Category Archives: Modern Lighting

LED Lighting Basics and The Lighting Facts Label

In the last two months, Lightology has partnered with top LED manufacturers, Edge Lighting, Pure Lighting and Philips Lightolier to teach Chicago’s architects and designers all about LEDs through educational seminars at our downtown Chicago showroom. Through these presentations, we’ve collected 5 helpful tips on LEDs that anyone can use to make sure they purchase the right LED for any project!

1)    Look for the Lighting Facts Label

Sponsored by the Department of Energy, the Lighting Facts Label is the ‘nutrition facts label’ for LEDs, providing a quick summary of product performance data.

By introducing transparency to the lighting supply chain, the label guards against exaggerated claims and helps ensure a satisfactory experience for lighting buyers.

Luminaire manufacturers who take the pledge agree to use the label to disclose performance results in five areas—lumens, efficacy, watts, correlated color temperature (CCT), and color rendering index (CRI)—as measured by the industry standard for testing photometric performance, IES LM-79-2008.

2)    Color (Correlated Color Temperature)

Students Visit the Color Temperature Wall, which shows all the different colors of light, at the Lightology Showroom

Color Temperature measures light color.

  • “Cool” colors have higher Kelvin temperatures (3600–5500 K).
  • “Warm” colors have lower color temperatures (2700–3500 K).

These colors are charted on the Kelvin scale for you to use when choosing a light source. Many LEDs are developed with a color temperature of 2700K, which is the same as a standard incandescent, or 3000K, which matches the color of Halogen light.

It is important to match the color temperature in all light sources when designing a space, otherwise the differences might be quite noticeable.

3)   Quality (Color Rendering Index)

This picture shows that the colors on the tissue box look better under LEDs with a higher CRI. All three tissue boxes are lit under the same Color Temperature, only the CRI is different.

CRI measures color accuracy, or more specifically, it is the effect of the lamp’s light spectrum on the color appearance of objects.

Based on a scale from 1-100 (100 being the best), a low CRI LED will make colors in fabrics, paint and people look duller, less vibrant. It’s a great idea to place color samples from your project underneath LEDs with differing CRIs to help determine which LED looks best.

Typically, a CRI in the mid-70s and up is acceptable for commercial applications. For residential applications, A CRI of 80 or above is preferable.

4)    Lumens, Watts and Lumens per Watt

This chart shows the comparison in efficacy between an incandescent, fluorescent and LED light source.

Lumens measures light output. The higher the number, the more light is emitted.

Watts are ONLY a measurement of the energy required to light the product. The lower the wattage, the less energy used.

Lumens per Watt is a way to measure efficiency, similar to the Miles Per Gallon you get in your car. The higher this number is, the more efficient your product is.

5)    Thermal Management

The Scope LED Head uses aluminum as a heatsink to pull heat away from the LED, making sure it maintains the 50,000 hour lifespan.

Heat plays a major factor in the lifespan of an LED. LEDs are a condensed point source that gets very hot, so an aluminum heatsink is necessary to dissipate the heat over a larger surface and keep the junction (where the LED meets the circuit board) temperature below 80°C.

Running an LED just a few degrees too warm can shorten the lifespan of an LED up to 50%! A good rule of thumb is in an open air environment, the LED needs 2.5 square inches of heatsink for every 1 watt.

Use Edge Lighting’s Scope LED as an example. At 9 watts, the scope needs 22 sq. inches of heatsink. The cylindrical fixture is 2.24”W x 4”H. You use the formula below to determine the square inches of the aluminum fixture (the heatsink).

Width x π x Height

2.24 x 3.14 x 4 = 28 square inches

The Scope LED fixture exceeds the required amount of heatsink to guarantee LED lifespan. Keep in mind that enclosed fixtures, like recessed LEDs can require around 15 square inches per 1 watt, so the heatsinks on these fixtures will be much larger, but still hidden from view.

Download a PDF of our Lamp Comparison Chart to see some of the basic differences between lighting options available to you.

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Beat the Heat! Win a Fanimation Floor or Ceiling Fan from Lightology

Lightology.com, the largest online retailer of contemporary lighting and ceiling fans, has partnered with Fanimation for an exclusive summer contemporary fan giveaway! One lucky winner will receive their choice between the architectural Arden Floor Fan ($300 retail value) or the ultra-modern Marea Ceiling Fan ($500 retail value).

To enter, simply ‘Like’ the Lightology Facebook Page and leave a comment, or follow Lightology on Twitter and tweet to @lightology why you should win! All retail orders placed on the Lightology website from July 1-18, 2011 will also be entered into the drawing.


The Arden Floor Fan from Fanimation has walnut legs and an Oil Rubbed Bronze finish, recalling the clean and classic lines of an architect’s tripod. Complementing transitional as well as classic décor, the Arden has a three-speed rotary switch, providing a trio of comfort levels.

The Marea Ceiling Fan provides functional art on the ceiling! Circulating air with its distinctive, acrylic-frosted blade, the Oil Rubbed Bronze finish coordinates beautifully with similar finishes in the house. The Marea comes equipped with a hand-held remote and a wall-mount control. The three forward and reverse speeds provide just the right amount of comfort year-round. The 42-inch blade sweep is ideal for bedrooms, living spaces, and sunrooms.

Visit Lightology.com to see the large variety of ceiling fans, perfect for keeping cool and saving energy this summer.

The Lightology Summer Ceiling Fan giveaway ends July 18, 2011. A winner will be randomly selected and contacted on July 19, 2011.

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Lightology Hosts Photo Contest to Win $300 in Hinkley Outdoor Lighting and Landscape Lighting

Lightology.com is giving you the chance to win $300 in Hinkley Outdoor Lighting!
No matter if it’s a patio, a pathway or a tiny patch of grass — everyone deserves a well-lit outdoor space they can enjoy.

To enter the contest, send a photo of your outdoor space in need of new lighting to marketing(at)lightology(dot)com or post it to the Lightology Facebook wall, along with a few words about how you would enjoy your newly lit open-air escape! All submitted photos are posted on the Lightology Facebook Page (http://www.facebook.com/lightology).


The photo with the most ‘Likes’ on the Lightology Facebook Page at 11:59 PM on June 8, 2011 will win a $300 retail gift card to spend on the Hinkley Outdoor Lighting fixtures of their choice!

Shop Hinkley outdoor lighting on Lightology.com to see the large variety of fixtures that will not only define your outdoor space but also add charm and ambiance. Use outdoor wall sconces to illuminate architectural elements for added drama; or define an intimate sitting area with a soft, exterior pendant light.

Landscape lighting can also be used to develop a safe pathway or create focal points. Use recessed garden lights for glowing gorgeous flowers. Or, create texture by using a spotlight to accent bushes and shrubs.

Lightology offers a vast array of Hinkley outdoor lighting in contemporary and traditional lighting styles. Send your photo today to marketing(at)lightology(dot)com and ‘Like’ the Lightology Facebook Page to enter to win your $300 in Hinkley Outdoor Lighting!

See the Rules and Regulations for the contest.

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Marty Lescht and Lightology Pair for Eco-Friendly Lighting at Chicago’s All Vegan Restaurant, Karyn’s On Green

Marty Lescht ASID and AIA (PA) of Lescht and Associates, is an Interior Architect and Designer based out of Chicago but known nationwide for his almost 40 year resume, touting such greats as Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises (Hub 51, Tru, Everest) to luxury hotels and the restoration of the Wrigley Building. Marty often pairs with Lightology for his projects, most recently to design Karyn’s On Green, an all-vegan restaurant looking for a design to match its chic, eco-friendly menu.

Saggina Chandelier from Lightology

“I carved the ceiling tiles to look like branches,” says Lescht. “And we used the Saggina Chandelier because of its likeness to the branches of a tree. With the lights, you get a starlight effect, making the whole chandelier really play off the branch carvings and everything that I did with the ceiling.”

What was your vision for the space?  
Because we live in Chicago and it’s dark so much of the year, and I wanted to create a feeling more like Malibu or Santa Monica — very cool and natural, with an outdoor feeling. When you walk into Karyn’s On Green, you get the feeling that the food and the experience will be fresh and clean. I create unique, interesting designs, but I like working with neutrals and am influenced by nature. This way, the people and the food really get to be the star and enhance the ambiance of the restaurant.

How do you incorporate lighting into your designs?
I don’t incorporate lighting; it is the main factor in my projects. I could spend a million dollars on a project and if it’s not lit properly — it’s a waste. Dimming is incredibly important so you can change lighting effects from day to night, seasonally, etc. And for this project, all the lighting is eco-friendly, to coordinate with the all-vegan menu.

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Filed under Designer Profiles, Modern Lighting, Restaurant Lighting

Affordable LED Table Lamps: Start Converting Your Home to LED

As LED lighting becomes more affordable and accesible, consumers are beginning to see the financial and environmental benefits to converting to this exciting new technology — and are putting money on it. This renovation to energy-efficient LEDs is responsible for the anticipated growth of the LED market — expected to double by 2014.

LED Table lamps and LED Desk lamps are an ideal way to begin the process of converting to LEDs. Lightology offers a vast array of award-winning, classic and modern table lamps that fit perfectly with other contemporary lighting or design styles.

The Equo from Koncept won a Best in Class award in 2010.

Equo by Koncept

Koncept offers an array of extremely popular LED desk lamps, like the I-Bar Mini and the Z-Bar, that fold away or extend for high-power LED brightness with four-step dimming. The Equo desk lamp recently earned a ‘Best in Class’ award from Next Generation Luminaires, an LED competition sponsored by the Department of Energy. It earned this recognition for its touch-sensitive control strip, great value (only $225) and cool design.

The Kelvin LED Table Lamp was a popular debut in 2010

Kelvin LED by FLOS

One of the most popular debuts in LED lighting this year was the Kelvin LED from Flos. Designed by Antonio Citterio, the fixture has an on/off touch sensor, 365° adjustable arm and 355° adjustable head. It consumes a mere 8 watts and is made entirely of recycled materials. Its soft, warm white light, has, until recently, been difficult to achieve with LED light sources.

The Link from Pablo is an LED lamp that comes in different sizes, colors and wall, clamp-on and desk versions

Link LED by Pablo

The Link Table Lamp from Pablo adds a bit of whimsy and fun — coming in a variety of hues like green, orange, white, silver, grey and black and match with the coordinating Link Clamp-On, Link Wall Mount and Link Floor Lamp versions.

The Tolomeo LED from Artemide is an iconic fixture.

Tolomeo LED by Artemide

Some iconic fixtures, like Tolomeo from Artemide and Berenice from Luce Plan are now available in LED for a contemporary lighting touch that will never go out of style.

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Filed under Desk Lamps, LED Lighting, Modern Lighting

Designer Photo Contest Winners

Last month, we asked Interior Designers, Architects and members of the trade to send us photos of their designs that included Lightology fixtures for a chance to win up to a $250 Lightology Gift Card.

Ninety-something photos (see all submissions here) and thousands of votes later, two winners stand out above the rest.

Karin H. Edwards Interiors won the People’s Vote on our Facebook page with 122 votes for her Master Bathroom design while Frye Gillan Molinaro Architects got our vote for their transformation of a worn-down shed into a lighting designers dream.

We had a chance to chat with both design teams, and here’s what they had to say about their winning projects!

People’s Choice Winner: Karin H. Edwards Interiors

What is your favorite part of being a designer?

“I honestly believe that improving surroundings has real benefits. I’ve seen how the right design can build confidence, spark imaginations or put people immediately at ease. And, I love the nuts and bolts of the doing.  It’s always about collaboration — with craftspeople, with manufacturers, retailers and, most of all, the people using the room.”

Could you share some background on the project featured in your photo?

“It’s my own master bath and a labor of love.  The paneling is meant to give it a dressing room feel and link to the bedroom’s closet doors, which explains the choice of chandelier over the tub. Because the room is open to bedroom, I needed to create a powerful vista.”

Is lighting an important element of your designs? Why or why not?

“It’s critical.  Anyone who says paint is the quickest changeup is wrong. Lighting draws the first notice, often unconsciously. It’s the invitation, and it’s the best way to build drama.”

Lightology Winner: Frye Gillan Molinaro Architects

What is your favorite part of being a designer?
“Getting to generate and share positive energy from the designs that we create. Design is about communication and sharing of thoughts with other people. It’s most satisfying when your results are truly appreciated — you know you have done your job well.”

What is your/your firm’s design philosophy?
“We believe in a blend of simplicity and whimsy. If a design becomes too complicated, it loses its “thrust” and effectiveness. A clear concept usually wins out over trying to do more than necessary. It’s important to have some aspect of expressiveness there too — so that you can use space and light as a canvas. Whimsy can represent a number of things as you can be loose or intellectual about it — it’s all about how you choose to execute it.”

Could you share some background on the project featured in your photo?
“This photo represents a metamorphic culmination. We took what was once a non-descript, uninspired shed in the woods and made it into something that has a strong identity. The original raw space (with no interior finishes, light fixtures, or even mechanical system) was completely transformed into a hip loft space. It came together very quickly from a design standpoint but fleshing out the details took a bit more time.”

What made you choose these fixtures?
“We took a walking trip to Lightology to get inspiration for the lighting, and originally we had only planned to scout out some sconces for the walls. Upon seeing the LED system featured in the showroom, we knew that we had to integrate that fixture into the design to add another dimension to the “mood” of the space. The idea of color splashing against the ceiling using beam-mounted LED lighting was something that we knew would be an instant conversation piece.”

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Find the Right Bathroom Light

Bathroom Lighting is a crucial element of a good design simply because  it is part of our daily rituals —  grooming, shaving, applying makeup … the list goes on. And, we’ve all seen what bad lighting can do — harsh light and unflattering shadows do not make for pretty faces!

So, to help make sure your bathroom is fully loaded with the best lighting design possible, Lightology is sharing a few bathroom lighting How To’s, as well as a find the Right Bathroom Light Sale until February 28th to help make fixing up your bathroom lighting a little easier on your wallet.

Bathroom Lighting starts with one simple idea: Think in Layers.

Task Lighting is best for highlighting a specific area, like a piece of art, a countertop, or in the bathroom, your face!


To achieve the ideal quality of light for grooming, shaving and applying makeup, you must eliminate shadows on the face. When using Wall Sconces, install two wall sconces on each side of your mirror, at least 30″ apart. The brightest portion of the wall sconce should be aligned with the face, or approximately 60-66″ above the floor. You can also follow these same guidelines using Pendants for a more modern look. See an example of pendants in the bathroom.

General Light helps balance light output from all fixtures in the room while giving you diffuse, even light that illuminates the entire bathroom.

To fill your entire bathroom with diffuse, general light, a ceiling light, like the Boxie or the Mint Round or Mint Square will do the trick. However, a ceiling light by itself leaves you with too much glare and shadows for a bathroom. Make sure to complement these fixtures with additional sources of light to accomplish a layered, shadow-free bathroom.

Accent Lighting adds eye-catching, dramatic light to a space but can also perform a practical task. For example, a toe kick light can also double as a path light — making middle-of-the-night bathroom trips easier and safer!

Cove lighting and toe kick lighting are fantastic ways to add general light that is also eye-catching and dramatic. LED Soft Strip is an energy-efficient way to create this dramatic look.

For more tips, ideas and inspiration, visit our Bathroom Lighting Ideas page or start shopping for your new lights at the Right Bathroom Light Sale

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Chandeliers: The Ultimate Holiday Accessory

Pair your perfect holiday meal with the perfect dining room accessory — a chandelier from Lightology. Working double duty as a source of light and a decorative element, hanging a chandelier above your dining table creates a welcoming ambiance that is sure to enhance your thoughtfully planned meal.

Foscarini’s Caboche uses perfectly designed glass globes to softly diffuse light while still providing direct up and down lighting.

Random, from Moooi, uses a resin-drained yarn wrapped around an inflatable mold. Once dry, the yarn becomes a sphere of translucent, 3D fabric. This unique aesthetic is quickly become an iconic image in the world of lighting and design.

Make sure to shop the Lightology Home for the Holidays Sale, with Chandeliers up to 30% OFF until November 30,2010.

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A new vision in LED technology. The Kelvin LED Desk Lamp from FLOS.

Advancing Technology. Responding to Your Needs. With the Best Design.

No longer does your light fixture design have to cater to the cumbersome shape of a traditional light bulb.

The Kelvin LED Desk Lamp is well on its way to becoming an icon of the new design style emerging with the advancement of LED technology. Designed by Antonio Citterio, the fixture has a flat head, adjustable arm and head and has a soft, warm white light that, until now, has been difficult to achieve with LED light sources.

Some features of the Kelvin:

  • On/Off Touch Sensor using FLOStouch Technology
  • Consumes a mere 8 watts
  • 355° Swivel Head Rotation
  • 365° Pantograph Arm Rotation
  • Made from completely recyclable materials and non toxic paint
  • 50,000 hour lifespan

Lighting enthusiasts (including us!) have anticipated the arrival of the Kelvin since its début at trade shows earlier this year. Now available at Lightology, this surprisingly affordable table/desk lamp is available in white, anthracite (gray) and black.

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Filed under Desk Lamps, LED Lighting, Modern Lighting