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Trends in Lighting for Home and Business
9/1/2015 1:55:00 AM  

We’ve come a long way in lighting—both at home and in commercial spaces. Interior designers and homeowners alike need to be more knowledgeable than ever when choosing the ideal combination of lighting fixtures for home, office, or business. Artificial light in homes began with one glaring, bare incandescent bulb hung from a cord in late 19th century rooms. Today, bulbs are flat, round, tiny, or long, using an array of technologies that deliver different degrees of illumination and color spectrum.1  

Two overriding concerns in lighting planning are energy efficiency and cost. Energy-efficient lighting may include LED (light-emitting diodes), which consumes the least, or the less expensive CFL (standard compact fluorescent), which remains in wide use for institutional and office commercial spaces requiring lengthy fixtures for ambient light. 

A well-lit space depends on blending layers of light at different levels, to achieve the right balance and mood. Here’s a brief primer on the basic elements of layering needed to achieve a good lighting mix, in order of importance:1

1—Ambient or general lighting illuminates the overall room or space, often relying on ceiling fixtures.

2—Task lighting focuses more narrowly and intensely on an area set aside for a specific function. Pendant lights and directional spots are good examples of task lighting.

3—Accent lighting highlights a particular object, such as a painting or a work of art. It may take the form of a recessed spotlight or track lighting that can be directed onto an item below, or uplighting from recessed floor spots.

Using this layering technique is a way of blending lighting into the three dimensions of a room. Install lights in the ceiling, recessed into the floor, or in walls. You’ll be amazed at the impact a properly balanced lighting scheme will have on the feeling and mood in any room. A space that generates such a sense of balance and well-being is a space that will be used, while a room that is gloomy or under-illuminated will be overlooked or nearly abandoned.2

Lumens vs. Wattage

Once upon a time, everyone used incandescent light bulbs. You chose the bulb primarily by checking the amount of watts on the label, indicating how much energy the bulb would use. Now, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission directs manufacturers to label each package with the level of brightness it puts out as measured in lumens, along with information about watts it consumes, warm or cool light it projects, and other factors. Choice may seem a bit more complicated, but each consumer is better informed, and the process of planning to scale up for lighting larger commercial spaces or homes is more efficient.

Getting in the Mood - Dimmers

Mood is important in every room of the home, and lighting is known to have a powerful effect on mood. Sometimes, full, bright artificial light is needed when accomplishing certain tasks in the kitchen or home office. At other times, the same room will be used for relaxation, perhaps reading by the fire, under a focused task light, with dimmed ambient light. A dimmer switch or a whole system with dimmability is highly practical, and allows the homeowner to maximize the way each space is used. Dimmers can be built into a new lighting plan or added to existing systems by most do-it-yourselfers.3 

The Trend toward LED Lighting – Homes and Retail Stores

LED lighting is gaining ground as the most energy-efficient option, a factor that will become ever more important in a changing energy environment. Using just milliwatts of power to produce the same illumination as the old incandescents (which required 75 watts or more in a typical table lamp), LED lights offer great savings for commercial as well as home use, especially as newer designs become available in more applications.

In retail store display, for example, LED lights produce significantly less heat, which saves on the need for cooling energy, reducing wear on products, and light fixtures.They feel cool to the touch and are virtually maintenance-free.

At the same time, proper lighting can directly influence sales results by creating an energetic—or, if appropriate, calming—mood. Using task display lighting puts the focus on specific products and shows them in a more … what else? ... attractive light. It all adds up to lower overhead costs, more motivation to buy, and, potentially, greater profits.4

As the technology continues to develop, so do the options for types of LED lighting fixtures—or total lack of fixtures. What was that? Yes, LED light bulbs are smaller, leading to new designs and fueling a trend toward light as a sculptural element without a visible source.5 Examples include strip lighting and small light bars, useful for under-cabinet kitchen lighting or downlighting along upper moldings in almost any part of the home. Softly colored strip lighting in a hallway or between glass shelving in a display case blends artistically into a lighting plan to enhance a room’s appeal. In effect, light becomes an architectural element that changes the way we think about furnishing and decorating the spaces in which we live and work.

Light Fixtures as Art – Retail and Institutional Spaces

Designers and artists have quickly responded to new technologies with innovative light fixtures that would have seemed inconceivable in the past. Many take advantage of the smaller, lighter LEDs that adapt to unpredictable shapes. A suspension lamp like the one pictured here, by Bocci Lighting and available through SwitchModern.com, sculpts glass, copper, and light together with living plants, to create an ethereal hanging that seems to pull electricity from the air. The piece takes three 1.8W LED bulbs, and could work equally well over a modern dining room table in a light, airy home, or as accent lighting in a beautiful retail store display.

The lobby of an elegant New York apartment building, or the entrance and grand staircase of a historic building in London (Canada House—pictured), could serve equally well as backdrop for the stunning, institutional scale light installation from the Bocci 57 series, pictured below. Again, LED lights, with their lightweight characteristics and the ability to combine multiple bulbs in one small fixture, no doubt helped inspire the realization of a project with so many intertwined parts, and the need to appear suspended in mid-air.6 The delicate lightness and very modern aesthetic contrast dramatically with the solid yet spacious neo-classical architecture.


1. http://www.hgtv.com/remodel/mechanical-systems/designing-a-home-lighting-plan

2. http://freshome.com/2012/02/10/how-to-transform-your-home-using-the-secrets-of-good-lighting/

3. http://www.realsimple.com/home-organizing/decorating/decorating-tips-techniques/interior-lighting/dimmers

4. http://retaillightinganddesign.com/importance-of-retail-store-lighting-it-increases-your-bottom-line/#

5. http://blog.americanlightingassoc.com/how-leds-are-transforming-home-interior-design/


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Categories: Events, Interior Design, Competitions
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Minotti wins Wallpaper* "Best Collection" Award
By Switch Modern
1/15/2013 10:03:00 AM  

The 2012/Collection coordinated by Rodolofo Dordoni and launced at last April's Salone del Mobile" furniture show in Milan has received the prestigious Wallpaper* Design Awards 2013 prize in the "Best Collection" category.  The award recognizes the innovation and consistency which set the Minotti brand apart.

Tags: Minotti, Wallpaper*, Best Collection
Categories: Trade Shows, News, Competitions
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Taj Wins Interior Design's Best of the Year Award
By Switch Modern
12/12/2012 9:40:00 AM  

On November 29, 2012, Interior Design awarded Kartell the Best of Year Award for Taj by Ferruccio Laviani. Interior Design selected Kartell for the prestigious product design award in the table lighting category.

Winners were chosen by editor-in-chief Cindy Allen and a jury of design leaders. Kartell's Taj will be featured in the December issue of Interior Design.

Interior Design's Best of Year Awards is a preeminent design competition recognizing superior interior design products and projects in more than 50 categories.

Tags: Kartell, Ferruccio Laviani, Taj Lamp, Awards
Categories: "Spotlight on Design", News, Competitions, Lighting
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Pantone Reveals 2013 Color of the Year
By Switch Modern
12/6/2012 3:19:00 PM  

December 6, 2012



ROOM Eager to Release Products Featuring 2013 COY: PANTONE 17-5641 Emerald 

Every December, Pantone carefully selects one color that will be the breakthrough color of the following year. Deciphering worldwide trends and forecasting the style of tomorrow, the color Emerald has just been selected by Pantone as the 2013 Color of the Year. ROOM COPENHAGEN has immediately embraced the sophisticated and luxurious green and created a stylish Cup Classic in the trendy color.

Inspired by the Emerald green, and following up on the huge success of the design collaboration between ROOM COPENHAGEN and Holscher Design in partnership with Pantone, the new cup classic now gives you the opportunity be first on the new color trend.

KOP Classic - Pantone 2013 Color of the Year

The cup classic is swept in a soft PANTONE®-colored silicone waistband in the 2013 Color of the Year and the Emerald green lights up the whipped-cream white cup. And Pantone’s description of Emerald green makes it easy to understand why this is the 2013 Color of the Year:

“Emerald is the color of balance and harmony, enhancing one’s sense of well-being and inspiring insight and clarity.”

The cup classic is the first product from ROOM COPENHAGEN carrying the Color of the Year. More delightful design classics will follow soon.

# # #

Pantone and ROOM COPENHAGEN In partnership with Pantone, ROOM COPENHAGEN is continuously creating and developing a collection of colourful products under the PANTONE name, in line with the PANTONE color scheme. The design and product development are nurtured in close collaboration involving the ROOM COPENHAGEN design team, Pantone and the world-renowned Holscher Design studio.

PANTONE® and other Pantone trademarks are the property of Pantone LLC.


ROOM COPENHAGEN was founded in 2010 in Copenhagen, Denmark, with the goal of creating exciting, functional design that makes the world a more beautiful and fun place. Bound by strong aesthetics, a visionary view of design and unwillingness to compromise quality, ROOM COPENHAGEN interprets and develops the designs of internationally renowned brands into modern design classics for your life, world, and home. The company currently collaborates with The LEGO Group, PANTONE UNIVERSE and Paul Frank. ROOM COPENHAGEN is a spin-off from the Plast Team group renowned for designing and producing high-quality, functional homeware products for more than 25 years. Visit us at www.roomcph.com.

Tags: Pantone Color of the Year
Categories: "Spotlight on Design", News, Competitions
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Arper's Nuur Table System wins the "Dobry Wzor” (Good Design) award in Poland
By Switch Modern
11/2/2012 9:19:00 PM  

After being awarded the Compasso d'Oro in Italy, the Design Guild Mark and the Design Week Award in England, the Interior Innovation Award and the IF Product Design Award in Germany, Nuur recently won the important "Dobry Wzor" (Good Design) award.

The "Dobry Wzor" (Good Design) is an annual prize established and promoted by Instytut Wzornictwa Przemyslowego (the Institute of Industrial Design) in Warsaw, which has played an essential role in the design field in Poland for nearly 60 years. This award aims at promoting design as a tool of the innovation process and acknowledges the quality of products and services offered on the Polish market according to categories, ranging from household appliances, working environment, and forms of transport.

The nominated projects are evaluated by a jury composed of international experts belonging to different fields – such as industrial design, economics, education, research, graphics, and technology. The criteria adopted for selection are product quality, innovation rate, effectiveness for the Polish market and the added value generated from the adoption of such project.

We are in the process of uploading the product line to SwitchModern.com. If you are interested in learning more about the Nuur Table system, please contact us online or call us at (404)605-0196.

Tags: Arper, Nuur Table System
Categories: "Spotlight on Design", Manufacturers, News, Competitions
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"LifeEdited" Design Competition for a 420 s.f. Apartment
By Sara Hart
11/30/2010 8:59:00 AM  

Challenge: Design a jewel box of an ultra-low-footprint apartment in 420 square feet.

TreeHugger founder Graham Hill is trying to radically reduce his footprint and live happily with
less space, less stuff and less waste on less money, but with more design. He calls it "LifeEdited."

We need to have less stuff and live in smaller spaces, like the 420 square-foot apartment he will
renovate in 2011. With some design and technology magic, we think 420 square feet can allow for
working at home, space for two guests to stay over, a sit-down dinner for 12, lounge space for eight,
and maybe even a steam room.

You can help: Enter the LifeEdited design competition and win up to $70,000 in prizes and the
opportunity to design the apartment!

So we’re asking you to redesign a small space thinking about these core ideas:

  • transforming space - use one space for work, play, sleep, guests
  • digitize everything - photos, books, music
  • from ownership to access - think Netflix, Zipcar, Airbnb, etc.
  • only the essentials - cut down on extraneous stuff, leaving only what’s really necessary

Tags: Treehugger, LifeEdited, Graham Hill, design competition, interior design, SWITCHMODERN
Categories: Events, Interior Design, Competitions
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