1THING: Plug In Decks

An illustration of a deck with a helicopter hovering above it shining a light down, labelled "PHE (Police Helicopter Effect)"

Today is a notable day in my own fictitious universe, for I am awarding myself the fake Nobel Prize for Illumination Yakking. I toot my own proverbial horn because of my “discovery” of another “disease” rampant in residential lighting and – quite by accident – the theorizing of an ancillary condition. Yes, once again I […]

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1THING: New Build Decks

An illustration of a deck at dusk

I once read that the easiest ways to increase the sale price of your home were to paint the front door for a good first impression and add a deck to the back yard. I suppose adding a deck makes the back yard more enticing, perhaps even subconsciously saying to the buyer “purchase this home […]

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1THING: New Build Landscapes

An illustration of the yard of a house at dusk, with a box that says "trip hazards" with arrows pointing to the ground of the entire yard

My 1THING: New Build series title is a bit awkward when it comes to the great outdoors. Seldom are trees and shrubs and lawns built…rather, they are grown. Oh well, I never promised literary quality, just lighting ideas. If it makes you feel better, call this my 1THING: When-you-hire-professionals-to-do-the-work series. Wow, that has a nice […]

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1THING: New Build Front Porches

three doors demonstrating three styles of porchlights. The first is a standard light, described as "Glare, Slip, & Waste." The second is a lantern with light shooting out the top and bottom, described as "Safe & Waste." The third is a modified version of the first with most of the light directed downwards to the path. This is described as "Glow, Safe, & Wonder."

I go on a nightly neighborhood lighting patrol. Sort of. When our family divvied up the dog duties, I drew the just-before-bed nightly walk. Albus, our 9-year-old cockapoo, gamely trots around the block while I curse the neighborhood porchlights. Okay, I do not curse the porchlights. But I do wonder how my neighbors would react […]

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THINK LIGHT: Light Pollution

A satelite image of the contiguous United States taken at night. The city lights of metropolitan areas are lit up and visible from a very high altitude.

When it comes to light, it is hard to tell exactly how much we throw away. The International Dark Sky Association estimates that 35% of lighting energy is wasted making the sky glow. This is energy that has no discernible positive effect on humans, but a huge negative effect on our lives, our wallets, the planet, and […]

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Dark Sky, Bright Home

An exterior shot of a house with downward-facing outside lights.

I recently wrote an article for Houzz.com on how to make the outside of your home welcoming at night. It had been awhile since my article on downlights drew so many sharply divided comments, so I had grown complacent and used to the vanilla “great article” responses. Whoops. While many readers appreciated the article and the […]

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Welcome Home

DO: dimmed recessed downlights, pendant with frosted glass, large langern with amber glass, spotlights on features, concealed step lights, shielded path light DON'T: low profile downlights, glaring pendant, undersized lantern, spotlights add extra glare, glaring step lights, tiny ineffective path lights

While at a business lunch a few hours ago, I had to look up today’s sunset time so I could arrange to meet the client at the project site after dark to view the new lighting.  My weather app told me 8:15.  That’s good for tonight, as I won’t have to stay awake as long. […]

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Light Can Help You