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The [NOT?] Easy Guide to Downlights

History and literature are full of great tales of adventurers seeking the unattainable. There is the quest for the Holy Grail (“We’ve already got one.”), the search for the fountain of life (find it or die trying), and the hunt for Blackbeard’s treasure (he spent it on rum, I think). Right up there with the […]

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Finding the perfect downlight feels as easy as finding the end of the rainbow.

Living with Light

An illustrated diagram of a living room featuring a fireplace and mangle, two windows, and two easy chairs facing each other. "Light for knowing" labels a light fixture against the wall. "Light for story" labels the light pointed at a picture. "Light for changing" labels a light switch. "Light for doing" labels a lamp by a chair. "Light for feeling" labels the fire in the fireplace and a lamp on the mantle.

If you’re looking to review the layers of light and apply them to your living room, my article on Houzz.com (link below) would be a good place to start.  In addition to my oh-so-nifty sketch, you’ll find photographic examples of each layer from multiple projects in multiple styles.  Enjoy! How to Light Your Living Room […]

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Summer Nights, Patio Lights

A drawing of a patio lit up with fairy lights, tree lanterns, sconces, table lights, uplights, and footlights.

My latest story published on Houzz.com (link below) features photos from Houzz’s deep archive of photos and a sketch that simplifies patio lighting into six ideas.  Writing the articles is a fun challenge.  How do I make lighting design digestible?  Any suggestions you have are welcome. 🙂 6 Ideas for Lighting Your Patio […]

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Sun Gods and Magic Sweaters

A photograph of a very red sky during a sunset. A lake reflects the redness of the sky. There is a lot of cloud cover which gives an ominous feel.

We used to have a better language for light, but lately we stick to words like LED, lumens, and color temperature.  Necessary, perhaps, but not particularly inspiring. In history, we used words like Helios, Prometheus, Zeus, and Ra that belied our dependence on light. We organized our temples, our festivals, our stonehenges around light.  We wrote […]

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The Wrong Answer

A floorplan with yellow dots in a grid-like formation throughout the place

Sometimes I get questions that seem simple but are complex to answer.  A recent Houzz reader asked me “what spacing should I use for my recessed downlights?”  Yep, this post is definitely on the practical side. Hmm.  A lot of “designers” have rules of thumb for spacing downlights- perhaps you need one for every so […]

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4 Reasons Light Should Change

A photo of the same branch of a tree taken at different days. Far left, the sky is cloudy and the branch is cast in silhouette. Middle, the sky is clear and the buds on the branches are highlighted and green. Right, another clear sky with full foliage on the branch.

Adapting to changing lighting conditions is so critical to the human visual experience that we have a body part designed just for this task- the iris. Each eye has a constantly changing aperture- opening- that allows us to see easily at sunset and at mid-day. The iris allows us to appreciate a candle-lit dinner and […]

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Light & Health: The Easy Way

A photograph of a camper at a campsite on a lake. Across the lake is a mountain. The scene looks very pleasant.

If you or someone you know suffers from Social Jet Lag, Ambient Light may help.  Talk to your doctor before using Ambient Light.  Possible side effects include… I can hear the television commercial extolling the virtues of the latest miracle drug, Ambient Light.  It energizes you in the morning!  It is clinically proven to reduce the […]

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Light Can Help You