Renters’ Lighting Tips: How to Make the Most of Your Space

Jan 15, 14 Renters’ Lighting Tips: How to Make the Most of Your Space

There are some definite advantages to renting an apartment or a townhome. If something breaks, you don’t have to pay to have it fixed, and you don’t have to clean the gutters or mow the lawn. However, one big disadvantage of renting is that you may not be able to change out the lighting fixtures as you see fit, and if you can, there’s always a risk of damaging something, and forfeiting your security deposit. So what can you do if your landlord doesn’t want you doing a little lighting makeover? Below are a few simple lighting tips to make the most out of your rented space.

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Eight Christmas Gift Ideas from 1000Bulbs.com

Nov 08, 13 Eight Christmas Gift Ideas from 1000Bulbs.com

It’s that time of the year again: we’ve gained an hour of sleep, it gets darker earlier, and the air has a particular fall crispness about it. These changes mean Christmas is inching closer and closer, and it’s officially time to start thinking about gift ideas. Not only does 1000Bulbs.com meet your every lighting need, but we can also meet your holiday shopping needs as well. Below are some things that are sure to make great Christmas gifts this and every year.

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Rope Light vs Tape Light: A Breakdown

Aug 02, 13 Rope Light vs Tape Light: A Breakdown

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

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!

 

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“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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Do We Need Light Bulbs Anymore?

May 04, 12 Do We Need Light Bulbs Anymore?

While we will always need light, could it be possible that in the quest to create the “perfect” light bulb, a bulb isn’t what we are looking for at all? Edison’s original invention required the familiar gas-filled bubble we call a bulb to house and protect a carbon filament, and blown glass was the best, most efficient option. Yet that was over 100 years ago, and technology has brought us all types of materials that Edison may have considered better alternatives than a glass bulb.

The idea that we no longer need light bulbs is either revolutionary or absurd, but two products on our website are created with that very idea in mind. One is the LED downlight module, and the other is a series of LED tape light “profiles” from Poland-based Klus Design. One product suggests replacing traditional light fixtures and bulbs with dedicated, modular retrofits, while the other suggests we can do without light fixtures and bulbs altogether.

LED downlights consist of an array of high-powered LEDs, an LED driver, and a heatsink all integrated into a single unit. This alone doesn’t make downlights that much different than any LED light bulb. The difference is in the appearance of the product. The manufacturer doesn’t intend to make the module look like anything like the familiar light bulb we know. Instead, the LED module is a geometric mass of aluminum fins and hard plastic that replaces the bulb within a recessed can, sometimes permanently.

The second product, LED tape light profiles, takes the concept further. As we discussed in a previous article, LED tape light is an extremely versatile and easy to use product. To prove this, Klus even used tape light and their patented aluminum profiles to create a “House Without a Bulb.” Klus tape light profiles—an aluminum extrusion that houses an LED tape light—are inlayed into a groove cut into the underside of a step or cabinet, or mounted to the top of a flat surface. Some models are even made for installation into floors, sidewalks, and driveways. As with the LED modules, you never see a bulb, just light emanating from a recessed area that blends in with its surroundings. It blends in so well, in fact, the casual observer would be hard-pressed to determine where the light is coming from.

Even before LED downlights and tape light profiles, we turned the traditional round light bulb into reflectors, imitation flames, high efficiency tubes, and compact spirals. Do we need the “bulb” shape any longer for anything more than nostalgia? Share your responses in the comments below, or drop us a line on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+.

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