon

    RECAP: Lumens measures the brightness, color temperature measures color, and wattage measures the amount of electricity used. So with that in mind, let's get back to the Holtkoetter floor lamp mentioned at the beginning of the post.

    With a satin nickel finish and versatile swing arm design, this sleek floor lamp meshes perfectly with most modern interiors, but what impresses us most is its multi-tone feature...its "mix of two 4 watt LEDS that put out 424 and 536 lumens, and have 3000K and 5000K color temperatures respectively."

    By applying what we learned above, we now know that the lamp provides both warm morning (3000K) light (424 lumens), and bright midday (5000K) light (536 lumens). And best of all, at much less than 10 watts, it uses very little electricity to do so.

    There are a lot of conflicting descriptions about LED lighting out there, but using the info above should serve as a general guide to help you make your next buying decision.

    Want to see more? Check out all the latest looks in LED lighting from Euro Style Lighting.

    Images: Bjorn SorensenLara Cannon on Pinterest 

  • Modern Home Design Tips from Jaime Derringer at Design Milk

    Modern Home Design

    Image from Casa Vogue

    Today, we are so happy to invite Jaime Derringer from Design Milk on our blog to share some of her modern home design tips!

    For those of you new to the blog world, Jaime Derringer is the founder and editor of Design Milk, an online magazine dedicated to modern design. The talent doesn't stop there, Jaime is also a great artist and poem-writer.

    Let's hear what she has to say about modern design....

    ESL: What are your go-to pieces for creating that contemporary home?

    JD: I always say go with what you love. Build a neutral base and build on top of that with more exciting bold decor and accent pieces. However, I would encourage one brave, unique choice, whether a standout chair, a creative chandelier, or a daring wallpaper pattern. Do something memorable.

    Modern Storage
    Image from Glitter Inc.

    ESL: What tricks/tips do you recommend for achieving a clean and modern look around the home?

    JD: Storage! Storage is my number one go-to. If you don’t have the right storage, often times, you end up with piles of things all over the place, which can make a space look messy. Cleanliness is the key to a modern space. The best way to figure out what kind of storage solutions you need is to live in a space first and see where messes and items seem to pile up over time. Then, you can determine the best solution for you; don’t buy unnecessary products—wait until you know what you need.

    You can also get some motion-sensor drawer and cabinet lighting to help you find what you’re looking for once you’ve stored everything away.

    ESL: What rules can be broken with lighting when it comes to a contemporary look?

    JD: I love oversized lighting. The bigger the better - I’d suggest doing something bold and dramatic with lighting even in small spaces.

    Modern Lighting

    Image from Casa Vogue

    Perhaps this Possini Euro Icicle Chandelier (left) or this crystal burst design with the Corbett Inertia Crystal Pendant Light (right). I like to turn on the bright lights.

    ESL: Where does your inspiration stem from? Any particular designer, architect or blogger?

    JD: I am all over the place. I love the creativity of Karim Rashid and the futuristic designs of Zaha Hadid, but also the classic modern designs from the Eameses, Wegner, and Aalto. I love an eclectic mix and I’m hoping to nail it in my new house!
    ESL: What are some ways in which you can get creative with lighting around the home?

    JD: Function first, but then form and fashion. Once you have all your functional areas lit, you can play with some mood lighting.

    Gallery Wall

    Image from From the Rigth Bank

    I especially like to light some of my artwork with picture lights, create a hallway gallery with spotlights and add special dimmers to make sure I can change the mood in an instant. Even indoor spotlights can light up a special corner and set a dramatic mood.

    House of Troy Picture Light

    Thanks for all the modern design insight Jaime!

    Don't forget to check out our "Bright Ideas from Design Milk" Pinterest board where Jaime continues to share ideas!...

    Images: House to Home, Glitter Inc., Casa Vogue, From the Right Bank

  • Modern Bedrooms With Monochrome Color Palettes

    Monochrome Color Palette

    Image from SF Girl by Bay

    I love the monochrome color palette trend. Especially when it comes to decorating a modern bedroom. It lends to a cool, relaxing environment and many times appeals to those with modern or minimalist taste.

    In fact, for a long time, I was under the impression that monochrome meant decorating in all black and white. And, I’m happy to report that I was misguided on this design trend. Monochrome is actually defined as, paintings, drawings or design in one color or shades of one color. Thus, the possibilities are endless.

    Retro Bedroom

    Images from SF Girl by Bay

    Decorating in a monochrome fashion is all about layering. Think of every detail from the paint color on the walls, to the shining modern lighting fixtures, blankets on the bed, the furniture, and even the small accessories. It’s all about the details.

    One of my favorite colors styled in a monochrome fashion is pink. I love the combination of both bold and mild shades mixed perfectly with pattern in the same hues.

    And, why not take two different colors and build upon them together?! The soft pastel combination of pink and yellow, below, is nothing short of dreamy.

    Modern Vintage Bedroom

    Image from David Cleveland

    Simple, yet elegant swing arm wall lights will add a subtle detail to any room, no matter the color palette...

    When going monochrome in your modern bedroom, don’t forget about pattern. I adore the idea of using patterned wallpaper as shown below. The layering of gray and patterns is stunning.

    Gray Bedroom

    Image from House to Home

    The great news is the monochrome color palette trend works for those that prefer a subtle black and white palette and for those that love bold colorful schemes and pattern.

    Images: SF Girl by Bay, David Cleveland, House to Home

  • Design Tips: Modern Nursery For Mom + Baby

    Modern Nursery

    1. Pick modern, white lighting for your walls and ceilings. White always looks modern and fresh and the whimsicality and playfulness can come from the shape of the light. I know my toddler would love that Lilypad Possini Euro Ceiling Light (below). She'd be mesmerized by all of the lights and point and smile in delight!

    2. Pick modern kids furniture with amorphous shapes. The amorphous silhouettes of the 1960's will retain their classic, cool for years to come. For example, an S-chair and tulip-base-table have design details with longevity. And to make good news even better, your toddler won't get any horrible bumps or bruises from the furniture's sleek round edges!

    Home Furnishings


    Zuo Drop Stool Red ABS Fiberglass Modern Chair, Zuo Modern White 33-Inch-H Set of 2 S-Chairs, Wilco Glossy Yellow Modern 22 3/4-Inch-H Zuo Side Table, Genie Brushed Pink 10-Inch-H Touch Desk Lamp, Kite White and Blue Ikat Fabric Throw Pillow, Jonathan Adler Lantern White Wall Sconce, Jonathan Adler Reform White Wall Sconce, Haley Steel Modern 19-Inch-H Table Lamp with Touch Switch, Mid-Century Modern Coral Linen 32-Inch-H Annabelle Chair

    3. Pick design objects that work like magic. The touch sensor lamps turn on and off with a simple touch. Your toddler will learn to turn it on and off easily and you can use the lamp as a teaching tool to teach your little-one to say words like 'on' and 'off'--and the style could easily be used as a desk lamp for kids and teens alike.

    4. Use accessories with classic patterns. Patterns like ikat will never go out-of-style and these throw pillows would add a lovely punch of pattern to any room, for kids and adults.

    5. Pick upholstered furniture. Upholstered furniture is great because it has padding to prevent injuries for clumsy toddlers, and if it has classic lines, like this Mid-Century Modern Annabelle Chair (above), then you can always get it recovered years down the line and it can grow up with your family.

    Images: Modern Baby, Décor Pad, Alexis Lane

  • Building for Better Health in 2014

    building better health

    Image from Kristy B. on Pinterest

    Most of us resolve to be healthier in the new year...but few of us ever consider our homes and workplaces as part of the process of building better health. A recently developed certification system, however, called the WELL Building Standard system addresses 19 areas in which building design can positively impact our health.

    well building standard chart

    Image from Delos

    Mold. Cold. Lack of light during the day. Or too much light at night. We've been living at odds with our homes long enough and this system hopes to reverse that. 

    Some remedies have been around for awhile now, such as purified air and water systems. But just imagine: light that works with our circadian rhythms, aromatherapy and hydrotherapy, weight responsive and posture-supporting flooring and furniture, vitamin-infused showers...the list goes on. 

    Paul Scialla, founder of the WELL Building Standard, explains the rationale: "We’re taking the largest asset class in the world, real estate, and we’re infusing it with the growing industry of health and wellness. People are spending money on preventative medicine and alternative healing. We felt that if we could properly codify a standard to work toward those intentions of infusing health and preventative medical practices into four walls and a roof, people will pay for it."

    Granted, this visionary system primarily addresses new construction, but that shouldn't stop us all from thinking about how we can implement changes in our existing homes. Just a few changes can have a positive impact:

    home improvements for well-being

    Jenne Blue Wool Throw BlanketSalt Crystal Stone and Hardwood Accent LampBuddha Face Lighted Wall FountainSleek Circle Nickel Bathroom Fan with Light, Verilux Sunshine Supplement Light

    When shopping for modern bathroom light fixtures, consider one with exhaust fans to help keep the room free of mold and mildew. Gurgling fountains can add a sense of calm and well-being. Verilux sunshine supplement lights provide vitamin-D for the short, dark winter days. And a throw blanket and warm Himalayan salt stone night light creates the perfect mood for settling in at the end of the day. 

    Simple things like these can go a long way towards making the home a healthy place to be in 2014.

    Images: Kristy B.Delos

December, 2013