Mar 06, 14
Do you have boring, vacant wall space in your home? Have you been wanting to put your creativity and inner craftsman to the test but have had no idea where to start? Then you should definitely consider adding a personal touch to your home décor by creating your own unique LED rope light sign.
LED rope light is long-lasting and easy to configure into beautiful, loopy lettering. Plus, you can adjust the size of the letters to cover medium to large amounts of wall space that would otherwise require a large, expensive painting or various amounts of smaller artwork to fill. Spell out your family motto, an important value, or your child’s name and immediately alter the ambiance of any room to match it.
Here’s what you need:
Here’s how you do it:
- Once you have all your materials, plug your LED rope light into the wall to make sure it is working properly.
- Plan where you want to hang your word. Use a ruler, measuring stick, or other tool to draw a straight line where you want the bases of your letters to rest. (Keep in mind where the nearest outlet is and which end of the rope light you will plug into the outlet!)
- Configure the rope light into the word you want on the floor in front of your wall. Use weights to keep it your letters in position while you tape your letters in place.
- Attach your rope light word to the wall with more heavy duty tape, making sure the bottoms of your letters are touching the baseline you drew earlier. (Hint: You or your partner holds each letter in place while the other tapes it down.)
- After your word is taped to the wall, repeat the following steps for each letter:
- Choose a corner of the letter to start on.
- Remove the tape holding it to the wall. The other pieces of the letter that are taped to the wall should hold the majority of the letter in place.
- Remove the tape that was holding the letter in its shape and use zip ties to hold it together instead. If you opted to use an incandescent rope light, make sure all the tape is removed before leaving your word on for long periods of time.
- Visually gauge the places where you will need to attach your clips to the wall (usually where the tape was) and mark these places using chalk or a pencil.
- Place your clips into the proper positions and screw them in.
- Snap the rope light into the clips and pick another section of the letter to repeat the process until you finish your word.
- Once you’ve completed attaching your word to the wall, cut off any excess rope light that you don’t need (look closely at the cut marks on the rope light) and cap off the end of the rope.
- Plug in your LED rope light. Voilà! You’re done.
That’s it for this tutorial. Have you done any awesome DIY projects using ropelight? Tell us in the comments below or on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, or Pinterest!
Jan 29, 14
The man cave is a testosterone-laden haven for you and your buddies to retreat to. It’s a place to watch all kinds of sporting events or just a spot to have that quality “guy time”. Transforming your man cave from mediocre to the envy of your inner circle is easier than you think. With some well-placed lighting fixtures, you can turn your spot into “the” man caves of man caves.
TV Backlighting: Let’s say you’re having a Die Hard marathon. You’re a few hours into watching John McClane careen across Manhattan and blowing things up. Little by little, your eyes start to hurt. Before you know it, a full-on headache is distracting you from the action. The problem could be due to a lack of lighting affecting your depth perception. Simply put, the dimmer the lights, the harder it is for your eyes to differentiate between the television and the wall, putting a heavy strain on your eyes. Luckily, there’s an easy fix for this: TV backlighting. This can be accomplished by simply adding a few strips of LED tape light to the back of your TV. Not only will this increase your viewing time without getting headaches, but it’ll add a unique touch, making your TV “pop”, drawing attention to it.
Display Lighting: You’ve got a sweet collection of sports memorabilia, including an autographed Roger Staubach jersey, professionally framed and mounted in your man cave, along with an autographed picture of Michael Jordan sailing through the air to the basket. What’s the best way to display these gems? Well, one of the best ways is track lighting. Track lighting gives you the ability to light specific sections of your cave, bringing attention where you want it. Generally, the most popular type of bulb used in display lighting are MR16s. Keep in mind that the further away the bulb is from the object it’s lighting, the wider the beam angle needs to be.
Lutron Skylark S-600P-IV Ivory Dimmer
Dimmable Lights and Dimmers: Adding dimmable lights to your recessed can lights and dimmers gives you the freedom to switch from sports bar lighting to movie theater lighting, all at the push of a button. Not only do dimmable lights and dimmers give you more control for setting the right mood, they also save on electricity costs and extend the life of your bulbs. Keep in mind to make sure your bulbs and dimmers are compatible with each other before you buy them. Otherwise, the bulb may not dim correctly and may emit a buzzing sound.
Bar Backlighting: This is where you can really be creative. The beauty of rope light is that it can be used virtually anywhere. Create an inviting atmosphere by putting warm white rope light under the counters, or use blue rope light to outline your bar back, adding a cool, refined look. Perhaps line the shelves with red rope light, making your bottles come alive with a fiery glow. The possibilities are endless!
*Just because you don’t have a dedicated man cave, the tips above can apply to almost any room, including living or media rooms.
We’d love to see pictures of your man cave! Show us in the comments below or on Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, LinkedIn, or Pinterest!
Aug 02, 13
So you want to add under cabinet lighting to your kitchen, or perhaps add accent lighting to your deck or patio, but you’re not sure what kind of lighting to use, rope light or tape light. Both have their advantages, but which one works best for you?
Rope Light: Rope light is a great, versatile tool that’s used in many accent lighting applications. From adding a fun touch to your deck to adding a warm tone to restaurants, there’s not a whole lot you can’t do with rope light. While rope light offers tons of advantages, there’s a few things you should know. For starters, rope light can be tricky to maneuver in tight spaces (not to mention rope light can’t be bent at a 90-degree angle without breaking the wires inside) , and even the smallest diameter rope light can present challenges when it comes to concealment. Available in 12-volt, 24-volt, and 120-volt in LED and incandescent, these higher voltages give you the freedom to create virtually any lighting scheme you can imagine. With that being said, rope light can only be cut into certain sections, and the amount of these sections changes from size to size. Also, rope light gets hot, very hot, so this must be taken into consideration when deciding where to put your rope light. Rope light is generally more expensive, and it also does not offer the RGB (red, green, blue) option, therefore somewhat limiting your color options.
LED Tape Light
Tape Light: Tape light is sometimes called LED strip lights, and for a good reason. Tape light looks exactly the way it sounds: flat. The shape of tape light has some serious advantages. For one, due to its shape, it’s much easier to work with than rope light, and fits into tighter spaces much easier, too. Also, tape light is super easy to install, especially with L-shape connectors for 90-degree turns, since all you have to do is peel off the adhesive backing, and, that’s it. What’s more, LED tape light is cheaper than rope light and offers multiple colors, including RGB color changing tape light. So with all these positives, it certainly seems like tape lights don’t have many drawbacks. Well, there’s a couple, but the biggest is tape lights have a very limited run, 16-feet for a 24-volt strip to be exact. While this is perfect for those small projects, if you’re looking to light your whole kitchen, things could get messy because every section requires its own power source, and you’re going to be left with a wad of cables to power those sections.
Which is better? Well, neither one is outright better than the other. Both have their advantages over the other. However, both are suitable for damp locations, but they cannot be submerged. So the bottom line here is this: if you need to light 100 or so feet, rope light is the definite winner there, but if you’re looking to light small sections with quick, simple installation, then look at tape light.
Share your rope and tape light project pictures with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus!
Jun 21, 13
If you follow us on Facebook or Twitter (if you don’t then you definitely should), you’ll know that we wanted to hear your lighting questions. Well, you talked and we listened. Below, you’ll find a few questions that we picked and answered.
“What’s the safest and easiest way to install driveway lighting?” – Kelli Erholm
We sell hundreds of items to accent your driveway, from rope lights, to landscape bullets, even pathway lights. Want to add a little peace of mind with security lights? We sell those, too. How about adding a touch of sophistication and safety to the steps leading up to your house? Check out our step lights. Even though we provide an extensive amount of bulbs and fixtures at the best prices around, we do not install those bulbs or fixtures. For the safest and easiest way to install driveway lighting, seek the services of a lighting professional.
“Why does it take the energy efficient bulbs so long to get to their maximum lighting potential?” – Penny Jo Eishen Luna
Great question here, Penny. The answer is not such an easy one and is quite technical, actually. Let me first start by saying that LED (light emitting diode) bulbs have virtually no start up time, and the warm up time you speak of primarily exists within the realm of compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs. So why does it take CFLs so long to warm up? The short answer: it takes time for the electrical current to heat up the cathodes (filament) to their full brightness. It should be noted, however, that not all CFLs take a frustratingly long time to heat up. Take this 14-watt CFL bulb from TCP for example. This bulb features “insta brite” technology, which brings the bulb to its full brightness, well, instantly.
“Still looking for a cost-effective replacement (hopefully LED) for the 4-foot fluorescent ceiling fixtures.” – Daniel Meyer
Not really a question, but still interesting nonetheless. Well, Daniel, we will carry Plusrite LED replacement tubes to replace the 4-foot fluorescents you were asking about and expect these to arrive sometime in July. However, these aren’t meant for residential use and are recommended for professional installation only, as these bulbs can be dangerous if installed improperly and present challenges such as shunted vs. unshunted tombstones and ballast compatibility. Also, these lamps are directional and aim the light downward, so these are not direct replacements for some standard fluorescent fixtures. However, LED technology is progressing on a daily basis, so it shouldn’t be too long before there’s a residential LED tube.
“How can we realistically compare the color and brightness of CFLs in real world examples?” – Bobby Gwiazdzinski
Well, Bobby, the question you’re asking has to do mainly with color temperature and lumens, both of which are explained in detail in an earlier blog post. However, you would compare different CFLs by these qualities in two ways. First, color temperature. Bulbs with a color temperature of 2700K have a warm white color to them, similar to that of standard incandescents, while bulbs with a higher color temperature have a whiter light, like daylight. Secondly, lumens. The higher the lumen output of a bulb, the brighter the bulb. So as far as comparing is concerned, that’s really a matter of opinion. Find a few bulbs that you want to try, test them out, and see which you like best. If you’re using a 60-watt incandescent, check out this 13-watt CFL.
“How can you tell what kind of light output you get from a fluorescent bulb?” – Assunta Sue Nigro Galeno
Excellent question here, Assunta. If you’re talking about lumens, consider looking into purchasing this light meter. The light meter allows you to test the intensity of light coming from a bulb, which will help you determine if you have too much light or not enough. Now, this particular meter is used to measure the intensity of light coming from grow light reflectors, but it’ll still work for your purposes.
We thank you for submitting your questions. We enjoyed reading all of them and responding to them. If you have any more lighting questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to us on our Facebook, Twitter, or Google Plus accounts!
May 17, 13
As customers of 1000Bulbs.com, you applaud us on our amazing prices, outstanding customer service, and our wonderful products. At the same time, have you ever wondered if we use our own products? As consumers, you are probably curious as to what we use. Personally, I am a fan of the collegiate Christmas trees. Nothing represents you more than a Christmas tree featuring your university colors. Here are some other favorites of our staff at 1000Bulbs.com.
MaxLite 71211 Plug-and-Play LED Lightbar
Paul G., VP of Business Development
“I have recently remodeled my kitchen; the MaxLite 71211 plug-and-play LED lightbar is easy to install under cabinets and is completely connectable to additional units. I tested low profile fluorescent strips and rope light, and could not find a more pleasing solution aesthetically than the warm glow produced by these fixtures. I am enjoying even, ambient light on 30 feet of granite counter, approximately 4 feet wide, while using only about 24 watts. With LED life expectancy, I am sure this will be a maintenance-free selling feature when we finally decide to downsize.”
Satco S7303 G25 CFL
Beth H., Inventory Planner
“I have a 6-light vanity fixture over my bathroom mirror. It’s always dark, which makes doing hair and make-up challenging. I tried a few bulbs and nothing seemed to be bright enough. I finally found the Satco S7303 CFL bulb, and I absolutely love it! They start off kind of dim when first turned on, but they get brighter once they warm up. My eyeshadow colors, lipsticks & glosses look awesome under these lights. I have recommended these bulbs to friends and family and they love them, too.”
Blue LED Icicle Lights
Adrian L., Customer Service Representative
“For Christmas, I used these blue LED icicle lights on the inside of my windows. My son and I love the color blue, so I figured he would enjoy these draped around the house during the Christmas season. These lights are very bright and visible from a distance. We both truly enjoyed these lights and can’t wait until we can use them again next Christmas.”
Clear A19 Antique Light Bulb
Vivian C., Proactive Customer Service
“I used this antique A19 bulb to make a vintage reading lamp for my friend; it’s pretty bright! It gives off a warm output (240 lumens), but it seemed a bit brighter than the description given. I also used our brass wire cage to add to vintage look of the bulb itself. I loved it; it was the perfect bulb for my special project!”
Charity’s Palm Tree
Charity W., Account Manager
“I have used several of our products but I have to say rope light is one of my favorites. I created a palm tree on my fence with green and amber rope light. It is easy to shape into different figures and attaches to most any type of surface. The most popular size is 1/2-inch because you could find accessory pieces easier, but 3/8-inch is easier to mold into more intricate patterns. Either way you will get a nice light design.”
Benona K., HR Manager
“I like my cool white LED rope light. I have it installed underneath my kitchen cabinets. Since it is energy efficient, I leave it on all the time. It gives me extra light on my counter tops for preparing meals and it doubles as a night light when I feel the need for a midnight snack.”
What are some of your favorite products? Let us know in the comments section or send us a message on Facebook, Twitter, or Google Plus!