“Man Cave” Lighting for Father’s Day

Jun 01, 12 “Man Cave” Lighting for Father’s Day

Father’s Day may be just two weeks away, but you still have time to make it a special one. This year, instead of buying Dad another ugly tie, ask yourself one important question: What does your dad treasure more than anything in the world?

If you guessed his car, you’re wrong. He only bought the Camry because your mom said it was a good idea. His beer fridge? That’s close, but still wrong. No, what your dad treasures above all things is his TV. Think about it. He spends more time in a month watching his TV than he did watching all of your T-ball games put together.

Now, you may be asking yourself how can you make your dad’s TV better than it already is. How, you might ask, can you improve on 1,080 vertical lines of beautiful, crystal-clear resolution? The answer is simple: Build a Man Cave around it.

For those who don’t know, a Man Cave is a dim, dusty lair where Dad (and perhaps a few honored friends) will spend the better part of the last half of his life. Though it’s filled with priceless sports memorabilia and the largest LED TV in the county, what will make Dad’s Man Cave the envy of all his friends and neighbors is cool lighting. A Man Cave without lighting, after all, is just a cave.

The first “layer” in Man Cave lighting is tape light and rope light. Rope light will work great in crown molding, behind a TV, or even contorted into the shape of a beer bottle, while tape light is ideal for the underside of a bar or a pool table. For color, pick out Dad’s favorite football team colors and simulate the effect of an NFL-themed dive bar. If Dad is more of a movie buff than a sports fan, use chasing rope light with a sound-activated controller to flash and strobe in sync with the explosions in Dad’s favorite Jerry Bruckheimer movie. Let poor taste be your guide!

Next, it’s time to get some work done with task lighting. Assuming your dad has a pool table in his Man Cave (as any self-respecting man should), you’ll need the right pool table light. Our island pendants, though intended for the kitchen, are just as good for billiards. It goes without saying that you should use antique light bulbs wherever possible, since they make cigar smoke look ten times better. Of course, if you don’t want cigar smoke (and other musty smells) permeating your entire home, you should also think about installing a Broan ventilation fan or two.

Finally, no room, even a Man Cave, is complete without accent lighting. Does your dad have a nice collection of framed football jerseys? What about faded Kathy Ireland posters? Make sure those priceless artifacts get the attention they deserve with picture lamps. Maybe even throw in a couple wall sconces to class the joint up. However, you simply must complete the project with the hands-down manliest thing we carry at 1000Bulbs.com: Shotgun shell lights. Nothing says “no outsiders allowed” like a shotgun shell wreath on the door or a shotgun shell light string running the length of the room.

How would you decorate your Dad’s Man Cave for Father’s Day? Let us know if your like our ideas or share your own in the comments. You can also contact us on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+!

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How to Pick the Perfect Rope Light

Mar 23, 12 How to Pick the Perfect Rope Light

We’ve talked about rope lights in this blog before, but we’ve noticed that most rope light guides focus solely on the installation of rope light, neglecting to explain the first and most important step: Buying the right type of rope light. At 1000Bulbs.com we have nearly 200 different rope light variations including LED, incandescent, steady, chasing, 2-wire, 3-wire, and more. So how do you make sense of all this?

Kit or Spool?

Are you doing a small, temporary installation like a party, wedding, or other special occasion? Or are you going all-out with a permanent installation like under cabinet lighting, deck lighting, or even decorating a restaurant or retail space? If you’re in the first group, keep things simple and buy a rope light kit. All you’ll need to do is pull the kit out of the packaging, screw the ends together, and you’re done! On the other hand, if you’re looking to create something that will make you the envy of your neighbors, your best choice is to buy a rope light spool. A rope light spool can be cut into individual lengths of your choosing and connected to controllers, allowing almost infinite decorative possibilities.

120 Volt or 12 Volt?

If a rope light kit is out of the question, you have to decide what voltage spool you need. You may not be familiar with voltage in anything other than a superficial sense, so let’s make it easy: Where do you plan on installing your rope light? If you install it indoors and shield it from moisture, go with a 120 volt spool. If you want to light up your deck, a tree, a railing, or anything else outside, go with 12 volt rope light. No rope light should come into direct contact with water, but in the event it does (which is likely to happen outdoors), the lower voltage will provide an added degree of electrical safety. One note: For low voltage rope light, you’ll also need to buy a rope light transformer.

Incandescent or LED?

Do you want to save a little money now or a lot of money later? Incandescent rope light will set you back just a couple dollars per foot, but at 3 watts per foot, it’s going to use much more electricity than LED rope light. If you go with LED rope light, you’ll cut your energy usage by two-thirds. Of course, there’s always some give-and-take with choices like these. With LED you’ll save money, but you’ll also lose some functionality, including dimming and some special effects. As a rule of thumb, the longer your rope lights will be powered on, the more likely you’ll want to use LED rope light. Using a less-efficient source like incandescent for only short periods of time will not do much to harm your bottom line.

Need Special Effects?

As stated before, you’ll save a lot of money in energy savings with LED, but you’re limited in what you can do in terms of special effects. With the right rope light controller, you can flash or chase your LED rope light, but that’s about it. An incandescent rope light, on the other hand, gives you many more possibilities. Not only are more controllers available for incandescent, but you also have options beyond standard 2-wire rope light. The potential functions of 2, 3, and 5-wire rope light are far too much to address in this article, but in short, the more wires in the rope, the more special effects you can create.

Questions or suggestions? Drop us a line in the comments section, “like” us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.

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New Product Spotlight: LED Tape Light

Mar 02, 12 New Product Spotlight: LED Tape Light

Anyone who has used rope light knows it’s an incredible and adaptable light source. You can install it virtually anywhere with amazing results, as shown in a recent article. That said, rope light does have its drawbacks. The round shape of rope light can make it difficult to work with in tight areas, and even the smallest diameter rope light can be challenging to hide from view. In response to these concerns, we’ve added a new, even more versatile product to our selection: LED tape light.

Also known as LED strip lights, our LED tape lights offer functionality similar to traditional LED rope lights, but with a few key differences including shape and ease of installation. Perhaps most notable, unlike rope light, tape light is flat. This may seem overly obvious, but this design has huge advantages. Because it is flat, tape light can be much easier to install, especially for the nonprofessional. The shape makes DIY installation of under cabinet and cove lighting, accent lighting, and mood lighting a cinch! To make things even easier, all you need to affix the product to a surface is the tape light’s “peel-and-stick” adhesive backing—no installation clips needed.

Because it’s a low-voltage product, you can also use LED tape light in many outdoor lighting applications. Running on 24 volts, tape light minimizes the risk of electrical shorts and safety hazards frequently encountered with line voltage outdoor lighting. You can install it under eaves, on gazebos and decks, and even lining sidewalks. In short, you can install it many areas susceptible to short-term moisture, but you can’t submerge it (so please don’t use it to light up your pool!).

Including accessories, this new product line includes nearly 50 new products. The tape light itself comes in 4- and 12-inch sections as well as 16-foot spools that you can trim to shorter lengths. Both the sections and spools are available in standard output, high output, and RGB color changing options. The standard solid color tape light consumes fewer than 2 watts per foot, and you’ll find it ideal for most accent lighting applications. The high output solid color version uses more power, though it is 3 times brighter than the standard version. The extra brightness of the high output tape light makes it best for most outdoor areas and some indoor locations where you need brighter task lighting.

Both the standard and high output LED tape lights are great, but the RGB color-changing tape light is the most amazing of all the options. RGB tape lights have individual red, green, and blue LEDs that can mix to create multiple colors. To accomplish that, you’ll need one of our three different RGB controllers, the most sophisticated of which creates 16 colors and 22 patterns from blinking to chasing. If you want to create something truly eye-popping with tape light, or even if you just can’t decide on a single color, the RGB tape light is the best choice. If you don’t believe it, check out the video below!


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Commercial Christmas Lights – Order Early!

Apr 18, 11 Commercial Christmas Lights – Order Early!

If you are in the market for commercial Christmas lights, you need to order early to ensure you get the best selection possible. One of the biggest reasons for doing this is to make sure you get the exact lighting you want. Once the rush begins to stock up on Christmas lighting, many of the popular lighting options will sell out quickly. If you want to update your Christmas lighting stock, it is important to get your order in early so you can secure exactly what you want. If you wait too late, you may be trying to mix and match whatever is left over, and that will not give you the display you want.

Another reason for putting your order in for commercial Christmas light early is the fact that you will have everything ready for when you want to start decorating. Many commercial customers wait too late to order Christmas decorating supplies. That leaves them scrambling to get their decorations up and running in time to take advantage of the Christmas season. It is in your best interest to make sure you have everything ready well before the holiday season arrives. This will allow you to plan your displays and get them up before anyone else.

When you shop at 1000Bulbs.com, you can get more than commercial Christmas lights. We offer a wide selection of decorating options for our commercial and residential customers. You might want to change your lighting scheme up and use Christmas rope lights instead of regular string lights. You can get them in multiple colors or in strands of single colors. For something a bit different, you might consider a starlight sphere with multiple colored lights. You can also get giant Christmas ornaments in various sizes as well as Christmas scenes, life-size figures, bows, wreaths, and trees.

You need to start planning your Christmas decoration schemes early. Once you have an idea of what you want, get online and see what options are available. This will ensure that you have everything ready for the holiday season. You can match everything to the scheme you want and have it out on display before anybody else does. You can save time, money, and hassle by doing the shopping early and getting ready for the season.

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Rope Light: A Unique Lighting Solution

Mar 09, 11 Rope Light: A Unique Lighting Solution

Rope light kits have been a favorite for accent lighting in restaurants and bars for years. They continue to provide excellent designer lighting in these situations. However, more and more, consumers are seeing these rope lights as a lighting option for their home. You can get rope light in many lengths and colors. The kits provide all the necessary equipment you need in order to get rope lighting installed. Many of them come with clear instructions that allow a typical handy homeowner with everything they need to install these ropes themselves. They make great accent lighting in multiple locations throughout your home. They also work outside as well.

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