Tag Archives | lights

Aquarium Lighting Guide: The Basics of Light Selection

There are tons of aquarium lighting options out there, from bulbs, fixtures and hoods to light strips and tubes. The right lighting is an essential aspect not only to the aesthetics of the tank, but to the health and happiness of the fish as well. This basic aquarium lighting guide will give you some useful and unique ideas to help get you started on choosing the right lights.

aquarium lighting

Aquarium Lighting Selection

  • Incandescent Lights

Incandescent light fixtures have the cheapest initial cost, but you should avoid them for several reasons. They burn out faster than other types, so you will need to replace them more often. They use more electricity than other types and will unnecessarily drive up your power bill. Finally, they produce a lot of heat which interferes with the tank’s water temperature regulation. If you purchase a smaller starter aquarium kit it will likely come with an incandescent fixture. You can easily replace this fixture with a more efficient one that will cost you less in the long run.

  • Fluorescent Lights

Fluorescent fixtures are most commonly used for aquarium light settings. The fixtures and the bulbs are more expensive than incandescent ones, but you will not have to replace them as often and they cost less to run. Standard fluorescent lighting will get the job done for most any aquarium, but there are other types that are better suited for certain environments. Very high output (V.H.O.) fluorescent lights are great for large/tall tanks, reef aquarium lighting, or those with densely packed plant life. They produce as much as three times the amount of light as a standard fluorescent bulb. Power compact fluorescent lights are another option for plant and reef fanatics. They give off a little more light than V.H.O.s and some can fit into regular incandescent fixtures, just be careful not to exceed the fixture’s max wattage allowance.

  • Led Aquarium Lighting Guide

Using LED lighting to simulate moonlight is a captivating way to illuminate a tank at night without disrupting the routine of the fish. When done properly it can even stimulate more healthy growth and activity during the night time hours. Blue LED lighting with a spectrum of 470 nm to 480 nm is optimal for moonlight simulation. They create a soft blue glow that makes the tank look fantastic and you should see an improvement in vegetation growth with no difference in the energy level of the fish. Try having them come on about an hour before your day time lighting goes off and shut off around three or four in the morning.

For more on moon lighting have a look at our post: DIY Aquarium Moon Lighting To See The Fishes At Night

Fish alone do not need a particularly well-lit tank. In fact, most generally prefer just enough light to be able to tell the difference between day time and night time (and for you, enough to be able to adequately see the fish). Putting the lighting on a timer is the easiest way to provide them with the recommended 10 to 12 hours of light each day. Tanks with live anemones, corals, and/or plants crave more intense lighting and should receive around 12 to 14 hours of light per day.

image credits: Pete Brown

 

Related Posts:

LED Aquarium Lighting – The Perfect Lighting For All Aquatic Animals

The 3 Different Types of Garden Pond Lighting Ideas

 

0

Lights & Lights Room Guide: Baby Nursery Lighting Ideas

When it comes to baby nursery lighting ideas the same principles of lighting any room still apply: you want enough general ambient lighting to create a comfortable space and you’ll need task lights (like lamps) in specific areas of the room.

The Basics

Some basic and essential lights to include in a nursery are ceiling lights and table lamps. When it comes to ceiling lights in a nursery a popular choice are pendant lights. These bring the light closer down from the ceiling providing more localized lighting. They also help keep an intimate and cozy feeling in the room.

  • DIY Paper Lantern Map Light

Creative Vintage Map Paper Lantern

Have a look at our post here showing Allison’ DIY paper lamp, where she used an inexpensive, standard paper lantern, and glued cut out pieces of a map to create lovely pendant lighting for a nursery.

An instant pendant light from Home Decorators

  • Modern Nursery Lighting

Another popular ceiling lighting option, seen in many modern and newly built homes, are recessed lights. These are the types of lights that are fitted within the ceiling, hiding all the parts, creating a minimalistic look.

If you want to create a cozy feeling in the room, but don’t want to have pendant lights (which require special wiring) as they might not be suitable when your baby grows up, there is an alternative that merges recessed and pendant lights together. Pendant adapters are pendant lights that easily screw into a recessed light socket. So you can easily switch between the two types of lighting.

  • The Importance of Table Lamps

Table lamps are essential nursery lighting fixtures. Keep one on a side table near the crib. Use a low watt bulb so that you can keep the lighting at a low level even in the middle of night. Or another option is to install dimmer switches so you don’t blind yourself in the middle of the night if you haven’t already done so on the way to the nursery room.

nursery lighting

A table lamp sits conveniently next to the changing station

Floor lamps are also ideal in a nursery room, but will be best taken out once your little one has grown from a baby to a roaming toddler. As you don’t want them pulling at the light.

Night Lights

You don’t want your little baby to wake up in the middle of the night and be in complete darkness. A simple plug in wall night light helps babies be more at ease when they wake up at crazy hours. Or how about a more elaborate and modern night light like the Twilight Turtle that shines constellations onto the ceiling.

The Twilight Turtle night light

Decorative Baby Room Lighting Ideas

Here are two decorative nursery room lighting ideas:

  • White/Orange String Lights: They provide a soft glow of light and turn a room into an enchanting space. If you use LED ones (they give off less heat) you can even wrap them around in drapery creating diffused and whimsical lighting.
  • Chandelier Lighting: A mini chandelier in the middle of the room will create a magical centerpiece and focal point in the room.

image credits: Jon Page

 

Related Posts:

Nurturing Sleep With Children’s Wall Lights

Design Guide: Kids Bedroom Lighting Ideas

 

0

Design Guide: Barn Lighting Ideas from Decorative to Task Based

The Basics of Barn Lighting

Let’s first go over a few basic essential lights that are needed in a barn. Then we’ll go over more elaborate barn lighting ideas and designs, which include such things as uplights, string lights and skylights.

Inside

When it comes to the interior of the barn, you’ll need to be looking for lighting that brings light down from the ceiling. Pendant lights/hanging lights are the ideal light fixtures in doing this. There are a number of styles and fixtures that can be used for this, which we go over later. We also go over more decorative and tasked based barn lighting options.

Outside

The exterior of barn is also an important area to light for security, and safety – as it allows people to easily walk up to the barn at night. Ideas for the exterior of the barn include:

  • Path lighting up to the barn such as solar stake lights.

barn path lighting

  • For security measures, a motion sensor light can be fitted above the barn door that will go on when anything nearby moves.  
  • Wall lights are another idea for adding outdoor barn lighting: hanging lanterns, gooseneck lights, and wall sconces are a few light fixture types to consider.

Power Type

If you are starting from scratch, or are looking to do a lot of remodeling, then you’ll be able to choose the type of power your lights will be powered by. There are three choices here: low voltage lighting, high voltage, or solar powered.

Low voltage lighting is the most common type of outdoor lighting. Low voltage lighting is safer for outdoor lighting, it is cheaper to run, and the lights will be slightly dimmer as you can see with most people’s backyard lighting. This is done by connecting a transformer to the house’s main power supply, which lowers the voltage for the lights in and outside of the barn.

For a quick guide on low voltage lighting have a look at our post here: How To Install Low Voltage Outdoor Lighting In No Time

High voltage lighting is taking the electricity directly from the house’s main source and using it outdoors. If you are using the barn a lot and need proper lighting as you would in a house, then high voltage is ideal. You would want the barn to be completely weather proof just like a home. If you are using the barn to store things, and use it every now and again at night, then low voltage lighting would be best or even solar lighting.

Most people won’t have too many light fixtures in a barn (a few hanging lights, wall lights, etc.), so a few solar panels installed on the roof of the barn, or to the side of the barn will be able to power all of the lighting. It could even power other things in the barn (power outlets for tools, etc.).

Barn Lighting Ideas

Ambient Lighting

Here are some general barn lighting ideas:

  • A lot of barn designs are completely closed off, making them dark inside even during the day. If this is the case, then you can make great use of natural lighting. A few ways to do this include: installing windows, a skylight or solar tubes (a tube that goes from the top of the roof outside, to the inside of the barn bringing light in)
solar tube

A solar tube

natural barn lighting

A barn making great use of natural lighting during the day with large windows

  • Gooseneck lights are ideal as they stick out from the wall shining light across a larger area.
Gooseneck barn lights

Gooseneck barn lights from barnlightelectric.com

  • The poles of the barn can make great bases for light fixtures. Wall lanterns or sconces can be attached to them.

Decorative Lighting Ideas

For more decorative barn house lighting ideas try:

  • string lights String lights can be used for decorative lighting in a barn, wrapped around poles or overhead beams. They come in the standard small sized (like the common Christmas lights) light bulb (use white or yellow), or there are a range of decorative and elaborative versions like globe string lights.
barn lights

String lights wrapped around the poles and beams, branch lights, and ceiling uplights decoratively lighting up this barn

  • barn uplights Other decorative ideas include a grand wrought iron or rustic chandelier that can hang down and be a focal point within the barn. Uplights, pointed onto the walls and poles are common in decorating barn weddings, and can be used for everyday barn lighting. These same uplights can be placed overhead on the beams pointing onto the ceiling, adding more ambient lighting in the barn.
  • 2 simple decorative barn lighting options include using paper lanterns, and lighted twigs. Paper lanterns are inexpensive, and are lightweight so they are easy to install. They are popular in decorating barn weddings. Branch lights are branches stuck into a pot of sand or soil and wrapped in string lights.

Task Lighting

If you do any mechanical work in the barn or keep livestock, then you would want to have some specific task lighting within these areas. Low hanging florescent light strips are a popular choice as they cover a wide area, and are suitable in cold climates. Because of the white light they give off, they show true colors, allowing you to see the real color of paint, animal skin, etc.

A good thing to have around is a battery or solar powered lamp that you can carry around in the barn.

Resources: Styles and Barn Lighting Fixtures To Search For

Here are some styles and light fixture terms to keep in mind when searching for your barn lights:

  1. Bullet wall sconces
  2. CGU pendant lights
  3. Shallow bowl pendant lights
  4. Rustic lights
  5. Nautical styled lights work well in barns

A great place to buy barn lights is Barn Light Electric, or Amazon has a range of inexpensive light fixtures.

One Thing to Remember

The key to great lighting design is to layer the light, meaning, using different light fixtures to create different lighting effects. If you were to only use overhead florescent lights in the barn, you would create a monotone and dull look. Whereas if you were to use florescent light strips above the work areas, a few wall lanterns attached to the poles guiding people down the barn, 2-3 pendant lights to break up the space, and 2-3 uplights on walls/poles to add some accent lighting, you would create a more comfortable and well lit space, than the monotone barn with just the florescent lights.

image credits: Lauren, Sebastian

 

Related Posts:

Pathway Lighting Ideas

Home Outdoor Lighting Ideas

 

0

L&L LOOK BOOK: Creative Bamboo Lamps and Lighting Designs

Bamboo is a great material, it is flexible, durable, even water resistant, inexpensive, and a sustainable resource as it grows quickly compared to other types of woods. This makes it a unique material – allowing for creative bamboo lamps and light designs. Below are 4 concept light designs that incorporate bamboo into them. As they are concepts, these bamboo lights cannot be bought – but some are simple enough that they can be made at home.

Zhu Guang

bamboo floor lamp

The Zhu Guang, designed by Fanson Menq, is an elegant décor piece in the day and a beautiful light at night. It is an indoor bamboo floor lamp made from a single bamboo shoot. Half of the top half was sliced into strands which covers a thin CCFL light tube.

bamboo floor lamp

bamboo floor lamp

 

‘Flow’ – Sustainable Bamboo Light Fixtures

Flow bamboo wind lights

Flow was designed to provide sustainable and affordable lighting to 3rd world areas in Africa and South America. Designed by Ingendesign, Flow is a wind-powered light system made out of bamboo shoots. As the bamboo shoots get spun around by the wind, it powers a dynamo which generates electricity for a number of LED lights. Bamboo was chosen because it is a material that is inexpensive and an abundant resource in a lot of 3rd world areas.

Flow bamboo wind lights

Flow bamboo wind lights

Flow bamboo wind lights

 

The Modern Zen Garden

Bamboo Zen garden

Orivas of LED Emotionalize has designed a modern version of a Zen garden using bamboo as inspiration. The aluminum base supports the “bamboo” which is made from translucent acrylic. Made for the garden, it can also be used indoors as a room divider.

Bamboo Zen garden

 

Joy Bamboo Lamps

'Joy' Bamboo Light

A 'Joy' bamboo pendant light

Here are a few bamboo lamp shades designed by Blair Lewis using bamboo and handmade paper. The shapes were inspired from traditional Chinese art shapes to ocean yachts – you can find more designs here.

Joy Bamboo Light

A 'Joy' ceiling light

Joy Bamboo Lamp

A 'Joy" bamboo lamp shade

 

The Bamboo House, Vietnam

This next example is not a concept bamboo lamp, but the interior design of a Japanese restaurant in Hanoi, Vietnam. The restaurant uses bamboo in many of the decorative elements, including displaying their Sake bottles.

The bamboo has not been modified much to accommodate the bottles. They have been left in their natural state, making them elegant structures. A simple cutaway has been made to house the bottles. A light has then been fitted above the cut away to showcase the bottles – creating a wall of bamboo lighting.

Photos from Tom Hisano on Behance

Bamboo House Vietnam

Bamboo House Vietnam

 

Related Posts:

 

0

Lighting The Night With LED Skateboard Lights

There are a number of ways to light up a skateboard. As seen below there are LED risers, stick on pucks, light tape, the DIY route and buying a Photon Board which has lights imbedded in the deck. Most of these skateboard lights can easily be bought online. Check out the photos below and the links to the shops.

-

Skateboard LED Risers

Skateboard LED Risers

LED Lighted Risers

LED Risers in action

Skateboard Riser Lights

Xboard Illuminators LED Risers

LED Risers:

Just like normal risers, the LED versions fit above the trucks and will light the whole area around the skateboard.

 

LED Skate Wheels

Another skateboard lighting option is to buy wheels that have LED lights within them, like the ones from Skate Wheels:

Skateboard wheel lights

Skateboard puck lights Stick on Pucks

Stick on pucks are a simple and easy way of adding skateboard led lights.

Light Boards

A great way of having a skateboard with lights is to buy a board that has lights built into the deck. Photon Light Boards has a range of decks with a choice of 6 different colored LED lights. There is even a socket on the deck where you plug in the power adapter to charge the battery. Have a look at how it works in the video below.

Light Tape

In our post here Light Tape: Freedom in Lighting Design we highlighted the innovative lighting solution ‘Light Tape’. It is as thin as a credit card, can be cut, and is highly durable. It was the stuff that was used to make the suits in the latest TRON movie. So if you want to take on the project of adding your own skateboard lights head on over to their site. Have a look at what these biker guys did with Light Tape:

 

Related Posts:

Lighting Up The Seas: LED Lights and Surfing

 

0

Airplane Lighting Design: The Best Way of Preventing Jet Lag

It is well known that lighting plays a major role in maintaining the body clock. So onboard cabin lighting can help passengers in preventing jet lag. That is why airplanes are beginning to incorporate cabin lighting systems. The new Boeing 787 Dreamliner, which has just finished flight testing (Aug 2011) and will soon be used by airlines, has incorporated an LED system simulates daylight and a nighttime sky.

Boeing 787 Dreamliner

It is quite surprising it has taken this long for everyone else to jump onto cabin light therapy to help passengers, when Emirates Airlines has had this sort of airplane lighting since 2004 (read more about it here: Emirates: The Pioneers of Using Cabin Airplane Lights to Avoid Jet Lag).

LED lights allow for very slow fades, which simulates a more realistic sunrise and sunset onboard a plane. This slow fade allows passengers to fall asleep and wake up more naturally while on a flight – preventing jet lag. The lights are programmed to match the time of the destination, so when passengers arrive their body clocks will be more in sync and less tired.

Read our post for travel lights you can buy here: Light Therapy: Overcoming and Beating Jet Lag

Lighting is the main factor in battling jetlag, but there are a few other areas in which Boeing has redesigned to help passengers feel more refreshed when arriving at their destination.

Boeing 787 Dreamliner

Other ways of how to prevent jet lag and feel more relaxed onboard:

    • Cleaner air with better air filtration system
    • Higher levels of humidity
    • The pressure within the 787 plane is 6,000 feet instead of 8,000 which gives people onboard 10% more oxygen

source: Science Daily

 

Related Posts:

Modern Lighting: The iPad Meets A Jellyfish

 

0