News

Energize Yourself With Smart Lighting Dawn Simulation June 21, 2017 00:00

Sleep – it’s absolutely essential for our day-to-day functions and yet a whopping number of Americans have trouble getting enough or simply aren’t doing it right.

In fact, a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that more than one third of adults don’t get the sleep they need. That’s 33%!

It’s no wonder then that so many people feel groggy throughout the working day.

Just think about it: when was the last time you can remember feeling alert and energized all day long? No 2 p.m. crash, no double-digit cups of coffee, and no wishing you could close your eyes for just a few more minutes.

Can’t remember? Well don’t worry – you’re not alone.

While taking the steps to get the sleep you need (in terms of both quantity AND quality) tonight is essential to getting more pep in your step tomorrow, there’s another factor at play here. And it’s undoubtedly contributing to your extended fatigue, inability to concentrate, and sour mood.

So, what is it? Your alarm clock!

There’s no sound more grating than the harsh buzz of your alarm and, as it turns out, it could be playing a huge role in how tired you feel throughout the day.

Unfortunately, most of us can’t toss our alarms (no matter how much we want to).

That’s where wake-up light alarm clocks come in!

This is your body on sleep

Before we get into how these amazing new alarm clocks work, let’s first take a look at what happens to our bodies when we’re sleeping, and how they react to waking up.

First off, the process of sleep is largely brought about by boosted production of a hormone called melatonin. You may have heard of it before, especially since it’s recently become a popular sleep aid since it has fewer side effects than stronger prescriptions like Ambien.

This hormone is naturally produced by the body in a small area of the brain called the pineal gland and, once distributed, tends to make your body sleepy and groggy. The more melatonin you have in your system, the closer you get to curling up wherever you may be and calling it a night.

Once the morning rolls around, our bodies gradually curb melatonin production. The lack of this sleepy hormone (along with the boost of other bodily chemicals) helps to rouse you from your sleep and prepare your body for the day ahead.

What’s wrong with how we wake up today?

The problem now is that our bodies are built to react to the day/night cycle. In fact, the production of melatonin is directly controlled by the amount of light our eyes detect, even when our eyelids are closed.

But just because our bodies are wired to get sleepy at night time and energized at sunrise doesn’t mean that schedule lines up with our modern responsibilities. Actually, you’d be hard pressed to find any worker who doesn’t get up in the dark morning hours in some parts of the world.

That’s where the typical alarm clock comes in. Without it’s aggravating tones to shake us awake, many of us wouldn’t get to work on time.

This, of course, comes with some drawbacks.

First, starting our days before our body stops the production of melatonin makes it much harder to get going in the morning. And if you’re like most people and wake up at a later time on the weekend, you’re probably experiencing what researchers refer to as “social jet lag” which can come with some nasty health side effects.

What’s more, the more suddenly you’re awakened in the morning, the longer and more severe your “sleep inertia” will be. This period, described as the time between waking up and being fully mentally awake, is characterized by feelings of grogginess and moodiness as well as decreased memory, reaction time, and alertness.

The important takeaway here is that both of these effects aren’t caused necessarily by how long you sleep, but rather by how you are ultimately woken up!

Think of those wonderful weekend mornings where, instead of jumping out of bed at the shriek of your alarm clock, you get to wake up naturally and gradually. Don’t you feel so much happier and energized throughout the day?

That’s because you’re waking up the way you’re meant to!

But, like we said, you can’t just throw away your alarm clock. What are you supposed to do then?

The benefits of dawn simulation alarm clocks

Enter dawn simulators, the hero of the modern waking world!

These ingenious devices use gradual illumination to prep your body for the day rather than just the screeching cacophony of an everyday alarm.

It works like a normal alarm clock except as your wakeup time gets close, the clock begins emitting a soft glow that gradually increases, brightening up your room little by little.

As your closed eyes detect the growing light, you’ll gently be woken up over time rather than all at once, giving your body the time it needs to slow down melatonin production and get you ready for the day.

What could that mean for you? Less groggy mornings, no more snooze button, better mood and concentration in the mornings, and higher energy levels throughout your day.

With these alarm clocks being the clearly superior choice for anyone looking to improve how they feel during the day, the only question now is what can you do with all that extra energy?

Energize your day with smart bulbs 

How would cutting back on your daily fatigue change how you spend your day? Do you have any other energizing tips to add? Let us know in the comments below and be sure to check out the Flux Smart products to add some pep in your step!


The Future Is Now: 9 Amazing Things You Can Do With Smart Bulbs And IFTT Technology June 14, 2017 00:00

 

 

If you’re in the know when it comes to what’s trending in the world of apps and smart devices, you may have heard about IFTTT. More than just a fleeting fad, IFTTT (which stands for IF This Then That) is a platform that lets you open up communication channels called applets between your apps.

If what happens in one app meets the criteria you set, it triggers an action in another app you’ve connected it to, hence the name. An IFTTT applet may, for instance, automatically backup photos you’re tagged in on Facebook to an iOS Photos album. And the best part – these apps work automatically.

Plus, many applets are already developed for you. All it takes is downloading them and you’ve effortlessly set up a whole new level of automation for your connected world.

At Flux Smart, we’re proud to introduce our new IFTTT capabilities with our Wi-Fi smart bulb line. These unique applets let you add a world of functionality to your smart bulbs, all at the touch of a button.

So go ahead – check out what your new Flux Smart Wi-Fi bulbs can do!

Change the color of your lights when it starts raining

 

Nothing dampens the mood quite like a rainy day outside. But when you’ve got the bright indoor colors from your Flux Smart bulb, the grey and rainy weather doesn’t seem to be quite as gloomy.

This applet changes the color of your lights to something a bit cheerier every time Weather Underground shows it’s raining in your area. What’s more, it’ll even send you a notification on your phone as well!

Toggle Flux Smart Lights on/off

Sometimes all you want is just a simple button on your smart device to turn your lights on or off. And while the Flux Smart interface is definitely easy to use, having a switch you can tap right from your home screen is incredibly convenient.

No more finding the right app, switching over to your groups, and flipping them on. This applet is a one-touch solution that’ll add a whole new level of simplicity to your Flux Smart experience.

Turn off your lights at 2am

With this applet, you won’t have to wonder anymore if you actually hit that switch on your way out of town for the weekend. Instead, you can rest easy during your travels knowing that you aren’t racking up a tab with the electricity bill.

All it takes is setting a time when your lights should automatically turn off and voilà! Your Date & Time app and Flux Smart do the rest of the work for you. Say goodbye to wasting energy with this smart applet.

Blink the lights when your timer goes off

 

Few things are as frustrating as a burnt pizza or overcooking spaghetti. And when you’re listening to podcasts or music on full blast, it can be easy to miss the beeping of your timer.

That’s why Flux Smart developed this handy applet which integrates with Alexa to flash your lights once a timer is up. Ruined dinners (and missed appointments) will become a thing of the past with this clever IFTTT tool.

 

Turn off the lights when you leave home

 

 

We’ve all had those days before where you barely get out the door in time. And while you may have effectively juggled getting the kids ready, eating a wholesome meal, and making yourself presentable, there’s one thing you’re likely to forget before rushing out the door: turning off the lights.

But don’t worry. By using this applet along with the location data on your smart device, your Flux Smart lights can now automatically turn off whenever you leave your home for the day. A great way to save on energy costs on those hectic mornings!

 

Flash team colors on ESPN scores

 

Few things get the blood pumping like an adrenaline-boosting game on TV. And when your team scores? Nothing’s more exciting!

To help you celebrate the occasion, you can now set your lights to flash your favorite team’s colors any time they put some points on the board. By using ESPN’s in-game updates, you can choose from NFL, MLB, NBA, WNBA, NHL, College teams and more to get real-time team color flashing any time there’s an in-game or final score with this sporty new applet.

The perfect way to make your favorite game even more thrilling!

 

Turn on the lights when you arrive home

The future is here! And while laser beams and hover cars may still be a ways off, an intelligent home that knows when you’re walking through the door is no longer the stuff of science fiction thanks to this applet.

It uses your location data to communicate directly with your Flux Smart lights when you’re nearby and helps make your home warm and inviting after a long hard day at work by flipping the lights on for you. Futuristic? Not anymore…

 

Turn your lights on at sunset

Want to give your home a bright and cheery glow once the sun goes down for the day? This Flux Smart integration with the Weather Underground app lets you do just that! 

So whether you want to make your home as welcoming as possible or you’re out of town and are trying to scare off would-be burglars, this app makes it easy to brighten up your space before nightfall, all without you lifting a finger.

What kinds of new applets would you like to see?

These cool new IFTTT features make it easy to connect your Flux Smart lights to almost any other app. What kinds of integrations would you like to see? What do you think of these applets already available? Let us know in the comments below and be sure to check out the Flux Smart Wi-Fi bulbs to take advantage of IFTTT today!


4 Cool Décor Ideas in the Heat of Summer June 07, 2017 00:00

 

Summer is just around the corner. And while that may mean a brighter sun, better weather, and more kids running around the house, finding ways to help give your home a breezy décor to match can be tough.

That’s why we’ve put together these four interior design tips for bringing in this bright and cheery season with style.

A season for natural light

 get your natural lighting right

The bright months of summer are no time to isolate your home from the outdoors. The best memories from this season come from taking a trip to the beach, going on a hike with your family, and hosting a barbecue. That’s why, in order to take full advantage of the summer sun, you need to optimize your home for maximum natural light.

While putting in a new skylight might not be in the forecast right now, there are a few things you can do to maximize the natural light your home is already receiving.

Keeping windows and surfaces clean and shiny let light not only enter your space unimpeded, it’ll also help boost the shine of your interior surfaces. That means the light you already get is more easily spread to the darker corners of the room.

You can also give your home a new coat of indoor paint to help disperse that sunny cheer. While white paint is of course going to distribute light the most out of all the possible colors, a glossy finish on darker shades can make an enormous difference in how well natural light bounces around your home.

Give your home some color

 add a touch of color to your home

One of the best ways to bring in the bright and cheery nature of the season is by changing your home’s décor to match it. The lush greens of the grass and deep blues of a cloudless sky out the window all look much more vibrant when viewed from a room with colors to match.

That’s why many design aficionados are turning their home into an homage to the outdoors by adding bursts of bright azure and turquoise along with harlequin and malachite green accents. These bright hues will help keep your space feeling cheerful and airy all season long!

But don’t fall under the false impression that only bright colors should be used during the summer months. In fact, sometimes keeping your tones dark and cool can offset the blinding light of the sun and can even add some surprisingly attractive contrast as well.

Curb the heat with cool curtains

 use light colors to cool your home

While natural light is one of the keys to creating a comfortable and beautiful space, there can always to too much of a good thing. And that goes double for the blazing hot temperatures that summer can bring.

But before you go out buying any old draperies, you should know that not every curtain is created equally when it comes to heat blocking. In fact, there are several factors that go into which curtain will end up keeping your house the coolest.

Color and material of course are two of the most important (white and close-weave are best) but ensuring your draperies are long enough to reach the ground is another great heat blocking technique.

You can also keep your drapes sealed at the side and bottom to help keep that stifling heat from detracting from the sweet relief of air conditioning. More than anything though, keep an eye out for draperies that have white plastic backings. These can help eliminate up to one third of all heat entering through the windows!

Use smart lighting to get your light right

use smart lighting to get your light right

Finally, your interior lighting may be playing a bigger role in the feel of your home than you realize. Color temperature, for instance, is the measure of how yellow or blue your light is. Incandescent bulbs tend to give off a warmer (more yellow) light than the cooler (bluer) light of fluorescents and some LEDs.

And though the soft and cozy light of a romantic evening may be great for that particular occasion, it’s not doing you any favors in the scorching dog days of mid-June. But rather than switching over every single bulb in your home for some cooler light, many modern smart bulbs let you change your bulb’s color, right from your smart device.

Embrace summer with these 4 tips!

Do you have any other tricks to keep your home cool this summer? How are you changing the look and feel of your home during these hot months? Let us know in the comments below and head over to the Flux Smart products page to get your home cooled down today!


Bold LED Lighting Ideas to Give Your Interior Design Some Kick May 31, 2017 00:00

“Audaces fortuna iuvat – Fortune favors the bold.”

- Virgil

To live boldly is to proudly stand apart from the crowd, to express yourself freely and without hesitation, and to say to this world that this is who I am. Deal with it.

And when it comes to means of self-expression, interior design is certainly one of the best ways to get the message across.

You see, your home is supposed to be a physical representation of who you are. A serious professional may favor a clean, modernized type of décor that composed mostly of grayscale, for instance. A more jubilant and carefree soul, on the other hand, will tend to opt for a more comfortable design with an extensive array of colors and an inviting feel.

But no matter where you may fall on this spectrum, the fact remains that your home’s interior design should make a bold statement about who you are and what you stand for.

That’s why we’ve put together a short list of LED lighting ideas to help you express your inner self. And while there are certainly more ideas out there, the ones below are sure to give your décor a bit more kick.

The infinite versatility of LED light strips

how to use versatile LED smart lighting strips

Light strips are quickly becoming some of the most common types of accent lighting in many homes across the world. They’re easy to set up, incredibly versatile, and are (literally) more flexible than any other lighting type on the market today.

All it takes is a bit of tape and a nearby plug and you can add a burst of light to nearly any space.

The real benefit of the LED strip is that it creates a stronger contrast between two surfaces. Think of them as a type of interior design highlighter.

But the strips do more than just add some flare to your home. They can be incredibly useful when it comes to functionality as well. You can, for example, place a few strips below your bathroom sink or under the lip of your stairs to avoid some nasty falls in the night.

More than anything else though, they just look plain cool!

Get creative with under cabinet lighting

under cabinet smart lighting

Photo via Miserv.net

When it comes to functionality, few lighting types can trump under cabinet illumination. It’s especially important if, say, you’re scrambling to fix up a hearty and healthy meal in a jiffy – you want as much light as possible when your chopping veggies and frying up dinner.

But under cabinet lighting can be used for more than just meal prep. In fact, as you can see from the picture above, you can really add a lot of creativity to an underutilized space just by adding a few well-placed bursts of illumination. Simply stick a few LED puck lights underneath your countertops and voila!

See how the lighting completely transforms this everyday kitchen? Doesn’t get much bolder than that?

Bring some color to a dull space

bring smart lighting color to a dull space

One of the best things about LEDs is that they come in so many different colors! And while function is certainly the main goal of lighting a space, that doesn’t mean you can’t use your lights as a piece of decoration itself.

Sometimes all it takes to completely revamp the feel of a room is a little explosion of color. It doesn’t have to be a lot! Take a look at the modern and mostly monochrome hallway above. Notice how the blue and red lights inject a whole new personality into the area?

What’s more, you can use the colors provided by smart light bulbs to accentuate certain pieces of décor or architectural interest. This technique, a staple of most professional interior decorators, is called “accent lighting.”

Even better, the only limit to how you use accent lighting is your own creativity! Use it as a simple splash of color or highlight your favorite painting. You can even use it to add a whole new level of immersion to watching a movie like in the picture below.

But more than anything else, you can use it to add some boldness to your home!

use smart lighting to give your design kick

Photo by Stephan Legachev via Wikimedia

Ready to give your décor some kick?

What creative ways to use the endlessly versatile LED lights have you come up with? Do you have any other tips for anyone looking to bring a bit of bold to their design scheme? Let us know in the comment section below and be sure to check out the Flux Smart product line!

 


A Better-Lit Bedroom: The Lighting Guide For Beauty And Functionality May 24, 2017 00:00

smart lighting in the bedroom

Few other rooms in the home are as versatile and widely used as the bedroom.

Whereas these space used to be used simply to catch a few Zs in the past, the modern bedroom has now become everything from home office and family room to lounge and even dining room (beware of crumbs in the bed though).

But with all these different functionalities increasingly converging into a single space, it might be especially difficult to get your lighting scheme just right. After all, the warm and soft lighting of your end tables just doesn’t work for brightening up your desk.

That’s why we’ve put together this short guide on how to light this multipurpose room both functionally and beautifully.

Lighting your bed: the focus

lighting your bed

Let’s start with why we’re all here in the first place – the bed!

Not only is the bed the primary reason we end up in this room anyhow, it’s also the place we spend about one third of our entire lifetime!

And when you add in all the other things we do in bed like checking email, a bit of light reading, and binge-watching TV, you’d be hard pressed to find an area of your home that gets more usage.

So, what’s the best way to light the most-used space in your home? Flexibly.

Given all the different kinds of tasks we perform in bed every single day, making the claim that there’s one ultimate lighting scheme that’ll work for everyone is, well, just not true.

Sitting around and watching the tube doesn’t take a whole lot of dexterity and attention to detail (especially because most of us can navigate the remote with our eyes closed). And less details means lower lighting.  

On the other hand, digging into a novel will probably take a bit more concentration and thus requires brighter lights.

The solution to this multifaceted lighting quandary – a dimmer!

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, few things come in as handy as a dimmer switch. Being able to adjust the luminosity of your fixtures lets you cater the brightness of your room to the activity, not the other way around.

Don’t forget about color temperature

What’s more, it’s crucial to both your sleep schedule and to the comfortable feel of your bedroom that you educate yourself on the ins and outs of color temperature. Beyond radically altering the look of your space, lighting your bedroom with the wrong kind of bulb can even make it harder for you to have a good night’s rest.

Take the time, then, to outfit your end table lights with warm, soft lighting rather than cool and crisp. While the bluer light might look great in a kitchen or even the office, the harsh lines and disconcerting modernity that comes with cool lighting doesn’t exactly create a space you just want to curl up in.

Taking that into account, a few things should be said about recessed lighting. While many recessed lighting schemes give homeowners an affordable and convenient illumination solution, they come at the price of adding a lot of “direct lighting” to a space.

Rather than bathing a room in light through shades or upward lighting like lamps and other fixtures (indirect lighting), recessed lighting typically shines directly down onto the occupants. The result is a high contrast bedroom that no one will feel at home in.

And if you do have recessed lighting already, be sure to outfit your fixtures with warm and soft lighting to help dampen these effects.

Lighting the other areas of your bedroom

 

Now that you’ve got the focus of your bedroom looking great, what about the rest of the area? After all, a bedroom is far more than just a bed nowadays.

As with any other space in your home, there are definitely a few mistakes to avoid at all costs. Getting your task lighting just right is one that will apply to any bedroom that has a corner set aside specifically for reading or working on the computer.

But again, you’ll want to be sure each of these lights has a dimmer and uses warm, soft lighting as well. This is especially important if your partner is trying to get some shuteye and you’re still burning the midnight oil on the other side of the room.

Most importantly though, is lighting your bedroom how you want it. This is where you’ll end up spending about a third of your life after all.

Got any other bedroom lighting tips?

If you’ve found a few lighting tips that have really revolutionized your space, let us know in the comment section below! And brighten up yo


9 Pro Lighting Tips To Brighten Any Kitchen May 17, 2017 00:00

smart lighting over the kitchen sink

When it comes to the average time Americans spend performing household activities, the overwhelming majority is dedicated to food preparation and meal cleanup.

In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that we spend a whopping 25% to 37% of our daily housework time just in the kitchen alone.

It’s no wonder, then, that many people consider the décor of their kitchen to be instrumental in setting the personality for the rest of their home.

That’s why getting your kitchen lighting just right is not only crucial, it should be a priority for anyone looking to improve both the look and feel of their living space.

These 9 lighting tips will help ensure your kitchen is more than just functional—it’s stunning as well.  

Don’t depend entirely on recessed lighting

don't depend on recessed lighting

Overdoing your kitchen’s recessed lighting is one of the biggest interior design mistakes you can make. Besides the overpowering glare and the discomforting effects of too much direct overhead light, a room strictly lit by recessed fixtures seems to lack personality.

That’s why you should take extra special care to include other lighting fixtures as well. Chandeliers, wall sconces, table lamps, and under-cabinet lighting are just a few examples of how you can vary it up.


Dimmers are key

An interior decorator’s best friend, the dimmer switch is incredibly important to each and every room’s lighting scheme and the kitchen’s no exception. Nothing alters the mood quite as dramatically as the level of lighting so be sure to seek out dimmable fixtures or bulbs that have the functionality built right in.

Doing so will let you transform your highly productive food factory into a softly lit dinner space.

Keep it bright where you need it, comfortable where you don’t

used under cabinet lighting

Keeping in line with the prior tip, don’t bring a disproportionate amount of light to your kitchen space. While it’s definitely advantageous to have bright lighting in the specific cooking areas, certain zones are meant for conversation and actually eating such as center islands.

For these spaces, try to tone down the lighting a bit to add some comfort and encourage friendly discussion.

Incorporate under-cabinet lighting into your kitchen

One of the best new ways to light your kitchen is by adding under-cabinet illumination.

Functioning as both a form of task lighting (for more accurate cooking) as well as accent lighting due to its visual appeal, you can make chopping vegetables on the counter easier than ever while also injecting a bit of style at the same time.

What’s more, such systems can be as simple as LED light strips or tap lights, making them highly accessible for just about anyone!  


Don’t neglect the other types of lighting

While the kitchen might be the most task lighting-oriented room in the house, that’s no reason to forget about ambient and accent lighting entirely.

Ambient lighting does particularly well at filling in the dark corners of the kitchen that task lighting just isn’t concerned with.

And when it comes to giving a space a bit of style, there’s no better way of doing so than by highlighting architectural and stylistic features of the room with accent lighting.

Pendants galore

smart lighting pendants in the kitchen

If you’ve got your pulse on the world of interior design, you’ve undoubtedly noticed the growing interest in and love for pendant lighting. These beautifully varied and highly versatile lighting elements are perfect for brightening up your kitchen space, especially over the center island.

What’s more, they come in a seemingly endless array of designs and colors so you’re guaranteed to find one that matches your design scheme perfectly.

Use home automation to quickly set the scene

Home automation isn’t just for your thermostat and your television anymore. In fact, adding a bit of smart technology into your lighting has become one of the most quickly growing home trends in the past decade. And incorporating it into your kitchen is both surprisingly simple and incredibly useful.

Beyond being able to tell such smart personal assistants like Amazon’s Alexa to brighten and lower your kitchen’s lights, all without touching a switch, you can also have customized lighting schemes on tap.

Want to brighten the space for an all-counter cooking extravaganza with one click? Or maybe you’d like to vary the lighting scheme just a bit to add some romance to the space. Either way, most smart bulbs will let you create your own personalized lighting scenes at the touch of a button.

Keep it balanced

balance your smart lighting in the kitchen

And finally, try to keep your kitchen’s lighting balanced. The look and feel of a space’s lighting scheme mainly comes down to the interplay between the three types of lighting: task, ambient, and accent.

While each are important to have in every room, you don’t want one to overpower the other. Is your task lighting drawing the eye more than your accent lighting? Is the ambient light too low to really fill in the gaps produced by the other two?

It takes a bit of mix and matching but, with a bit of hard work, a sharp eye, and following the tips above, your kitchen is bound to become one heck of a gorgeous space.

How have you used lighting to bring your kitchen to life?

What’s your favorite kitchen lighting technique? Which ones have changed both the look and feel of your space? Let us know in the comment section below and get cookin’ with the Flux Smart product line!


The 4 Do's And Don'ts Of Lighting Your Bathroom With Smart Bulbs May 10, 2017 00:00

smart lighting in the bathroom

When it comes to interior design, most people tend to focus on high traffic areas like the entryway, family room, and kitchen.

And while it’s true, setting the right tone in each of these spaces can make or break the feel of your entire home, there’s one more area that many people tend to overlook—the bathroom.

It’s too bad too. The bathroom is where we start and finish most of our days, get our looks just right, and even take a break from the rest of the world to relax, if only for just a few minutes.

But in order to get as much use out of your bathroom as possible, it’ll take a fair amount of lighting knowledge on your part.

That’s why we’ve put together a list of the top 4 dos and don’ts to take into account when illuminating your bathroom.

So, have a look! And before you know it, the bathroom just might become your favorite room in the house!

Do: Use smart bulbs to provide adequate task lighting

how to use smart bulbs for task lighting

There are three types of lighting: ambient, accent, and task. And when it comes to the bathroom, the most important type of lighting by far is task lighting.

Task lighting lets you see all the small details when you’re getting ready for your day. That means shaving, putting on makeup, and other daily grooming tasks are all made easier and more effective when performed in the right kind of light.

Vanity lighting is considered the most common type of task lighting in a bathroom. And while you may be tempted to settle on simply the prettiest design, there’s a bit more to consider than just visuals.

Overhead vanity lighting, for example, might end up producing shadows on your face, making it harder to perform grooming tasks accurately. That’s why it’s best to use task lighting that evenly lights the entire target area.

See how the built-in lighting above illuminates from the sides rather than from above? A great idea for anyone looking for ways to improve their bathroom’s task lighting!

Don't: Overdo it

don't overdo it in the bathroom with smart lighting

As with other rooms in your home, your bathroom décor can really suffer from overdoing your lighting.

See how the room above, despite being very well lit, comes off as a bit unnerving? That’s because its lighting is far too overpowered for the space.

Proper and attractive bathroom illumination is a balancing act between adequate brightness for performing tasks and dimness to keep the space comfortable.

So, experiment a bit! It might take a bit of work but once you’ve got the right mix of both, your bathroom will become both functional and relaxing.

Do: Pay attention to other layers of light

how to layer smart lighting in the bathroom

As mentioned earlier, there are three types of lighting. While task lighting is important to ensure you’re able to, say, put on makeup in the morning, strong ambient and accent lighting are also crucial to giving your bathroom both improved functionality and an attractive appeal.

Ambient light, for instance, is a type of lighting that helps illuminate an entire space. In a bathroom, this typically comes in the form of an overhead light.

Accent lighting, on the other hand, is all about style. It’s used to highlight particularly attractive design pieces or architectural interests.

Using a combination of these three lighting types is called “layering” and helps give your spaces depth, character, and visual appeal.

Take a look at the bathroom above for an example of how to interweave all these illumination types into a single beautifully lit space.

Do: Use smart bulbs in the bathroom

use smart bulbs in the bathroom

Like every other room in your home, your bathroom’s overall feel can change drastically just by switching the type of bulb you’re using. From warm and cool to colored and normal, the type of light your bulb puts out can mean the difference between a bathroom that’s inviting and comfortable or clean and modern.

Beyond that, having your bathroom’s illumination controlled by a dimmer switch is incredibly handy. For instance, if you’re running late in the morning and need to shave as quickly and accurately as possible before today’s big meeting, you’ll want a brighter bathroom to get the job done. If, however, you’re looking to melt the stress away by relaxing in the tub, you’ll want your lighting to be a bit lower to enhance the mood.

With all these different aspects of lighting to consider, it’s no wonder many people are taking advantage of the versatility of smart bulbs. These lights typically let you change both the color output as well as its brightness.

Talk about design flexibility!

So, follow these four dos and don’ts for lighting to turn your bathroom into a beacon of function and comfort!

How have you used smart bulbs in the bathroom?

What kind of bathroom lighting tips have you discovered? How has using smart bulbs changed the look and feel of your space? Let us know in the comment section below and add some flare to your bathroom with the Flux Smart product line!


5 Festive Decorating Tips for Your Cinco De Mayo Party May 03, 2017 00:00

 

10773353885_ae7e30a70e_k.jpg 

Photo by jazbeck via Flickr

Welcome to May!

While students might associate this wonderful month with the end of school and good sons and daughters know that Mother’s Day is right around the corner, there’s one more May date that warrants significant celebration: Cinco de Mayo!

Commonly mistaken as Mexico’s Independence Day (actually on September 16th), Cinco de Mayo actually commemorates the impressive defeat of French forces by the Mexican Army at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. It has since become an overarching celebration of Latin culture by people of any ancestry.

And while May 5th might be less than a week away, there’s still time to throw up a few choice decorations and party favors to really add a bit of flair to your party this year. Check out the tips below to make your Cinco de Mayo get together a real hit!

Sombreros, sombreros, sombreros

 

One of the key elements to really nailing the right spirit at your Cinco de Mayo parties is the décor. And few décor calls out Mexico like a good old fashioned sombrero.

Whether you decide to go with traditional straw or if you lean a bit more towards some pizzazz with felt like the one shown above, a few well-placed sombreros are essential for any Cinco de Mayo party worth its salt.

And you can even buy them in bulk to hand out to your party guests to really set the atmosphere.

It’s all about color!

 

 

When it comes to picking out the right design scheme for your party, Cinco de Mayo has some really beautiful color options that will not only brighten up your home, they’ll also help put your guests in the right frame of mind and add to the authenticity of the décor.

Try using plenty of pinks, purples, yellows and greens like the colors shown above. Bright blue is another popular color for this holiday as well. The question now is how are you going to use them?

Napkins and table cloths can add a few bursts of Cinco de Mayo color to your home and are a some of the most common decorations. But if you really want to blow your guests out of the water this year, try incorporating these hues directly into your lighting.

As you may already know, accent lighting is one of the best ways to change the personality and general feel of a room. And when you combine this technique with actual colored light, like that produced by a smart bulb, you can change the entire design of your home with your lights alone. 

Pepper your party with Papel Picado

 

Photo by Valerie Hinojosa via Flickr

Literally translated as “pecked paper,” this decoration is one of the most well-known and widely recognized types of Mexican folk art and is the perfect way to add a splash of color to your party.

While you can find these intricately designed tissue paper hangings in almost any party store, you could add a touch of personal style to the décor by creating your own instead. All it takes is a bit of colored tissue paper, a pair of scissors, and a ball of yarn. It couldn’t be easier!

The Cinco de Mayo spread

 

While technically not a decorating tip, keeping your guests’ bellies full with delicious and authentic Mexican dishes is one of the most important parts of throwing a successful Cinco de Mayo party.

Chips, salsa, and guacamole are some of the staples but don’t stop there! Chimichangas, enchiladas, tacos, burritos, bean dips, and tamales are all fair game. And don’t skimp on the margaritas!

Don’t forget the piñata!

Photo by Eric Chan via Flickr

No Cinco de Mayo party is complete without a traditional Mexican piñata! While nothing beats taking a few blindfolded swings at these candy-filled festivities, piñatas can be used for more than just a fun diversion.

This year, try placing a few small piñatas around the party and at the serving station. Beyond putting your guests in the festive mood, these can provide a few bursts of much needed color as well.

Let us know what you think!

How else have you decorated your home to celebrate Cinco de Mayo this year? Do you have any other tips to really bring a party to life? Let us know in the comment section below and help celebrate this Cinco de Mayo with the Flux Smart product line!


Bright And Clean Or Soft And Inviting? Using Smart Lighting And Color Temperature To Bring Your Decor To Life April 26, 2017 00:00

 

The world of lighting aesthetics can be broken down into a few different characteristics. 

You’ve got the design and appeal of the fixture itself, the functionality of the light (static brightness or dimmable), and the actual type of light produced such as color and color temperature.

And while it’s crucial to ensure your lighting options are both attractive and flexible, the third characteristic is really the most important when it comes to setting the mood of a space.

Cool vs. Warm Lighting: What’s the difference?

There are a couple of options when it comes to trying to determine what kind of light will really reflect the personality you’re looking for.

One of the newest innovations in lighting is using color psychology to help control the feel of your home, a technique which is becoming even easier to take advantage of thanks to the rise of color changing smart bulbs.

Another option is using color temperature to cater to your desired design scheme. Color temperature isn’t new to the interior decorating industry. In fact, choosing the right kind of bulb has always been one of the most important steps in determining how your home should look and feel.

This critical aspect of lighting is used to describe the color of the light produced by a fixture. It ranges from yellowish light (warm) to blueish light (cool).

 

(Image by Holek via Wikimedia)

In the past, warm color temperature used to only come from incandescent bulbs and candles while a cool color temperature light was produced by fluorescent and LED bulbs.

As lighting technology has advanced though, you can now find a lot of bulbs that cross these lines, from incandescents that give off cool blue light, to LEDs that specialize in producing a warm yellow glow.

The trick is matching the type of light you want to the Kelvin that each bulb gives off, usually indicated somewhere on the packaging. The scale shown above will give you a good idea of what kind of light is produced by a bulb.

Using color temperature in your interior design

Now that you know the basics about color temperature we can get into what a masterfully chosen bulb can do for your design scheme.

You see, each type of light carries with it a different feel. Warm light, for instance, tends to help you and your guests feel safe and comfortable. It can help create a restful setting where conversation flows and, given the right company, romance can bloom.

The restaurant setting pictured below has created a cozy atmosphere with their lighting that lends itself well to intimacy, relaxation, and luxury.

 

 

Cool lighting on the other hand tends to add a bit of sleekness to a room’s feel. The crisp bright whites and blues of higher temperature lighting gives a sense of freshness to a space that warm lighting simply can’t.

While the burst of purple and the interesting design of the overhead light tend to draw the eye first, the room pictured below is a great example of how cool lighting contribute to the feeling of cleanliness and modernity of the space.

 

 Mixing and matching

For the most part, warm and cool lighting have been used exclusively for traditional and modern design respectively. The relaxed, inviting nature of warm lighting matches well with the similar atmosphere of traditional design and the clean bright feel of cool lighting lends itself well to modernity.

But just because you are going for a more traditional design scheme doesn’t mean you can’t employ cool lighting to alter the feel of your home. The kitchen pictured below, for instance, incorporates elements of wood in the chairs and island along with iron overhead lighting, but bathes the room in cool bright light. And it still looks great!

 

It can go the other way too. The living room pictured below, for example, is a great indicator of how a modern design scheme (with the black and white colors and contemporary décor) can still feel warm and inviting given the right kind of lighting.

 

So don’t be afraid to mix and match. The examples above show that with a bit of tweaking, you can pull it off!

One of the best ways you can play with your design is by investing in light bulbs that not only have variable brightness settings (like built-in dimmers) but also that have the ability to change their color temperature output.

That way you don’t need to keep running back to the store for a bulb with a different color temperature.

Set the mood with smart lighting 

How has your design benefited from changing your lighting’s color temperature? Do you have any tips for incorporating color temperature into your décor? Let us know in the comment section below and use color temperature to your advantage with the Flux Smart product line!