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  • Should I Buy LED Bathroom Lights or Just Replacement Lamps?

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    LED bathroom lights vs LED replacement bulbs

    If you’re planning a bathroom remodel, new electrical codes may force you to buy LED bathroom lights. As our population grows and demand for electricity increases, states like California, New York and Colorado are tightening the belt on residential electrical codes.

    So do you invest a couple hundred dollars in true LED bathroom lights? Or do you retrofit your old vanity lights and recessed lighting with LED replacement lamps?

    Bathroom Lighting Showdown – True LED vs. LED Replacement Lamps

    Modern bathroom with green and white tile backsplash and chrome and glass LED bath bar above mirror

    The Elin LED Bath Light in chrome with frosted glass consumes only 25W, compared to nearly 500W consumed by equivalent incandescent lamps. While the initial price is higher, your combined energy savings and rebates will eventually pay for itself.


    First, let’s compare the advantages of true LED fixtures vs. incandescent lights with LED bulbs:

    Table comparing LED bathroom lights with LED replacement bulbsTrue LED fixtures are the obvious winner when it comes to longevity and long term cost savings. But replacement LED lamps are a cheap workaround if you don’t mind the poorer light quality.

    Problem is, some states like California won’t even allow these LED lamps on certain permitted bathroom remodels.

    How to Save Money on LED Bathroom Lights

    Bronze LED wall light with bubbled glass shade

    The ET2 Volt Bronze LED Bath Light is UL Listed, one of the primary marks to look out for when applying for LED lighting rebates.


    If your state or county hasn’t already enacted stricter electrical codes, they will eventually. Luckily, there are a number of LED bathroom lights under $100.

    Another great way to save is through energy efficiency incentives, or rebates. While your specific energy provider will have different incentives, the basic steps for applying are:

    1. Find LED bathroom lights that are UL or ETL Listed. You’ll get bonus points if the fixtures are also Energy Star qualified.
    2. Find out who your energy provider is. Call them to find out if there are still funds available for this year’s residential lighting rebate program. These programs typically expire on December 31st, and renew in early February.
    3. Check your state’s Qualified LED Product List (search it on Google). Find out if your intended LED bathroom lights are listed there. If you keep coming up with no results, contact Euro Style Lighting to help you find qualified fixtures.
    4. Purchase the fixtures and keep the product specification sheets. You will need to attach these to your application.
    5. Purchase dimming switches for your vanity lights and ambient lighting. Dimmers will increase your overall energy saving score, which will increase your rebates!
    6. Install the fixtures according to all applicable local, state and national codes and ordinances. This can be difficult to do by yourself, so we advise you to hire a qualified electrician. LED fixtures must be installed and operational before you can apply for rebates.
    7. Fill out the energy rebates application, attach spec sheets, and submit it to your energy provider.
    8. Call your energy provider once every month to track the status of the application until it is approved.

    If you’re planning a bathroom remodel, do you plan to buy true LED bathroom lights or LED replacement lamps? How did you factor light quality, lifespan and energy savings into the equation? Post your solutions below!

    Image source: Euro Style Lighting

  • Powder Room Prep for Welcoming Guests

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    Transitional powder room with round gold mirror and single brass and glass sconce

    Powder room with modern mirror and wall sconce

    While the entryway is important for a first impression, the powder room comes in a close second... The idea of a powder room is mostly for entertaining and so guests have easy access to a restroom. Be sure to spend as much thought on your powder room as you do on your entryway!

    This powder room above is impressive from the floors to the ceiling, beginning with the floor tiles, the gorgeous mirror and finally the small but impressive wall sconce.

    Petite powder room with dark walls above wainscoting of white subway tile

    Tiny, modern powder room with dark wall

    Give your powder room a bold look with a dark wall, like this one above. The best part about dark walls?.... Your modern lighting will stand out even more!

    We also love the way the design of this tiny space is so efficient. Check out that tiny radiator.

    Powder rooms with graphic black and white wallpaper

    Modern powder room design with patterned wallpaper

    Give your powder room a splash of personality with fun wallcovering patterns. There are so many fun designs out there, whether you want to be bold, fun or elegant.

    Images from Amber Interiors, BHG, Simplified Bee, Dwell, My Domaine

  • Bathroom Lighting Tips

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    Beautiful contemporary crystal sconces flank a round, back-lit mirror

    When it comes to lighting a home, many people place great care in properly illuminating a kitchen or living room. What many people skip, however, is the bathroom.

    Making sure a bathroom is well-lit  is one of the most important things a homeowner can do. The ability to use a bathroom for grooming and applying makeup, as well as a relaxing bath or shower, is key. Achieving this balance can easily be done with the right bathroom lighting.

    Vanity lighting is the best way to get a well-lit bathroom. A bath bar, vanity light or pair of sconces placed on each side of the mirror will provide the best lighting for detailed tasks.

    5-light crystal bath bar in a contemporary bathroom with aqua mosaic tiled walls

    Vanity lights should be placed above the mirror or on either side. For vanity lighting on the sides of a mirror, mount the fixtures at least 28 inches apart and around 60 inches off of the floor to ensure the brightest parts of the lights are in line with your face.

    If you do not have space to install lights on either side of a mirror, be sure the fixture above the mirror doesn't extend past the edges to avoid casting shadows on the face. Mount bath bars at about 78 inches off the floor. Look for a vanity light that includes a shade for each bulb to minimize unflattering shadows. 

    The true color of our face, hair, makeup and clothes is best represented in the daylight, so this is the quality of light you’ll want to mimic in the bathroom. We love using striking crystal vanity lights because they create a filtered light that evenly brightens your face while adding a sophisticated touch to your bathroom.

    Crystal sconces on either side of a mirror give the bathroom a glamorous feel

    Consider adding dimmers to your fixtures so you can always create the perfect mood. Having flexibility in your lighting is important; you can have bright task lighting or a more relaxing, spa-like atmosphere with lower light.

    Ideal finishes for bathroom lighting are chrome, brushed nickel, or stainless steel, which do not corrode as easily as other finishes. This is key in a damp bathroom, and especially one with a Jacuzzi bathtub that generates a lot of steam.

    One of our favorite crystal vanity lights includes the energy efficient LED Keanna crystal bath light in a chrome finish, which adds drama and outstanding brilliance to your bathroom. Install this fixture over the mirror for bright, balanced light.

    Over the-mirror bath light featuring dangling crystals

    Another of our favorites is the Sydney wall sconce (Style #EU8M679) with a distinct Art Deco look. Placing one on either side of your vanity mirror will evenly light your face from the sides.

    Art Deco-style bathroom sconce with royal-cut dangling crystals


    With these tips, you can now light your bathroom like a pro! There are hundreds of beautiful bathroom fixtures to choose from, so browse our selection today.

    Images: Euro Style Lighting

  • Best Contemporary Vanity Lights for Putting on Makeup

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    Have you ever sashayed into the night feeling all radiant, only to freak out later when faced with a mirror, seeing an uncovered pimple or too much powder in the wrong places?

    Most likely, this was due to poor lighting around your vanity mirror. To fix this, you'll need new fixtures that enhance visibility, reduce harsh shadows, and lets your “true colors” shine through.

    Here are five fabulous contemporary vanity lights that do just that, along with a simple height and spacing guide.

    Top 5 Contemporary Vanity Lights for Applying Makeup

    The perfect makeup lighting produces soft effects and isn’t too bright. For this reason, we encourage you to pair your vanity lights with a dimming system. Dimming your vanity lamps while applying makeup actually helps you see clearer once your eyes adjust. And in most cases, dimming switches hook right up to your old wiring.

    Here’s our best-of list, compiled from staff and customer favorites:

     

    Modern bathroom with contemporary vanity light

    The most luminous part of a vanity light should be placed at eye-level, around 5’6” from the floor. The Sven Modern LED Bath Light is seen above in both horizontal and vertical positions over a vanity mirror.

    If you never want to change out a light bulb again, the Sven Brushed Nickel Modern LED Bath Light (EU5T757) is for you. It saves money, drawing only 22W for it’s high-CRI LED array. It produces about as much light as a 100W bulb, and you can dial down the intensity with a connected dimmer.

    While this bath light's Color Rendering Index is 90+ CRI (the lowest on this list), 80 CRI is actually considered high. The Color Rendering Index is related to the way objects appear under a light source. A low CRI makes objects appear unnatural, while a light with a high CRI allows an object's color to appear more realistic.


    Contemporary bathroom with bronze and translucent glass light fixture

    If you have a large mirror, look for vanity lights in 21”-25 lengths. The Midtown Bath Bar is just a hair under 24 inches. It’s also dimmable, so you can set the mood and light intensity as needed.

    If you want elegant soft light from head to decollete, long solutions like the transitional Midtown Bath Bar in bronze are a great choice. It uses two 100-CRI tungsten tubes (not included) with color so perfect you’ll never mistaken one foundation color for another. Best of all, it can mount vertically on either side of the mirror, or horizontal above the mirror.


    Contemporary nickel wall sconce by George Kovacs

    Contemporary vanity lights that use 75W-100W incandescent or halogen lamps are the best for applying makeup. Rated at 100 CRI, these lamps will not change how you perceive the color of your makeup. This modern bathroom light by George Kovacs in a nickel finish (EU80216) uses two 60W T10 tubes to create picture-perfect lighting.

    The above contemporary wall sconce by George Kovacs is another vertical / horizontal wall light that washes evenly over your face. Shorter than the Midtown Bath Bar, it also produces the same excellent color rendering. The twin opal glass tubes raise off the backplate, creating a soft halo around the fixture.


    Contemporary bathroom with concrete walls and crystal bathroom lighting fixture

    Halogen vanity lights like the Onida crystal glass bath light generate a brighter light than equivalent incandescent lamps, but have the same excellent color rendering properties.

    Want a brighter overhead fixture without the frosted glass look of most vanities? The unique Onida Crystal Glass Bath Light uses three warm white halogen lamps, shrouded by crystal beaded globes. The beads refract light, bouncing it into all directions, including dimples, brow lines and cheekbones.


    Industrial modern sconce in a bronze finish with seeded glass shade

    When mounting multiple fixtures like this industrial-style wall sconce with seeded glass, space each the center of each light source (the lamp) a minimum of 36" apart.

    A popular trend in design these days harkens back to simpler, more mechanical times – a return to the basics. The charm of the above industrial wall sconce in a bronze finish (EU6Y000) is that it looks kinda’ worn and water-spotted, and it’s warm light will make your skin glow. These sconces are great in multiples of two or three above the mirror, or on each side of two mirrors.

    Making It Work: Height, Spacing and Design Tips for Makeup Lighting

    If you (or a loved one you’ve “convinced”) wants to install vanity lighting, use these guidelines as a starting point:

    • Mount a pair of fixtures a minimum of 36" apart, about 18" from the center of the centerline of your sink or vanity. The spacing of wall lights is dependent on the size of your mirror.
    • The brightest part of the sconce should be at eye-level, approximately 60-66” off the floor.
    • If your mirror is enormous, consider larger wall lights between 19"-24".
    • Incandescent and halogen lamps between 75-100W produce the most flattering and true vision of yourself.
    • Never buy fluorescent vanities. They are too bright, make your teeth look yellow and create deep shadows under the eyes.
    • If two people of different heights share the mirror, long vertical lights provide the best face coverage.


    What styles of contemporary vanity lights are on your wish list? Have you recently installed makeup lighting, and if so, how did the installation go? We’d love to hear your 411.

    Image source: Euro Style Lighting

  • Stylish Kitchen Designs to Consider

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    All white kitchen with subway tile and patterned tile floors

    Patterned floors in a modern kitchen

    If you're like me, you always want to see the kitchen... Whether you're visiting the home of a friend, a house for sale or a fun home tour like I recently experienced in Pasadena, CA and Mexico City.

    Here are some fun kitchen ideas for your kitchen design...

    If you like things simple, but want to spice it up a bit, try some fun floors like this space above! The black pendant lighting adds a nice contrast to those colorful floors.

    Sleek contemporary black and white kitchen with floating shelves

    Black and white kitchen design

    The kitchen is like the quarterback of the house, it's the hub. While there so many functional responsibilities, it still needs to maintain the style of the rest of the home.

    If you like your home monochromatic and simple and want to keep it simple, try this black and white kitchen idea above. It's bold and welcoming at the same time. 

    Rustic kitchen with exposed wood beams and brick walls

    Mixed materials in the kitchen

    Take a stylish cue from this kitchen design above and mix up your materials! These parquet floors looks surprisingly awesome with those white brick walls.

    And why not throw some unpredictably large art up on the wall too?!

    Images from Planete Deco, Projekti Verkaranta, My Domaine

January, 2016