Tag Archives: lighting design

Meet Product Designers Caleb Siemon and Carmen Salazar

Caleb Siemon and Carmen Salazar’s lighting product line, exclusively available at Lightology, initially caught our attention with their Banded Orb pendants, vibrantly colored glass inspired by the topography of California.

Banded Orb Pendants

Banded Orb Pendants

Their entire line of hand blown glass pendants, wall sconces and table lamps shows off Caleb Siemon’s signature aesthetic of thick glass and exciting colors.

Read on to find out how Caleb & Carmen became one of Southern California’s most exciting new product designers.

Caleb Siemon

Caleb Siemon

Caleb Siemon

Most glassblowers aren’t born artists,” says Caleb Siemon. “They’re born pyromaniacs.” Son of a jeweler, he grew up making things with his hands, got hooked on glass in high school, and honed his craft at the Rhode Island School of Design. He then set out for Murano, Italy, with a backpack, a few words of Italian, and the hope of an apprenticeship with renowned master glass sculptor Pino Signoretto. The maestro ignored him for a month, while Caleb attentively sketched his work and tried not to get in the way. Eventually an apprenticeship evolved.

Caleb spent two years in the Muranese studio with the glassmaker versatile enough to produce both enormous sculptures and delicate goblets. Here, he was encouraged to “steal with his eyes.” Caleb’s style shows the influence of his early tutor, coupled with an unabashed passion for the medium. “The transparency and fluidity of the material makes it unique,” he says. “I always start with an idea, but have learned to remain flexible to allow for the natural qualities of the glass”.

Caleb returned to Southern California in 1999 and constructed his own Italian-style studio. From furnace heights and bench design, to a system where each piece is created closely with a team of assistants, his methods reflect his Muranese immersion. Loris Zanon, Pino Signoretto’s master coldworker, traveled from Murano to guide the construction of Caleb’s coldshop and pass on the techniques of glass carving and polishing.

From the Scandinavian glass tradition, Caleb has developed an affection for simple forms, taking advantage of gravity and centrifugal force in design. By pairing these approaches to glassmaking, he has developed a signature aesthetic that reflects the evolved detail of the Muranese and balance and restraint of the Scandinavians. Caleb continues to invite international glass workers to his studio to share their techniques with the next generation of glass artists. His work exhibits internationally and is featured in galleries around the world.

Lattimo Pendants

Lattimo Pendants

Carmen Salazar

Carmen Salazar

Carmen Salazar

While her husband has binged on glass with a singular focus, his wife and partner, Carmen Salazar, has sipped from many ponds. Sculptor, metalworker, architect, botanist, scavenger, and conservationist, Carmen is a curious hybrid of urban and rural. She brings the influence of many streams to her work in the glass shop. She is a recipe that calls for equal parts concrete and pasture, glass and steel and rough-hewn beams. Carmen grew up shuttling between Washington DC and the family farm in Augusta, West Virginia. In college, she began to cultivate a love for metal, glass, and the vegetal world. Carmen left the Rhode Island School of Design with a BFA in sculpture and art history, but also a peripatetic interest in reshaping the larger natural world.

In 1997, she drove to San Francisco where she spent two years working for a land artist, metal sculptors, horticulturalists, and glass blowers. In 1999, she moved to Orange County to help Caleb build his first shop. “I thought I was just going down for a month or so” she says, “but here we are, a decade later.” The intersection of her diverse interests led her to the Southern California Institute of Architecture in 2001.

After receiving her masters in architecture at SCI-Arc in Los Angeles, Carmen worked in the high end residential realm and then on the design team for a large scale public park. With her skills in architecture, interior and landscape design, the pair have embarked on an aesthetic leap forward.

They are now executing large scale custom projects and installations while maintaining the studio’s carefully cultivated quality and visual signature. “I have a somewhat less controlled aesthetic than Caleb. Maybe it comes from working with so many plants.” says Carmen, “I love to scavenge pieces from the studio, tests and such, and re-purpose them. Caleb always looks like he has a tinge of fear when I start experimenting in the studio, like, ‘gosh, I hope she doesn’t blow us up today.’”

Happy Kiss Pendants

Happy Kiss Pendants

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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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Go Green: Make It Your New Year’s Resolution

The New Year is upon us – and it’s time to make some changes! Many of you are asking how to can save money and be energy-efficient, so make it your resolution! Here are some great tips on how to conserve energy, increase lamp life and save money on lighting in 2011.

Replace Inefficient Above, Under and In-Cabinet Lights with LED Soft Strip and LED Puck Lights


The average home will use cabinet lights around 2,000 hours per year; retail stores around 4,000 hours. When you install LED Soft Strip and Puck Lights, residential homes will enjoy 20 years of illumination!

The flexible and linear LED Soft Strip uses between 1 and 3 watts per foot and has all kinds of connectors to create custom shapes and sizes. LED Puck lights are compact, 3 watt fixtures that look great inside cabinets or closets and can either be surface mounted or recessed.

Use the Cody LED Picture Light to Illuminate Artwork Without Damaging UV or IR Rays

No one wants their valuable artwork and priceless family photographs damaged, discolored or faded from the harmful UV and IR rays that incandescent and halogen light sources put out. Using LEDs eliminates these concerns while also saving energy – the Cody LED Picture Light uses 6-12 watts (depending on size) emits zero harmful UV or IR rays and contains no mercury.

Convert Incandescent Bulbs to CFL or LED

LEDs are improving everyday, and you can always find the latest technology at Lightology. Our LED replacement bulbs are used to replace standard incandescent and halogen light sources while saving large amounts of energy and lasting up to 45,000 hours. For example, the EnduraLED A-19 is a direct replacement for a standard incandescent and uses only 7 watts!

Use Dimmers and Occupancy Sensors to Save Energy and Increase Lamp Life

By dimming incandescent or halogen lights just 10%, you not only save 10% on energy costs, but it also increases the lamp life by 80%! For example:

Incandescent Bulb Lifespan
Full Brightness: 1,000 hours
Dimmed 10%: 1,800 hours

This increase in lamp life helps save money, lower energy use and reduces waste. Add an Occupancy Sensor that uses motion detectors to turn lights on/off, making energy-saving a no-brainer!

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Interior Designer Chat Tweet Up @lightology

This Tuesday, people from all over the country came to the Lightology showroom to participate in our first-ever Tweet Up with our co-hosts @IntDesignerChat! At the beginning of the night, guests at the showroom and around the country participated in the weekly twitter chat, #IntDesignerChat, where the subject of the night was lighting. (Read the transcript)

Afterwards, the party continued for guests at the showroom, enjoying food, drinks and social media tips for their business! If you are a trade professional, make sure to register for our trade benefits program to get exclusive discounts on products and invitations to upcoming Lightology events! Visit our facebook page to see all the photos from the Tweet Up!

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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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Filed under Chandeliers, Pendants & Suspensions, Modern Lighting

Don’t Leave a Lonely Chandelier

Staff Tips: Xavier Yager

“When it comes to lighting, every room must be dealt with individually,” says Certified Lighting Consultant Xavier Yager, of Lightology.

Yager has been in lighting design for 15+ years and knows that you must take into account the room’s purpose, the decor and the architecture before deciding how to best light the space.

“If we’re talking about the dining room, it is important to remember that it is more than just a place to sit and eat,” says Yager. “It is a place to entertain. Furthermore, the atmosphere or mood we wish to achieve may change depending on the time of day or the company we are entertaining.”

Edge Lighting Monorail System works perfectly over a dining table

“The idea behind lighting is to have multiple sources, types and qualities of light so you can create the feel you desire in the room. Everyone likes their dining room to have a show piece. However, if that is the only source of light in the room, you are asking a lot of that single chandelier. It will give you enough light to eat at the table, but you are really limiting how the room can feel.”

It is true that the chandelier selection is the first step in the process. Being that it is the focal point of the room, it must work with the energy you want to create. Furthermore, your other layer selections are based on this choice.

“What’s great about Lightology is that we offer many more options compared to your average lighting showroom and a totally unique palette of colors. All of Lightology’s sales staff are also certified in the trade and have extensive technical knowledge to ensure that the lighting you purchase will work correctly and safely within your home.”

Circle Suspension by Swarovski Architectural Lighting

Once the chandelier — also referred to as suspension lighting — selection is made, the next step is determining the secondary source of light, says Yager. You need to be able to highlight certain aspects of the room, whether it’s the top of a buffet, service at the dining table or artwork on the walls.

“For instance, we may want add light that will highlight the beautiful china on the table. For these types of circumstances, a little trick I do is I add two recessed cans, preferably MR-16s, on either side of the chandelier. I then cross the beams to where the light from the recessed cans actually covers the entire shape of the table. This allows the chandelier to be brought down to a soft glow, because I am not depending solely on it to light the entire table top. Now, the recessed cans shine down on any cut crystal, china or other reflective surfaces and illuminate the beauty of the table accents. This ultimately creates a more brilliant dining scene.”

LED Soft Strip is perfect for cove lighting, and comes in white (shown) and RGB (color).

“To add a more dramatic effect, a third layer of light, or ambient light, can be added to the space. This is achieved a number of ways. One option is adding wall sconces or a cove lighting application that washes light up the ceiling or down the wall. This ultimately creates a soft glow in the space, pulling the height of the ceiling up and accentuating any architectural highlights in the room, like a stone or brick wall. The thing to remember is, the more layers you incorporate, the more you can achieve.”

Another important aspect for lighting a space are the controls, says Yager. Having no dimmers or control system is like having a car without breaks or an accelerator. You have to be able to stop it, slow it down and make it do exactly what you want.

“Many people do not understand the value of dimming to create an atmosphere. Incorporating a control system into your design not only gives you the ability to set lighting scenes that are accomplished with the mere push of a button, you can also program the system to automatically change throughout the course of your evening.”

For control systems, Yager recommends the Radio Ra by Lutron. It is a system that works throughout the entire home, not just a single room. You can control all the lighting in the entire house by one master console. For those looking for a single room lighting control system, Yager recommends Lutron’s Grafik Eye.

“Every space presents its own unique set of circumstances. Can I say there is any one secret to lighting a dining room – no. There are rules of thumb to follow, however, multiple things can be done in a dining room. That is why it is important to have a certified lighting consultant who can advise you on how to best accentuate the space and not rely solely on a lonely chandelier. That’s where Lightology can help. Not only do we offer a completely unique spectrum of lighting, our knowledgeable staff can work directly with your architect and/or interior designer to create the best lighting scheme to enhance your living environment.”

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