See the Light: What is “Ambient Lighting” and What is “Task Lighting”?
You can probably guess the difference between “ambient” and “task” lighting just by thinking about their names: Ambient lighting (also known as general lighting) creates an ambiance, or a certain vibe. It offers an overall illumination of a space, provides visual comfort, and comes from sources like chandeliers, pendant lights, ceiling lights, or wall mount fixtures. Task lighting, on the other hand, is what you’ll want to have when you’re working—reading, cooking, etc. You can use accent, ambient, and task lighting in the same place, but make sure not to mix their functions--otherwise, it can become a bit disconnected.
Uplighting, Downlighting—All Around Confusing: How to Choose Light Direction
If you’re unsure about choosing light that glows upwards or illumination that glows downward, have no fear: you can do both. First, it’s best to understand the benefits of each, and the different functions uplight and downlight serve.
Generally, downlights are recessed lights in a ceiling that cast a perfectly ambient, welcoming light. They’re also versatile: Downlights can provide sufficient task lighting, so you’ll see them often in kitchens and other workspaces.
A Penchant for Pendants: How to Hang Pendant Lamps
Pendant lights don’t just illuminate a room—they add artistry to your space. So, how low should you go? When hanging pendant lights, keep these tips in mind:
- Consider the space itself, and opt for a lamp that best suits it. For example, for a modern space, opt for a sleek glass pendant.
- Consider the ceiling size, and choose the pendant that best fits it. A small pendant will get lost in a cavernous ceiling, while a large pendant can “take over” a smaller room—so choose accordingly.
- In the bedroom, installing pendant lights on each side of the bed is the best.
- Measure up:
-It’s recommended that pendant lights hang 55- to 70- centimeters above the kitchen bench top or island—measuring from the bottom of the pendant to the top of the bench top.
-In the dining room, pendants should hang 70- to 82 centimeters from the bottom of the pendant to the top of the table.
Count Me In: How Many Lights are Right?
Too bright, too dark—sometimes finding the “just right” feels all wrong. Luckily, we’ve got an easy formula for figuring out just how much light you need in any given room.
Know Your Place: How to Find Ideal Spots for Floor Lamps
You love your new FLOS lamp—so where should you put it?
If your lamp is to be used for tasks—such as reading—keep it close. Place it next to your favorite easy chair, or even by your bed in place of a reading light on your nightstand. Floor lamps provide great, direct light that’s comfortable to work by. Just make sure it’s fitted with a great shade, or the glare may bother you.
If you’re using your floor lamp to create soft indirect lighting—the kind you’d use in a bedroom, nursery, living room, or hallway—it's best to consider the space by “zone.” Consider if it will cast the most light where needed, and how you can place it so that it is in harmony with the rest of the room’s décor, accenting pieces you want the eye drawn to (such as artwork or a mantelpiece). Finally, make sure it is easy to access. (If you’re lighting a project that’s a new construction, make sure receptacles are installed close to all locations intended for floor lamps. Otherwise, you’re at the mercy of a web of extension cords.)
Tough Choices: How to Decide Between Pendants, Bar, or Side Lights
Before you decide which light is right, get to know them:
Pendant Lights: You’ll find these sweet stunners hanging from the ceilings in your favorite rooms—like the dining room, kitchen, and foyer. They’re versatile and offer an ambient glow that is also task-ready. Try them solo or with several in a row.
Bar Lights: For those who favor the more modern, Bar Lights offer an innovative style that is rooted in true utility. Sleek and cool with an industrial edge, Bar Lights are branching out: consider these lights in more modern kitchens, bathrooms, and bedrooms.
Side Lights: Don’t get it twisted, Side Lights don’t play second fiddle to any lamp: They are the main event. These featured favorites diffuse indirect lighting to create an intimate, soft, and relaxing atmosphere. They’re the perfect illumination for your most relaxing spaces.
Work It: Are Pendant Lights “Task” Lighting?
Sure, pendant lights look great—but can they pull their weight in a working environment? In a word, yes. Providing both ambient and direct light, pendant lights pull double duty in spaces like kitchens, where you’ll need the benefit of clear lighting when you’re dicing up dinner. When deciding on a pendant for your space, consider the room and your style: Versatile pendants look great solo, or can be added in a row for enhanced lighting and effect. Just make sure you opt for a pendant that has a lampshade, or you may find the glare bothersome.
Prep School: How to Find Creative Solutions for Food Prep Areas
Don’t go dicing in the dark—find the right light for your food prep areas and get ready to cook up a masterpiece.
Pendant lights are ideal in kitchen spaces: They offer the direct lighting that’s perfect for tasks, and they add an interesting element to your décor. Consider a large, breathtaking dome light or a row of smaller, sleeker pendants with clear glass shades.
LED lights are a “cool” option for the kitchen—literally. Because they don’t emit heat like other less efficient light sources, you can comfortably use them no matter how steamy your soufflé gets. Also, since LED fixtures are generally designed to be shatter-free, they can be a safer option. Consider lining the underside of your cabinets with efficient LED fixtures instead of fluorescent bulbs. (Bonus: Some LED lighting is equipped with dimming and color adjustment capabilities.)
Mixed lighting is a great option for kitchens—a mix of uplighting and downlighting from sources like wall sconces, pendants, and under-cabinet lighting allows you to customize lighting for your needs at any given moment.
Dirty Talk: How to Clean Pendant Lights
Dust, grease, spider webs: Even the cleanest homes accumulate grossness sometimes, and dusty, dirty pendant lights don’t just look bad, they work less efficiently and cast the wrong color on their surroundings. Here’s how to get them shining right and bright again:
Get Unplugged: Always unplug any electrical equipment before cleaning. For lights not connected to a receptacle, flipping the switch isn’t enough—you’ll need to disconnect the circuit breaker, too.
Baby Your Bulb: Remove any bulbs so they won’t sustain damage, and remove any shades while you’re at it (check the care manual of your lamp for instructions on removing shades and any pins, etc.)
Be Bookish: Check your FLOS manual for specific cleaning instructions, as each product’s care varies.
Raise Your Glass: How to Clean Glass Light Shades
Light—and any room it shines it—looks best coming from a clean source. Cleaning glass lampshades can feel tricky, but a few easy tips will keep you in the clear.
- Honor the Intricacies: Your glass shades are special and detailed, with delicate parts and exquisite elements—so don’t clean them the same way you would your favorite chipped coffee mug.
- Get Macro About Micro: Microfiber cloths are versatile, superior, and worth the investment—they clean carefully without scratching any surface.
- Be Water Wary: Don’t submerge the lampshade in soapy water, since you can potentially damage fine details and metallic parts.
- Be Factual About Fluids: Harsh fluids like ammonia, alcohol, and acidic cleaning agents can damage glass shades permanently. Instead, use furniture polish or lemon oil cleaning wax to preserve fine details.
- Spray Away: Never spray cleaners (even water) directly on the lampshade. Instead, spray your microfiber cloth and wipe the shade gently. Then, dry with a separate piece of microfiber.
- Bonus Tip: Stay safe by turning off your circuit breaker to avoid any electric shock.
The Right Light: What is Incandescent Lighting vs. LED
It’s about more than just a light bulb: Incandescent and LED offer different types of lighting performances—and each has benefits (and drawbacks) that are uniquely its own.
The hallmark of incandescent lighting is a warm white output with perfect color rendition. It matches the quality of daylight, which makes it perfect for illuminating decorative features or fine art. The traditional rounded bulbs also offer a design element within a light fixture. However, incandescent bulbs fall short on energy efficiency—using more than five times the energy of LED bulbs during a service life that’s generally less than 1,000 hours. In addition, they generate heat. If your space uses air conditioning, the extra heat released by the bulbs will increase the cooling load and your energy expenses.
LED lighting offers color performance that’s close to natural lighting, but unlike incandescent lighting, it cannot offer perfect color rendition. What it lacks in ambiance, however, it makes up for in efficiency: the average LED bulb saves over 80% power compared to an incandescent one, and lasts 25 times longer.
That’s Intense: What is Light Intensity and How is it Measured?
It’s soft from one angle and glaring from another—light intensity can seem tricky, but it’s really all about how you look at it.
Lighting intensity is the brightness of a light, specifically from a given direction. The brighter, or more intense, a light is, the more energy is present. Technically, light intensity is the rate at which energy from the light hits a surface. So, you may notice that intensity varies for the same light source based on where you’re standing, and on other spatial variations.
A highly specialized device called a goniophotometer measures intensity, and yes, that’s a real thing. Luckily, you won’t need your own to measure intensity—manufacturers supply lighting intensity curves along with their product specifications.
Support System: Why Secondary Lighting is Important
To understand secondary lighting, let’s have a primer on primary lighting.
Primary lighting refers to objects that produce their own light-- anything with a light bulb in it, regardless of type.
Secondary lighting refers to objects that reflect primary lighting. For example: Assume an architect uses only uplighting in a room. The downlighting effect is achieved through the reflection of the uplighting on the ceiling. The ceiling is your secondary lighting source. The point is, whenever you use the reflection of lighting on objects and surfaces, that is secondary lighting.
So why is secondary lighting so important? A room that’s lit only on the floor may feel cavernous or dark. In the example listed, the architect used the ceiling and walls as a secondary lighting source to illuminate the room overall.
Get Out: Why Exterior Lighting is Important
Exterior lighting doesn’t just look great (hello, curb appeal!)—it’s also really smart.
Homey Run: How to Create Hospitality Lighting that Works
It says it right in the name: the hospitality industry specializes in making guests feel comfortable, welcome, and, well, right at home.
What is Human Centric Lighting?
It sounds like the stuff of science fiction novels, but the idea behind Human Centric Lighting is simple: We need light for both visual and non-visual reasons.
Aren’t You Smart: How to Achieve Smart, Sustainable Lighting and Energy Savings
Here’s a light bulb moment: lighting your home in an artistic, functional, and stunning way doesn’t have to strain energy consumption (or your wallet).
Space Case: How Light Can Make Your Home More Spacious
Even the smallest rooms dream big—so show them the light!
Light is the best way to make a space seem bigger than it is. Maximize the availability of natural light by making any window a focal point of the room, and opt for light and neutral paints that won’t absorb the your glow.
Next, get tricky. Mirrors and other décor pieces can deflect and magnify light, so place them near to any light sources.
Next, look up. It’s important to light the whole room-- including the ceiling and walls--to avoid the “small cave” effect.
Finally, consider lights that pull double duty: artistic light patterns or luminous textiles, or LEDs that run under the counter or along flooring—all offering illumination without commandeering space.
Create Your Space: How to Light Personal Spaces
Lighting your space is a deeply personal experience that ultimately comes down to preference.
RV Lighting 101: How to Light Your Recreational Vehicle
When it comes to lighting your RV, you’ll need to consider a few things:
- Light fixtures. Older mobile homes will be more compatible with incandescent bulbs, which offer that golden-retro vibe but are far less efficient than LEDs. Consider updating your RV’s
- The need for versatility. Track lighting is a great way to offer a bit of light without illuminating your space (and giving a front row seat to the happenings inside to other drivers on a dark road). Dimmer switches allow you to customize central lighting based on your need and mood. Small, direct light fixtures allow riders to personalize their own use at any given time.
- Your outside space. If you’re setting up the grill (or just a place to chill) outside when you’re parked, a mounted light or track lighting will be essential to your experience.
- Outside light changes. Unlike a stationary home, an RV will need more or less light depending on the area it’s moving through. Consider light sensors that adjust accordingly, or different styles of light (including uplighting or downlighting) that will fit different light needs.
- Your taste. As with any other home, your light fixtures should reflect your taste and style. And RV is a unique home—your lighting should be equally so.
Commercial Lighting: Why It’s So Important
As with any space, commercial spaces need to set the right mood, and lighting is a key part of that.
Decorate Like a Pro: Experts Share Insight on How To Light Your Home
Beautiful lighting is as essential a part of your design plan as your wallpaper or flooring. When it’s done right, it feels like an integral, organic part of a space.
Find Your Focal Points: How to Design Around Areas of Interest
Some areas of interest in a room are easy to spot: That crackling fireplace, the huge picture window that looks out over the lake.
Benefits of Wireless Lighting Control and Contemporary Wireless Home Lights
Lights illuminate our surroundings and set the mood – but lights that stand on their own fascinate us. A soul reason, why we love gazing at the moon; and why we get captivated by the golden lights of fireflies. You may not have a firefly or moon at your bid or call, but a piece of art that stands on its own with celestial independence? Yes, that would be splendid. This is what the magic of contemporary lights does – it’s your little something that gleams of magnificence. Inspired by nature, they are designed to make life simple.
Here’s Why Wireless Lights Are Just Simply Irresistible
- Versatile – Adaptable according to your preference, you can carry wireless lights wherever you want. Wish to read while on a backpacking trip with no lights – let wireless lights be your knight in shining armor or may we say light in shining armor?
- Visually Pleasing – The magnificence of wireless lights will elevate the beauty of your room – it simply stands by itself, providing an aesthetic balance with maximum visual comfort.
- No Hassle of Wires – As you might expect, the primary purpose of designing a wireless light is to make lights independent of electricity. Once charged you don’t have to fathom about the electric cables, an obvious step-up in the world of innovation. So, the next time you’re nestled in the comfort of nature with your loved ones, don’t forget to carry some beautiful wireless lightings.
- Effortless – They cast a pool of direct light wherever they go – a small wireless portable lamp can instill the essence of minimalism and comfort. Moreover, you can even control the intensity of the light with just one click.
- Customizable – Personalize it according to your mood, taste, or event – you can even place the wireless lighting on the floor, on the table, next to your bed, or in your garden, to add that little “something.”
The right lighting can transform your space and add various colors and textures to the room. Contemporary lights can be a perfect choice to beautify your homes - Innovative, smart, and fresh, we often wonder how these lights work the way they do.
- Smart LED, or light-emitting diode lights connect to an internet hub or to a rechargeable battery that in turn can be connected to any mobile device or computer for power.
- These lights can be controlled from a centralized location, be it your computer or smartphone.
- Some wireless LED lights can even be connected to your device via bluetooth while others are stand-alone pieces that operate on their in-built programming to perform certain functions.
- The one thing they do have in common is that these aren’t just your average LED lights; they’re called smart for a reason. Marvelously energy efficient, these are the next generation lighting solutions, poised to transform your home in so many ways.
Breathing new life into the lighting systems with state-of-the-art technology, wireless lightings bring in an essence of customization, that suit your moods and needs –
- They can be dimmed: These dimmable LED smart lights can be operated via dimmer switches or your smart device with the associated app – Making a conducive environment for various activities, like reading, studying, or relaxing, while also helping you save energy.
- Cool down or warm up your space with color temperature control: Take dimming a step further with color temperature control. Whether you prefer a cooler light over a light blue or want to warm it up to a golden yellow – it’s all in your control now. Match the tone of your light with the occasion and even use it to compensate for the not-so-ideal wall color you’re not happy with.
- Wake up to some soothing light: With soft beams that get brighter and brighter, a wireless light alarm gently rouses you without waking up your spouse or baby. With just the click of a button, you can customize this experience and have a splendid morning every day!
Dimmable Lights: A Path to Efficient Lighting
Have you ever felt that your lights are too bright for a movie night or too dim for studying? Thanks to light dimmers, you can tone down your lights without switching them off completely. Whether you’re studying, or relaxing after a long day of work – dimmable lights let you alter the light settings to suit your mood.
What is a Light Dimmer?
Dimmers are devices that are connected to a light fixture to lower or increase the brightness of light. Or, in other words, a light dimmer lets you modulate the intensity of light depending on the purpose. You can set the mood and visual appearance of your space with the help of light dimmers – introduce different hues that blend with your interiors and encounter the magic. Modern dimmable lights can be very efficient when it comes to revamping your interiors or just altering the vibe of your space – whether office, living rooms, or your own bedroom. These lights are often renowned for their calming and romantically soothing effect.
Why Switch to Using Dimmable Lights?
- Set the Ambiance– Depending on your mood; you can alter the lightings – create a dramatic effect or a subtle romantic atmosphere. For example, soft lights are perfect for festive feasts in the dining area, bright lights are most favorable for active activities and you can further dim them to the desired glow.
- They Blend Like a Charm – Modern designer lights can blend with your interiors and often enhance the beauty of any space. These lights are also designed to serve as decorative ornaments for contemporary homes and offices.
- Personalized Control – Eyestrain and fatigue are often caused due to wrong lighting – with dimmable lights; you can control the intensity of your lighting décor.
- Eco-friendly – Dimmable lights are sustainable lighting options and help save energy by up to fifty percent.
How Should You Choose A Light Dimmer? Here are some light dimmer options:
- Single-Pole Dimmer- A single-pole dimmer is your all-in-one control switch – used for both switching on & off, and for dimming or brightening your house lights.
- Three-way or Four-way Dimmer- This setup includes one dimmer and two or more ON/OFF switches for multiple lights in your home at different locations.
- Plug-in Dimmer- A plug-in dimmer goes with dimmable table lamps, portable lighting devices, and small dimmable lights.
- Multi-location Dimmer- In this setup, multiple switches allow complete dimming control across various locations of your house. This kind of setup is also suitable for relatively bigger workspaces.
ADA Compliance Lights and Other Things - Complete Guide to ADA Compliant Lighting
Aesthetics are easy to put together in a space but what about marrying its ambiance with convenience and utility? This is just what the ADA compliance for lighting and fixture helps with – a perfectly lit-up space that is accessible to all.
What does “ADA Compliant” mean?
ADA stands for the Americans with Disabilities Act – it was passed in 1992 to eliminate discrimination against people with disabilities. Among other things, the ADA lays down construction standards that must be followed by architects, especially when designing and laying out a public space, which include lighting fixtures, doorways, ramps, steps, windows, sinks, etc.
Understanding ADA compliant lights
- While installing lights in buildings, contractors need to adhere to ADA standards.
- Wall sconces and wall lights need to comply with the universal design principles – light fixtures should be accessible to all individuals.
- ADA compliant lights have a thin profile that enables them to fit in aisles, passageways, hallways, bathrooms, and several other small spaces.
- Wall scones placed 27’ to 80’ inches above the floor cannot project out beyond these four inches into any hallway, walkway, or corridor.
- Additional wall scones need to stick tightly to the wall to help disabled individuals pass through passages without much hindrance.
What are ADA signs and where are they required?
ADA compliant signs are another significant part of ensuring that your building is ADA compliant – all public spaces and buildings are required to have these signs. Signs are typically placed near areas pertaining to safety, like elevators, stairs and fire exits, to prevent accidents and make spaces accessible to people with disabilities.
So why do lights have to be ADA compliant?
To accommodate an area for disabled persons. The ADA has laid down certain standards for how far out the fixtures can protrude and how high off the floor it should be fixed. For example, modern wall sconces that are ADA compliant would not extend beyond 4 inches from the wall. They would also be between 2 feet 4 inches and 6 feet 8 inches above the flooring of the room. In some cases, sconces that extend further than 4 inches can be mounted, provided they are fixed higher than 7 feet (84 inches) from the finished floor. These guidelines ensure that all fixtures are safe and provide maximum clearance. So, when designing public spaces, ADA compliant wall lighting is essential for making the area safe and accessible to everyone.
How will ADA compliance affect your lighting choices?
Adhering to ADA compliance when dealing with lights will automatically affect your buying options. Once you have your design in place, fixtures and faucets are next to follow. For instance, when selecting the right wall sconce for your space, you will have to ensure that you are buying the correct size i.e. not more than 4 inches in depth. You will have to pay close attention to ADA guidelines when choosing your product.
FLOS USA has designed a number of contemporary ADA compliant lights that are suitable for homes and offices. So, if you are looking to renovate, decorate for manufacturers that have a good reputation and can guarantee that their products meet ADA standards.
ADA compliance should be taken very seriously as it may pose an inconvenience or added cost to businesses later – a lawsuit or a hefty fine – which could hurt your reputation and in turn your business.
And regardless, wouldn’t you want your space to be accessible to everyone?
Find your Perfect Lampshade – A Comprehensive Guide
Choosing the right lampshade is all about – style, scale, support, and lamp base to ensure that it fits the right place and occasion. Your lampshade should not overwhelm the ambiance; it needs to sufficiently light up your surroundings while also serving as a piece of art. We’ve compiled a list of things you need to keep in mind while choosing the ideal lampshade – let’s go through them.
What are the different types of lampshades?
- Drum or cylinder-shaped lampshades – They will elongate and modernize any lamp with their classic cylindrical shape and a slight taper. The light through these shades spreads from top to bottom, leading to a diffused ambiance glow. If the cylinder is shallow, more light can escape through its edges. These shades are suitable for tabletops or seating areas.
- Empire or coolie lampshades – These shades give the lamp a sense of symmetry as they are perfectly proportionate. Empire shades emit less light from the top but more from the bottom, creating a wider spread. They go well with an urn-shaped base for a soft environment.
- Bell lampshades – Elegant and dramatic, bell lampshades have qualities of both a drum as well as a coolie lampshade. The top is constructed to emit focused light, whereas the bottom is quite spread out to give maximum diffusion. They are best for traditional home décor, and you can also pair them with curvy, rounded, as well as a petite lamp base.
- Hardbck vs. Softback lampshades – Hardback shades do not allow light to pass through the sides. They are made of either metal or plastic, making them easy to clean. These shades are ideal for reading areas that require more concentrated and bright light.
Softback shades are made from either paper or fabric that allow diffused light to pass through partially while still giving a focused light from top and bottom. Softback shades may require more maintenance for keeping the shape intact. You may also see the frame as a dark shadow or the glow of bulb prominently through the shade.
How do I choose the perfect lampshade?
Not sure how to choose your perfect lampshade? These tips may help –
- Purpose – Are you looking for a shade with focused light or diffused light? Former one may be suitable for study or living room whereas the latter may suit your bedroom. You may want a small lampshade for less spread or a large lampshade for a greater spread of light. Always select the color that suits the theme of your room.
- Placement – Will you place it on the floor or a table? Will you hang the light from the kitchen ceiling? If you place it on the floor, you may want to ensure that the light of the bulb does not hit your eye when you sit underneath.
Are lampshades interchangeable?
Yes, they are. However, consider the following things before changing –
- Size – It is calculated using width across the top, width across the bottom and height measured across the slant.
- Fitters – Ensure that your lamp has a spider/ harp fitter, clip-on fitter, or uno fitter. Spider fitter sits directly over the lamp’s harp (‘U’ shaped metal part that protects the bulb. Clip-on fitters attach directly to the bulb without the use of any other accessory. Uno fitters are secured by a threaded ring under the light bulb.
What are the lampshade materials and safety concerns?
The most common material includes :
- Fabric or paper
- Plastic, metal, or glass (tiffany)
Lampshades are built to be fire-resistant. However, synthetic or paper shades are susceptible to fire or discoloration when the lamp is hot. You may want to choose cotton fabric shade instead. Before buying, ensure that an inner material called styrene exists to protect the outer fabric from the heat of the bulb. Choose the bulb of adequate wattage to prevent overheating. Always try opting for an LED, instead of an incandescent bulb.
How to clean lampshades? Cleaning lampshades depends on the material –
- Fabric shades can be cleaned by a soft sponge lamp cleaner or a vacuum cleaner with a soft brush attachment.
- Paper shades can be cleaned by using a dry microfiber towel.
- Plastic and metal shades can be cleaned by damp cloth and detergent.
Browse the designer lamps that you must have to light up your space the way you want.