Tag Archives | lights

L&L Design Guide: Stairwell Lighting Ideas – From Lip Lighting to Motion Controlled Lights

There are a number of stairwell lighting ideas to choose from. Some are simple, like attaching battery operated motion sensor lights to the wall, or using pendant light adapters to modify your ceiling lights. Other ideas require some work – like installing lights into the side wall of the stairs, or fitting lights to the underside of the stair lip.

One idea and the most elegant solution for stairwell lighting is to do under lip lighting. This is when you install lights right under the lip of the stairs. This can be done with LED rope lights or with more innovative lights like LightTape.

under lip staircase lighting

A second option would be to install lights recessed into the side wall of the staircase. The best way to do this is to have them professionally fitted and wired up. A simpler and faster option would be to use battery operated motion sensor lights that can be cheaply picked up from Amazon for around $10-$30. Simply stick them to the side walls of the stairs (Conserving Energy with Wireless Motion Sensor Lights and Adapters).

side lighting stairs

wireless stair lighting

Another way to add stair lighting is to take a look at the overhead lighting. Recessed lights are a modern lighting solution, and this would be good idea if you have low hanging ceilings. For high ceilings, pendant lights would be a better choice as these lights bring the light closer to the ground. You can easily convert normal ceiling light outlets into pendant lights by using pendant light adapters.

Instant Pendant Lights

Having lights installed into the front facing, vertical part of the step is ideal for outdoor stairs, but is not visually appealing lighting design for indoor stairs. Also look to avoid the runway effect. This is when you place lights on both sides of the staircase, at the same levels. The way to avoid this is to alternate the steps where the lights will be. For staircases you only really a wall light for every 3 of so steps.

The best way to light a stairwell, or any part of the home, is to use a variety of light fixtures (ie. stairwell lip lighting and overhead pendant lights). This creates more lighting layers, and avoids a monotone look that you would get from using just one type of light.

If you are a looking for more advance lighting options or are planning a major remodeling of your home, take a look at these two stairwell lighting ideas. First we have the side lights: lights are fitted into a small gap between the wall and the stairs, which provides soft indirect lighting (and also makes the staircase look like it is floating).

Side wall lighting

For those DIYers out there with some electronics skills, there are tutorials online on how to build motion sensor stairwell lighting. The lights will turn on as you approach the top or bottom of the stairs. In the video below you can see how the lights of each stairs light up gradually one by one. You can find a tutorial for this here.

image credits: property snaps


Moroccan Lighting: Exotic Home Style Decorating Guide, Ideas and DIY Projects

Known for its exotic culture and lavish style, Morocco uses traditional Arabian motifs in combination with elegant French styling for their décor. Spanish colonialism also influences Moroccan interiors. You can import this luxurious style to any home through Moroccan lighting and simple decorative pieces. A few simple changes can make any room an exotic Moroccan oasis.

Moroccan Style Lighting

What Makes Moroccan Lighting Unique:

      • The minaret is an onion shaped architectural element found atop many Turkish structures. This uniquely Arabian shape is used often in Moroccan style lighting.
      • Moroccan light fixtures mimic lanterns. Instead of cloth or paper shades which can be found in the Far East, metallic lanterns are used. This makes Moroccan lighting more decorative than conventional lamps and lamp stands.
      • Moroccan lights can be used to fill a space with color. Unlike Western decorative glass lampshades, which cover the top half of a light bulb, Moroccan light fixtures completely surround the light source. So when colored glass is used, the colors illuminate the whole room.

Moroccan Lighting Ideas

Moroccan light fixtures create a unique atmosphere in almost any living space. They are ideal for creating romantic or mood lighting:

      • They are ideal outdoors, in living rooms or in the bedrooms – areas that don’t require bright lights for doing tasks.
      • A few Moroccan styled table-top lanterns on a dresser or end table add mood lighting to any room.
      • To create a warm inviting entry way, welcome guests with shimmering hanging Moroccan lanterns.
      • For a home with a covered deck or patio, transport any outdoor living space to an exotic locale by hanging Moroccan fixtures above eating and drinking areas.

Have a look at the photos and the end of this post for more ideas on using Moroccan lighting around the home.

DIY Moroccan Lighting

Although Moroccan lighting is exotic and luxurious, it can still be affordable. People with an interest in DIY home-improvement can easily master a few techniques to create beautiful Moroccan lighting. This easy Design Sponge project lets you make exquisite Moroccan lanterns in an afternoon – link.

DIY Moroccan Lights To create a charming Moroccan pendant lamp at home, try out this Instructables project – link. The link provides a print-out stencil and instructions for recreating fabulous Moroccan décor using thick paper or thin plywood.

DIY Moroccan Pendant Light

Décor Elements to Go Along With Your Moroccan Style Lighting

Transform an entire space using a few exotic elements in combination with Moroccan lighting.  First, focus on shimmering textures. Highlight metallic pendant lights with beaded satin pillows or curtains. Remember organic curved decorative shapes emphasize the rounded minaret structure of Moroccan fixtures. Look for wooden furniture with round and curved elements instead of clean lines and right angles.

Moroccan decorations are plush and rich. Use oversize pillows instead of chairs for extra seating. To emphasize the richness of Moroccan décor accent a room with deep jewel tones such as navy blue, magenta, forest green and rust orange. A few minor changes can alter the entire feeling of one room instantly.

Photo Inspiration

moroccan wall lamp

A Moroccan wall lamp

moroccan home lighting

An entry using Moroccan style lighting

Moroccan Tea Lights

Moroccan Style Tea Light Holders

Moroccan floor lamp

A Moroccan style floor lamp

Moroccan wall lamp

Moroccan style outdoor lighting 

patio lighting


image credits: mendhak, Jon Olav, Badly Drawn Dad, Rebecca, Claire H, Fiona 


L&L Guide To Tropical Lighting and Home Décor Ideas

The best place to look for tropical lighting and décor inspiration is over on the island of Bali. Traditional Balinese homes follow the main design principle of bringing the outdoors indoors. So you see a lot of wide open indoor spaces, with large windows that open out to the outdoors. This principle can also be used when looking for tropical home décor ideas. Bringing the outdoors indoors is also done through using natural materials (wood, stone, greenery, flowers) when looking at light fixtures, furniture, and décor pieces.

tropical lights

Bright and Airy During The Day

When it comes to lighting, the first area to look into is natural lighting. This means opening up the house during the day by using large windows. Wooden blinds or bamboo shades can be used to add that tropical touch and privacy.

Creating That Cozy Tropical Night Feeling

When night falls, tropical homes become cozy and intimate places, a contrast to the open and airy space during the day. One reason for this is because of the lighting. Unlike modern homes that have lots of recessed lights that brightly light up the entire room, tropical homes use lights that are closer to the ground (which creates this intimate feeling). A lot of the tropical home in Bali won’t be using ceiling lights, as most ceilings are bare roofs made out of wood and are decorative structures. Instead, these homes will make use of wall lights such as sconces or wall washers, and floor or table lamps. If they do happen to use ceiling lights, they are generally pendant lights or hanging lanterns.

tropical home

When looking for tropical lighting fixtures, lights that are made of natural materials will work best. For example, lamps that have a wooden or stone base, or a wooden lamp shade, or even just a lamp shade that has a wooden frame but uses fabric to cover it up. The same design style also works when looking for tropical lights for the ceilings, walls or for outdoor lighting.

Accent Lighting: Highlighting Your Tropical Decor

You can use lighting to highlight certain objects or areas within a room to create focal points and showcase the tropical style you’ve built.

    • Indoor house plants can have little display lamps shined onto them. If you place the lamp below the plant and shine it against a wall, it will cast unique shadows across the room.
    •  You can highlight a table of wooden or stone sculptures with light.
    • Downlights can shine down onto a textured stone or wooden wall or onto a tropical wall decor piece.
    • Another décor piece to have is a water feature of some sort – adding another natural element to a home. This can be a simple plug in bamboo fountain. Whatever it is, this water feature can also be highlighted by lighting it up.

topical living room

Color Scheme and Other Tropical Décor Ideas

The dominant colors in a tropically styled home are browns (wooden furniture, sculptures, wall carvings, etc.), greens (plants) and whites (furniture cushions, bed sheets, etc). Flowers are what add splashes of color to these spaces.

tropical room

Here are some other interior design ideas:

Tropical Furniture: Wicker or rattan pieces are ideal as they are lightweight and airy. Teak is another type of furniture that will fit into a tropical styled home – and as it can be waterproofed, you can find furniture pieces, like a shower bench, that can be placed in the bathroom.

Bamboo is another great natural material to include in your tropical interior design. Bamboo furniture, mats, or picture frames are some simple ideas.

Other Décor Pieces: Wooden or stone bowls can be used to group clutter on a coffee table or they can be used as bathroom décor pieces like as soap dishes, etc. There are also wooden or stone vases that can be used to house flowers which add a splash of color to any room.

Going Outdoors

An outdoor space can be turned into one of the most intimate and secluded areas of the home. When it comes to lighting, you want to keep it low down and somewhat dim. Fire based lighting works best: candles, lanterns, fire bowls or tiki torches. Click here for other outdoor lighting ideas.

image credits: CameronBrandon, C.K. 2 


L&L Design Guide: Home Mood Lighting Ideas

Light has a powerful effect on people – bright areas can energize the mind while dim lights can be cozy and romantic. Cool colored lights (blue and purple) are calm and relaxing, while warm lights (orange and yellow) invigorate. Instead of spending a lot of money on paint and furniture to transform a space, try the following home mood lighting ideas.

mood lighting ideas

Create a relaxing space by avoiding overhead lighting. Instead, use table or floor lamps to illuminate a room. You can use light to focus attention on relaxing spaces. For example, a backlit headboard emphasizes rest by highlighting the bed. In a similar fashion, placing two table lamps or sconces on either side of a bed frame accent the room’s purpose. For a dramatic and tranquil effect, back-light nightstands using recessed colored lighting. Blue or cool colored lights can create accent walls without painting or wallpaper. Lighting can promote a relaxing atmosphere in a bedroom. However, mood lighting ideas can be used in other areas of the home as well.

For pictures and romantic ideas head on over to this post: L&L Guide on Romantic Lighting Ideas: From the Bedroom to the Outdoors

    • Highlighting sculptural elements or indoor plants creates an intriguing play of light and shadows in a romantic space. Low light in combination with graphic shadows, evoke elements of mystery and intimacy.
    • Paper lanterns serve a dual purpose, functioning as both a light source and sculptural focal point.

For a similar effect in a living room, use lights to draw attention to bookshelves or paintings. Light fixtures designed to hang over a picture can be used to light a room and highlight artistic focal points. Combining low lights with dramatic focal points creates a tranquil and relaxing living area. The calm mood is perfect for reading, enjoying drinks, or soft conversation.

Bathroom Mood Lighting

The bathroom is a great place to use romantic mood lighting. Candles are one way to create a romantic atmosphere.  Candles can be used to line the lip of a bath tub or a bathroom vanity. Alternatively, led candles or free-standing lights create an intimate atmosphere as well as actual flame.

Going Outdoors

Mood lighting is not only for indoor spaces. Porches, decks and patios can also benefit from a few well place mood lighting ideas. For example, lighting bright tiki torches at each corner of a patio can add drama and excitement to an outdoor space. String-lights can create a magical atmosphere over an outdoor deck or eating area.

Remember, lighting has a powerful effect on the human mind. Mood lighting ideas can transform a space for little or no extra coast.  Demonstrate originality and style by using spotlights to highlight art, plants or other focal points. Backlighting specific elements in a room can emphasize the room’s purpose while adding interest and drama to an otherwise blank wall. A few well place light fixtures can add drama or tranquility to a space.

image credits: Mayce Hodges

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Eye-Catching Walk In Closet DIY Lighting Ideas

walk in closet lighting A deep walk in wonderland of a closet deserves the perfect lighting conditions. Keeping both aesthetics and functionality in mind, these walk in closet DIY lighting ideas will help you create the ultimate closet space. If this is a shared closet, now is a great time to go ahead and warn the other user that (s)he may have to drag you out of it even after the project is finished.

The Layout

Think outside of just a single ceiling fixture. Any shelving in the top of the closet will block the light from reaching lower areas of the closet if the light is only coming from one location.

The simplest way to get adequate lighting without going over the top is to have recessed or flush mount overhead lights and add display lights as needed depending on the size and layout of your closet. You can have fitted, mounted, or recessed under-shelf lighting that will light up those areas that the overhead light has difficulty reaching. Then, if it is a small closet space you wire the whole setup to an automatic door jamb switch that turns the lights on and off when you open and close the closet door(s).

Remodeling Cost Guide: How Much To Install Recessed Lighting

Battery Powered DIY Walk In Closet Ideas

Fitted, hard-wired, permanent light fixtures add subtle luxuriousness to the closet and even to the bedroom as a whole. However battery-powered LED lighting is a fairly inexpensive way to lighten up your closet and it takes absolutely zero know-how to install. There are several LED options: light strips/flutes, motion-sensitive pucks, tap pucks, and track lighting. Light strips and flutes feature a strip with battery-powered lights. Pucks can be motion-sensitive (which come on when you reach near them) or touch-sensitive (which come on with a tap of your finger). Track lighting is similar to strips/flutes, but it has the added advantage of being able to angle each light separately. One set of track lighting can brighten multiple areas.

walk in closet lights

Railing Lighting

There are also railings that come with LED lights pre-fitted and installed right into the underside of the rail. They are costly, rare, and you do not even want to think about what a pain it would be when the lights finally burn out. However, affixing LED strips to your regular closet railing could be a worthy DIY project.

closet railing lighting

LED closet railing lighting by Winona Lighting

Large Closets

Larger more elaborate walk in closets can handle the same types of fixtures you may use in other rooms. Pendant lighting is great for closets with high ceilings, or a majestic mini chandelier can add an unexpected focal point of elegance to an otherwise undecorated area.

For more ideas and pictures have a look at our post here: Guide to Closet Lighting Ideas: Fixtures, Ikea and Wireless Options 



Color Your Rooms With The Philips Mood Light Collection

Philips Mood Lighting With mood lights you can light the room with yellow sunshine when it grey outside, or paint the walls with a leafy green light to create a nature like setting. A popular choice is the Philips mood light collection.

Philips LivingColors LED Mood Light

The favorite out of the collection is their LivingColors LED Mood Light Lamp. It can produce up to 16 million different shades of colors, by scrolling the color wheel on the remote control. With the remote you can also control the brightness and saturation of the light. It is powered by 7 LED lights and has 2 light settings: 1) your color choice or 2) automatic mode where the lamp fades through the colors. The lamp has a modern design – a translucent sphere, and the cone shape interior design draws heat away from the LEDs allowing it to last longer.

You can also find this same Philips LED mood light design as a wall light, ceiling light and floor lamp. Here is an example of it as a ceiling light. The same features apply to the LED Lamp above – changing colors, remote control, etc.

Philips LivingColors Ceiling Light

Philips LivingColors Ceiling Light

There is a cone shaped version of the light too, named Conic

Philips Conic Mood Lamp

Philips Conic Mood Lamp

You can find both the ceiling light and the Conic mood lamp at the Philips UK Amazon Store.

LED Flowers

Here is something different: a color changing vase. The Philips LUMIWARE Vase has 8 light colors to choose from, or can be set onto a continuous loop to cycle through all of the colors. You have the option to plug it in or make use of the battery power which lasts up to 12 hours. It is waterproof so you can fill it up with water and it works outdoors too.

Philips Lumiware LED Vase

Philips Lumiware LED Vase

Philips LED Table Lanterns

Lastly we have the Philips Imageo which are LED color changing table lanterns. It is cheapest out of all of the Philips mood lights, at $44. It comes as a set of two, and they can be plugged into the base station or taken around as lanterns as they are also battery powered. They make for great kids night light, which they can also take to the bathroom in the middle of the night as most kids won’t be able to reach the light switch.

Philips Imageo LED Lamps

Philips Imageo LED Lamps

You can buy the Philips LED Vase and Imageo Lanterns here

A great alternative to a complete mood lamp is to use these remote control light bulbs that you can plug into a normal light socket.

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