A San Francisco Renovation Inspired by ‘American Gigolo’

When an interior designer and a software engineer set about renovating their new house, they had no idea what it would ultimately involve.

#furniture, #home-repairs-and-improvements, #interior-design-and-furnishings, #lighting, #real-estate-and-housing-residential, #restoration-and-renovation, #san-francisco-calif

How to Create a Home Bar That Will Dazzle Your Guests

All it takes is a tiny space — a niche, a shallow closet or even a cabinet — to make a cocktail bar that’s a thing of beauty. Here’s how.

#cocktails-and-mixed-drinks, #design, #home-repairs-and-improvements, #interior-design-and-furnishings, #lighting, #real-estate-and-housing-residential, #restoration-and-renovation

It Was Supposed to Be a Spec House. Then the Builder Got Emotionally Involved.

Building a house in the Graduate Hospital neighborhood of Philadelphia was a business opportunity — that’s all. But something changed along the way.

#furniture, #home-repairs-and-improvements, #interior-design-and-furnishings, #lighting, #philadelphia-pa, #real-estate-and-housing-residential, #restoration-and-renovation

Beneath a Blanket of Stars

It isn’t as easy as it once was to find a dazzling night sky. In search of the Milky Way, our writer headed to Utah, which has the densest concentration of designated Dark Sky places in the world.

#arches-national-park-utah, #lighting, #space-and-astronomy, #stars-and-galaxies, #travel-and-vacations

For a Modern ‘Brady Bunch,’ a Modernist Family Home in Seattle

When a music industry veteran and a novelist married, they had six children between them. The challenge was creating a place where everyone would be comfortable.

#design, #furniture, #home-repairs-and-improvements, #interior-design-and-furnishings, #lighting, #real-estate-and-housing-residential, #restoration-and-renovation, #seattle-wash

They Broke Up With Two Architects Before Finding the Right One

‘It’s like going through bad relationships,’ said an owner of the 1975 Bay Area home. ‘The house needed an architect who wasn’t so driven by ego.’

#furniture, #home-repairs-and-improvements, #interior-design-and-furnishings, #lighting, #real-estate-and-housing-residential, #restoration-and-renovation, #san-francisco-calif

Old-Fashioned, Inefficient Light Bulbs Live On at the Nation’s Dollar Stores

A Trump administration weakening of climate rules has kept incandescent bulbs on store shelves, and research shows they’re concentrated in shops serving poorer areas.

#electric-light-bulbs, #energy-efficiency, #global-warming, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #lighting, #regulation-and-deregulation-of-industry, #united-states-politics-and-government

They Remodeled Before Covid. Here’s What They Regret Now.

The live-work space in Jersey City, N.J., should have been ideal for lockdown. But hindsight born of a pandemic taught them a few things.

#content-type-personal-profile, #furniture, #home-repairs-and-improvements, #interior-design-and-furnishings, #lighting, #quarantine-life-and-culture, #real-estate-and-housing-residential, #restoration-and-renovation

A Flea-Infested Former Convent: How Could They Resist?

The 1926 building owned by the Catholic Church looked as if it hadn’t been updated in decades. One Dallas family was charmed.

#dallas-tex, #furniture, #home-repairs-and-improvements, #interior-design-and-furnishings, #lighting, #real-estate-and-housing-residential, #restoration-and-renovation

Supply Chain Shortages Are Dimming Christmas Displays

With twinkling lights, inflatable Santas and computer chips in high demand, the disruption has not spared those who turn their homes into illuminated wonderlands each December.

#christmas, #conventions-fairs-and-trade-shows, #holidays-and-special-occasions, #lighting, #national-retail-federation, #ships-and-shipping, #shopping-and-retail, #shortages, #supply-chain

The Confounding Lightness of Helen Pashgian

Long underrecognized for her innovations, a trailblazer of the Light and Space Movement is suddenly juggling three tribute shows to her six-decade career.

#art, #california, #content-type-personal-profile, #irwin-robert, #lehmann-maupin-gallery, #lighting, #pashgian-helen, #santa-fe-nm, #site-santa-fe, #turrell-james, #women-and-girls

Restoring a 1788 House in Charleston, S.C., With a Walled Garden

The stately 1788 home in South Carolina had expansive rooms and a walled garden. But it needed a lot of work — and that would take time and money.

#charleston-sc, #furniture, #home-repairs-and-improvements, #interior-design-and-furnishings, #lighting, #real-estate-and-housing-residential, #restoration-and-renovation

In Florida, a Gut Renovation in Shades of Grape

The overwrought moldings in their neo-Classical home had begun to feel stuffy, so they redid the whole thing — with an emphasis on food and wine.

#delray-beach-fla, #furniture, #home-repairs-and-improvements, #interior-design-and-furnishings, #lighting, #real-estate-and-housing-residential, #restoration-and-renovation

Lights Out: 5 New ‘Dark-Sky Places’ for Top-Shelf Stargazing

The International Dark-Sky Association awards certifications to sites with exceptionally high-quality night skies, including national parks, sanctuaries and reserves.

#appalachian-mountain-club, #black-gap-wildlife-management-area, #chiricahua-national-monument-az, #international-dark-sky-assn, #lighting, #mammoth-cave-national-park, #milky-way-galaxy, #national-park-service, #national-parks-monuments-and-seashores, #parks-and-other-recreation-areas, #pollution, #space-and-astronomy, #united-states, #watoga-state-park-w-va, #wildlife-sanctuaries-and-nature-reserves

The Austin Bungalow Had Charm. But It ‘Needed Everything.’

After noticing a realtor ‘sitting, literally head in hand, on the front steps,’ a Texas couple decided to buy the house. That was two renovations ago.

#austin-tex, #furniture, #home-repairs-and-improvements, #interior-design-and-furnishings, #lighting, #real-estate-and-housing-residential, #restoration-and-renovation

Before Renovating, They Had to Get Rid of the Current Occupants: Mice

Some $40,000 later, they could finally start thinking about updating the house they bought in Farmington, Conn.

#farmington-conn, #furniture, #home-repairs-and-improvements, #interior-design-and-furnishings, #lighting, #real-estate-and-housing-residential, #restoration-and-renovation, #rodents

A New Way to Look at Furniture in Milan

A special edition of the Milan Furniture Fair, called Supersalone, turns pandemic constraints into a chance for innovation and anchors a five-day design celebration throughout the city.

#art, #ceramics-and-pottery, #conventions-fairs-and-trade-shows, #design, #furniture, #interior-design-and-furnishings, #lighting, #mirrors

A Derelict Warehouse as a Second Home?

Even his artsy friends were skeptical. But for $70,000, he knew he could find a way to make it work.

#furniture, #home-repairs-and-improvements, #interior-design-and-furnishings, #lighting, #real-estate-and-housing-residential, #restoration-and-renovation, #washington-state

Lamps and Sculptures That Evoke New York City Skyscrapers

The designer Umberto Bellardi Ricci’s metal lighting and cement objects feel of a kind with the buildings outside his window.

#bellardi-ricci-umberto, #content-type-personal-profile, #design, #furniture, #lighting, #new-york-city, #sculpture

Blinded by Brighter Headlights? It’s Not Your Imagination.

The rising use of light-emitting diodes and the popularity of pickups and S.U.V.s have prompted complaints about the glare and intensity of headlights.

#automobile-safety-features-and-defects, #automobiles, #eyes-and-eyesight, #glare, #headlights, #light-emitting-diodes, #lighting

Turn the Lights Out. Here Come the Birds.

Buildings, landmarks and monuments are turning off lights to prevent fatal impacts as birds set off on spring migration.

#academy-of-natural-sciences, #animal-behavior, #animal-migration, #audubon-society-national, #birds, #canada, #conservation-of-resources, #cornell-lab-of-ornithology, #dallas-tex, #florida, #fort-worth-tex, #lighting, #new-york-city, #windows

New Study Sheds Light on Why Grasshoppers Flocked to Vegas

In a new study, ecologists document the impact that the world’s brightest city has on the insect population.

#biology-letters-journal, #grasshoppers, #las-vegas-nev, #lighting, #your-feed-animals, #your-feed-science

How Many Renovations Does It Take to Get Things Just Right?

More than one, as a Chicago designer and her client — who also happens to be her brother — discovered.

#chicago-ill, #content-type-personal-profile, #furniture, #home-repairs-and-improvements, #interior-design-and-furnishings, #lighting, #quarantine-life-and-culture, #real-estate-and-housing-residential, #restoration-and-renovation

College Student’s Simple Invention Helps Nurses Work and Patients Rest

The device, a wearable night light that can minimize disturbances for sleeping patients, is the brainchild of a University of Pennsylvania senior and a neonatal I.C.U. nurse.

#anthony-scarpone-lambert, #innovation, #jennifferre-mancillas, #lighting, #nursing-and-nurses, #start-ups, #unight-light

Shopping for Clamp Lamps

A clamp lamp is the easiest fix when you need to bring light to a dark corner — or a makeshift home office.

#content-type-service, #design, #furniture, #home-repairs-and-improvements, #interior-design-and-furnishings, #lighting, #quarantine-life-and-culture, #real-estate-and-housing-residential

Holiday Lights Go Big This Year

In this upended holiday season, Americans are decorating their rooflines and yards with gusto as a way to demand some cheer from a gloomy year.

#christmas, #dutchess-county-ny, #dyker-heights-brooklyn-ny, #guinness-world-records, #lighting, #montclair-nj, #quarantine-life-and-culture, #real-estate-and-housing-residential

Juganu begins selling its tunable lighting system for pathogen disinfection and deactivation in the US

Juganu, the venture-backed Israeli company that makes lighting systems capable of emitting light at specified wavelengths, is now selling a product that it claims can disinfect surfaces and deactivate pathogens in an attempt to provide buildings with new safety technologies that can prevent the spread of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

The company claims that its J.Protect product was clinically validated through a study conducted by Dr. Meital Gal-Tanamy at the Bar-Ilan University Faculty of Medicine (although Dr. Gal-Tanamy’s research typically focuses on the Hepatitis C virus, which has a different transmission vector than airborne viruses like Sars-Cov-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19).

Juganu said that the new product has been registered with the US Environmental Protection Agency in 46 states and is currently working with Comcast, Qualcomm, and NCR Corp. to bring its lighting disinfectant and deactivation technology to markets around the country.

The lighting technology uses two kinds of ultraviolet light — A and C — to render viruses inert and kill bacteria on surfaces, according to the company’s claims.

When people are present in a room, the company’s system uses UVA light which can render viruses inert after eight hours of exposure. If the room is empty, the lighting system will use UVC light, which is more potent as disinfectant and more harmful to people, to disinfect a room in under an hour.

The company tested its technology on surfaces, but did not conduct any tests involving their lighting system’s effects on aerosolized viral particles, which have been determined to be the main cause of infections from the novel coronavirus.

“We got an exemption from the FDA and are approved for distribution by the EPA in 48 states,” said Juganu chief executive, Eran Ben-Shmuel in an interview.

The company has already pre-sold the lighting technology in Israel and in India, according to Ben-Shmuel, and is now taking orders for installations in the US.

Juganu, which has raised $53 million to date from investors including Comcast Ventures, Viola Growth, Amdocs, and OurCrowd has offices in Israel, Brazil, Mexico, and the US, has already sold lighting systems to municipalities and businesses around the country.

The new hardware opens up a new line of business in the booming market for technologies targeting the reopening of businesses in the nations that have been hit the hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Smart lighting will be one of the biggest areas of opportunity for physical spaces. We are evolving from lights simply illuminating spaces to disinfecting and securing them, as well as promoting well-being by recreating natural light shifts based on sunrise and sunset,” said Ben-Shmuel, in a statement. 


#articles, #brazil, #comcast-ventures, #disinfectant, #fda, #health, #home-automation, #hygiene, #india, #israel, #lighting, #mexico, #ourcrowd, #protect, #qualcomm, #smart-lighting, #tc, #united-states

The Lamp Was a Clue to a Life I Didn’t Know My Mother Had

Like many women in the 1960s, Helen Lamb gave up a career to be a wife and mother. Decades later, her son discovered what she sacrificed.

#interior-design-and-furnishings, #lamps-and-lampshades, #lighting, #real-estate-and-housing-residential

Philips Hue’s new Play gradient lightstrip promises a big upgrade for home entertainment spaces

Smart lighting company Philips Hue has a new product in its home entertainment catalog that should make a smart TV lighting setup much easier and more powerful. The new Philips Hue Play gradient lightstrip features individually-addressable full-color LEDs, meaning each one can be tuned to a different color independent of the rest for a more immersive color-matching experience when using it in tandem with the Philips Hue Play HDMI Sync box, or the sync software for PC or Mac.

The new gradient lightstrip is custom-made in three different size settings, for 55-inch ($199.99), 65-inch ($219.99) and 75-inch ($239.99) TVs respectively. The company created them in these settings for easy mounting and installation, but you can also use them with larger or smaller sets with just a bit of tweaking. They’re available for pre-order now, and will ship on October 16 in the U.S.

Using the Hue Sync mobile app, users can tweak the position and height of the gradient lights (and any other compatible Hue products) in their entertainment area, and the lights will tune their color and brightness to match what’s being displayed on screen. Prior versions of Hue’s lightstrip products were only able to switch entirely from one color to another, meaning they weren’t nearly as good at matching specific to particular areas of the screen. The gradient lightstrip looks to be able to provide a much more natural and immersive color matching experience as a result.

Image Credits: Philips Hue

Alongside the new gradient lightstrip, Philips also introduced a number of other new products, including a redesigned Hue Iris table lamp that now has increased brightness, better colors, and a lower dimmed floor. It’s got Bluetooth onboard, for use with out a Hue bridge, too. Likewise for the company’s news Philips Hue E12 candelabra bulbs, which all have Bluetooth on board.

Image Credits: Philips Hue

The Hue collection also now includes vintage-look filament bulbs in two new form factors, ungluing a large globe and. large Edison design, and the Hue Ensis pendant light is available in a new black colorway. Finally, there’s a new Philips Hue White buster E14 bubble, which is a tiny adorable little bulb for use in itty bitty sconce lights and other small fixtures.


#bluetooth, #companies, #consumer-electronics, #gadgets, #hardware, #home-automation, #lighting, #philips-hue, #tc, #united-states

Bright Outdoor Lights Tied to Less Sleep, More Anxiety in Teenagers

The more intense the lighting in teenagers’ neighborhoods, the poorer their sleep and the greater their risk for depression and anxiety.

#jama-psychiatry-journal, #lighting, #mental-health-and-disorders, #sleep, #teenagers-and-adolescence

How to upgrade your at-home videoconference setup: Lighting edition

In this instalment of our ongoing series around making the most of your at-home video setup, we’re going to focus on one of the most important, but least well understood or implemented parts of the equation: Lighting. While it isn’t actually something that requires a lot of training, expertise or even equipment to get right, it’s probably the number one culprit for subpar video quality on most conference calls – and it can mean the difference between looking like someone who knows what they talk about, and someone who might not inspire too much confidence on seminars, speaking gigs and remote broadcast appearances.


You can make a very big improvement in your lighting with just a little work, and without spending any money. The secret is all in being aware of your surroundings and optimizing your camera placement relative to any light sources that might be present. Consider not only any ceiling lights or lamps in your room, but also natural light sources like windows.

Ideally, you should position yourself so that the source of brightest light is positioned behind your camera (and above it, if possible). You should also make sure that there aren’t any strong competing light sources behind you that might blow out the image. If you have a large window and it’s daytime, face the window with your back to a wall, for instance. And if you have a moveable light or a overhead lamp, either move it so it’s behind and above your computer facing you, or move yourself if possible to achieve the same effect with a fixed position light fixture, like a ceiling pendant.

Ideally, any bright light source should be positioned behind and slightly above your camera for best results.

Even if the light seems aggressively bright to you, it should make for an even, clear image on your webcam. Even though most webcams have auto-balancing software features that attempt to produce the best results regardless of lighting, they can only do so much, and especially lower-end camera hardware like the webcam built into MacBooks will benefit greatly from some physical lighting position optimization.

This is an example of what not to do: Having a bright light source behind you will make your face hard to see, and the background blown out.

Simple ways to level-up

The best way to step up beyond the basics is to learn some of the fundamentals of good video lighting. Again, this doesn’t necessarily require any purchases – it could be as simple as taking what you already have and using it in creative ways.

Beyond just the above advice about putting your strongest light source behind your camera pointed towards your face, you can get a little more sophisticated by adopting the principles of two- and three-point lighting. You don’t need special lights to make this work – you just need to use what you have available and place them for optimal effect.

  • Two-point lighting

A very basic, but effective video lighting setup involves positioning not just one, but two lights pointed towards your face behind, or parallel with your camera. Instead of putting them directly in line with your face, however, for maximum effect you can place them to either side, and angle them in towards you.

A simple representation of how to position lights for a proper two-point video lighting setup.

Note that if you can, it’s best to make one of these two lights brighter than the other. This will provide a subtle bit of shadow and depth to the lighting on your face, resulting in a more pleasing and professional look. As mentioned, it doesn’t really matter what kind of light you use, but it’s best to try to make sure that both are the same temperature (for ordinary household bulbs, how ‘soft,’ ‘bright’ or ‘warm’ they are) and if your lights are less powerful, try to position them closer in.

  • Three-point lighting

Similar to two-point lighting, but with a third light added positioned somewhere behind you. This extra light is used in broadcast interview lighting setups to provide a slight halo effect on the subject, which further helps separate you from the background, and provides a bit more depth and professional look. Ideally, you’d place this out of frame of your camera (you don’t want a big, bright light shining right into the lens) and off to the side, as indicated in the diagram below.

In a three-point lighting setup, you add a third light behind you to provide a bit more subject separation and pop.

If you’re looking to improve the flexibility of this kind of setup, a simple way to do that is by using light sources with Philips Hue bulbs. They can let you tune the temperature and brightness of your lights, together or individually, to get the most out of this kind of arrangement. Modern Hue bulbs might produce some weird flickering effects on your video depending on what framerate you’re using, but if you output your video at 30fps, that should address any problems there.

Go pro

All lights can be used to improve your video lighting setup, but dedicated video lights will provide the best results. If you really plan on doing a bunch of video calls, virtual talks and streaming, you should consider investing in some purpose-built hardware to get even better results.

At the entry level, there are plenty of offerings on Amazon that work well and offer good value for money, including full lighting kits like this one from Neewer that offers everything you need for a two-point lighting setup in one package. These might seem intimidating if you’re new to lighting, but they’re extremely easy to set up, and really only require that you learn a bit about light temperature (as measured in kelvins) and how that affects the image output on your video capture device.

If you’re willing to invest a bit more money, you can get some better quality lights that include additional features including wifi connectivity and remote control. The best all-around video lights for home studio use that I’ve found are Elgato’s Key Lights . These come in two variants, Key Light and Key Light Air, which retail for $199.99 and $129.99 respectively. The Key Light is larger, offers brighter maximum output, and comes with a sturdier, heavy-duty clamp mount for attaching to tables and desks. The Key Light Air is smaller, more portable, puts out less light at max settings and comes with a tabletop stand with a weighted base.

Both versions of the Key Light offer light that you can tune form very warm white (2900K) to bright white (7000K) and connect to your wifi network for remote control, either from your computer or your mobile device. They easily work together with Elgato’s Stream Deck for hardware controls, too, and have highly adjustable brightness and plenty of mounting options – especially with extra accessories like the Multi-Mount extension kit.

With plenty of standard tripod mounts on each Key Light, high-quality durable construction and connected control features, these lights are the easiest to make work in whatever space you have available. The quality of the light they put out is also excellent, and they’re great for lighting pros and newbies alike since it’s very easy to tune them as needed to produce the effect you want.

Accent your space

Beyond subject lighting, you can look at different kinds of accent lighting to make your overall home studio more visually interesting or appealing. Again, there are a number of options here, but if you’re looking for something that also complements your home furnishings and won’t make your house look too much like a studio set, check out some of the more advanced versions of Hue’s connected lighting system.

The Hue Play light bar is a great accent light, for instance. You can pick up a two pack, which includes two of the full-color connected RGB lights. You’ll need a Hue hub for these to work, but you can also get a starter pack that includes two lights and the hub if you don’t have one yet. I like these because you can easily hide them behind cushions, chairs, or other furniture. They provide awesome uplight effects on light-colored walls, especially if you get rid of other ambient light (beyond your main video lights).

To really amplify the effect, consider pairing these up with something one the Philips Hue Signe floor or table lamps. The Signe series is a long LED light mounted to a weighted base that provide strong, even accent light with any color you choose. You can sync these with other Hue lights for a consistent look, or mix and max colors for different dynamic effects.

On video, this helps with subject/background separation, and just looks a lot more polished than a standard background, especially when paired with defocused effects when you’re using better quality cameras. As a side benefit, these lights can be synced to movie and video playback for when you’re consuming video, instead of producing it, for really cool home theater effects.

If you’re satisfied with your lighting setup but are still looking for other pointers, check out our original guide, as well as our deep dive on microphones for better audio quality.

#amazon, #gadgets, #hardware, #light, #lighting, #mobile-device, #philips, #tc, #video, #videoconferencing

G.E., Which Traces Its Roots to Thomas Edison, Sells Its Lighting Business

The transaction represented a symbolic closing to G.E.’s opening chapters in the second Industrial Revolution.

#culp-h-lawrence-jr, #edison-thomas-a, #electric-light-bulbs, #general-electric-company, #lighting

How to Use Zoom Like a Theater or Film Professional

Tips for putting your best face forward, if only for an office staff meeting.

#actors-and-actresses, #cameras, #computers-and-the-internet, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #desktop-computers, #lighting, #quarantine-life-and-culture, #theater, #video-recordings-downloads-and-streaming

Let the Sunshine In

Sunlight is not a cure for coronavirus, but it does have other benefits for mind and body.

#biorhythms, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #diet-and-nutrition, #immune-system, #lighting, #seasons-and-months, #sleep, #sun, #sunlight, #ultraviolet-light, #vitamin-d, #vitamins