Dominion Electric Lighting Blog

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Lighting Trends for 2000 by Amanda Hawkins, ALA

Lighting Trends for 2000
By Amanda Hawkins, Residential Lighting Consultant

As 2019 draws to a close, we are looking forward to the coming year and all the newness it brings. 2020 will offer new trends in lighting and tweaks on styles we’re already used to seeing.  

Natural materials and elements
Many manufacturers are getting in touch with nature with their new releases. They’re utilizing recycled glass, rattan, grass, wood, rough crystal, and woven wicker on chandeliers, pendants, and lamps. The result is a fixture that has texture and visual interest.

For a touch of whimsy, some manufacturers are including natural shapes such as leaves, feathers, butterflies, flowers, and even birds. Chandeliers and sconces take on a sculptural feel with multi-sized elements, layered and stacked, giving the impression of functional art.

Black Finish
Recently there’s been a surge in fixtures being offered in black; but this coming season it will be more prevalent. Black is being used in everything from modern styles to more traditional. Black goes with most interiors and can be used as an accent or as a statement.

We’ve seen a lot of gold popping up and also a lot of gold and black fixtures. Gold isn’t going anywhere, but it will be taking a back seat, becoming more of a highlight.

Black and Opaque Shades
Traditionally, lamp shades are offered in lighter colors to allow light to filter through; but this year we will see black and opaque metal shades that do more statement-making than diffusing. Adding a lamp with a black or gold shade adds contrast and a touch of drama to any room. 

Geometric Shapes
Geometric shapes will be everywhere in lighting. The chandeliers and pendants harken back to the 60s and 70s, but with a modern twist. The look is clean and polished, with interesting shapes and layers, adding a fun flair to your home. 

LED bulbs and smart home technology
Lighting trends aren’t limited to hanging fixtures and lamps. LED bulbs, smart bulbs, and smart home technology are trending and rapidly gaining acceptance and popularity. LED bulbs are quickly replacing old incandescent bulbs because of their energy efficiency and long life span. LEDs are also better for the environment because they use less energy, create less waste, and contain no toxic chemicals that need to be carefully discarded. LEDs are even being built into fixtures allowing for smaller and more compact styles.

Smart home systems are growing in popularity because they’re easy to use and give homeowners control over their lights, locks, thermostat, and more from their phones. To learn more about LED lighting, see our previous blog post, “What’s the Big Deal About LED Lights?”

Find Something You Love
The new decade brings many changes and a lot of exciting trends in lighting. Whether it’s a chandelier, pendant, lamp, or bulb, you’ll find a lighting trend that will suit your tastes and freshen up your home.

Amanda Hawkins is a residential lighting consultant in Dominion Electric Supply’s Chantilly showroom. She majored in Apparel Design in college, and minored in Creative Writing. When she’s not selling chandeliers and writing or editing blogs, Amanda enjoys reading, dancing, and laughing at animal memes.

What's the big deal with LED lights?

What’s the Big Deal About LED Lights?

In 2005, Brazil and Venezuela began phasing out incandescent bulbs in an effort to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions. Most of the developed world followed suit including Canada, which banned the sale of incandescent bulbs in 2014, and the state of California which banned them in 2018, as a part of their new energy efficiency standards for lighting.

As incandescent bulbs phased out, compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) grew in popularity as a replacement—you know, those bulbs with the curved or folded tubes. CFLs used one-fifth to one-third the power of their incandescent predecessors and lasted significantly longer; but they contained toxic mercury, were significantly more expensive than incandescent bulbs, and generally took a while to “warm up” before they provided full light output. Another alternative to incandescent bulbs are halogens; but while they’re up to 40% more efficient than incandescent, they get extremely hot and can pose a fire hazard.

Enter the LED. They can be pricey depending on lumens (light output), color rendering (CRI), quantity purchased, and brand. But what, exactly, is an LED and why are they better than CFLs or halogens?

LED = Light-Emitting Diode

LED bulbs use the same technology as those digital readouts on your watches and alarm clocks. LED is stands for “light emitting diode,” and they produce light as electricity passes through layers of semiconductors. The technology is fairly new—the first LEDs weren’t created until the 1960s while incandescents and fluorescents were developed in the mid-1800s.

The Benefits of LEDs 
One of the biggest benefits of LEDs is that they last a very long time — up to 20 or 30 years. This explains why LEDs have been used as indicator lights in electronics and machinery since the 1960s. This long life is especially helpful for lights in hard-to-reach spots like cathedral ceilings and tall hallways.

LED lifespan is measured in terms of how long it will take for the bulb to drop from 100% brightness (when it’s new) to 70% of its original brightness (referred to as “L70”). Why 70%? Studies have shown that people don’t notice a difference when light levels drop by 30%. The bulbs will still put out light after this point, but it will be noticeably dimmer and of poorer quality.

Nevertheless, in most cases the LED bulb will outlast the fixture in which it’s installed. This is why manufacturers are now offering products like out-of-the-box LED downlights that include both the light and fixture in one easy-to-install package—like the Philips “Light to go” product line. Other fixtures use the small size of LEDs to offer extremely low profiles or innovative shapes in wall sconces, chandeliers, bathroom bars, pendants, and more.

Aside from longevity and size, the other huge advantage is that LEDs use about half the electricity of CFLs to product the same amount of light. For example, a 60-watt equivalent CFL will use 13 to 15 watts, while an LED will use only 6 to 8 watts. 

LEDs are also extremely durable—since they’re solid diodes on a circuit board, they don’t have fragile filaments or glass that can break. And although you probably won’t have to do it for another 15 to 20 years, LEDs are easy to dispose of because they can’t shatter and don’t contain mercury like CFLs. While LEDs do contain extremely small amounts of other toxic compounds such as lead and arsenic, they can be safely disposed of in the trash.

10 More Reasons to Love LEDs
Not convinced yet? Here are a few more reasons to love LED lighting:

1.     They reduce overall energy consumption, using up to 90% less electricity over standard incandescents. This reduces the load on electric power plants which in turn reduces fuel (and greenhouse emissions) needed to generate electricity.
2.     They reduce light pollution. LEDs provide highly focused directional light, thus reducing scattered light in the environment.
3.     They stay cool. LEDs have very high electricity to light conversion efficiency—as high as 90%. This results in minimal heat loss in the environment, and less need for air conditioning in the summer.
4.     They reduce waste. Because they are engineered to last for so long, they need to be replaced less frequently resulting in fewer bulbs in the landfills.
5.     They are safer. Manufactured with advanced, solid state technology, LEDs are highly durable and more resistant to vibrations, impact, and harsh weather conditions. Plus, there are no glass parts to cause injury if a bulb breaks.
6.     They reduce noise pollution. LEDs are designed to not vibrate or create a humming noise like that produced by some conventional incandescents.
7.     They attract fewer bugs. LEDs emit less UV light and heat which tend to attract insects.  
8.     They’re good for plants. Incandescents increase the temperature while LEDs produce cool light that’s not harmful to plants.
9.     They’re better for the environment. CFL bulbs contain 4 to 5 milligrams of mercury each, which is hazardous to the environment and public health. LEDs contain no mercury and are safe to dispose of with other trash.
10.  They can be “smart.” Today’s LEDs can integrate technology that allows you to control their brightness and even color from apps or digital assistants like Alexa and Google Home.

Consider Making the Switch
You don’t need to run out and replace all of your lights with LED bulbs and fixtures. Let your old bulbs burn out and keep your fixtures until they need replacing. But if you’re adding on or remodeling, or you’re tired of getting out the ladder every time you need to replace those light bulbs in your vaulted ceiling, or even if you’re looking to begin a smart home upgrade, think about the benefits of LED lighting.   

Why does light matter?

Why does light matter?

The days are getting shorter and we’re all preparing for what “experts” predict will be an exceptionally cold winter, at least in the more northern parts of the country. So, if you’re going to be stuck spending more time in your home, you might as well enjoy it. Even more, it won’t just be you—the friends and family that you’ll be entertaining over the holiday will also appreciate your attention to proper lighting, even if they don’t realize it.

What does light mean for your health?  
We all know that light has a utilitarian, functional purpose. But it also affects our internal clock that governs our sleep. Are you an early bird or a night owl? Do you feel more alert in the morning or late at night? Your energy level has to do with your personal “circadian rhythm.” 

According to Harvard Medical School, circadian rhythms affect your sleep patterns, hormones, body temperature, and eating habits. When they’re out of sync, they might also cause health issues and lead to problems like diabetes, obesity, and seasonal affective disorder or depression.  

The biggest factor affecting your circadian rhythm is light. Your body wants to sleep when it’s dark and awaken when it’s light, since your master clock is linked directly to the nerves in your eyes. When daylight fades, your eyes signal your brain to release more melatonin, a hormone that makes you feel sleepy. And when the sun rises again, those same signals from your eyes tell the brain to those melatonin levels down.

What does this mean for your home?
The goal in what we call “circadian-attuned” lighting is to, as much as possible, replicate the arc of the sun. You can achieve this using following three concepts in lighting:

1.     Color Temperature
Just as blue light from computer screens, tablets, and smart phones signal your brain that it’s time to be up and alert, warmer, golden light signals your brain to rest. So, in the morning, especially if you want to wake up gradually, use more warm, golden light. In the middle of the day, and especially in offices and other daytime settings, choose bluer, whiter lights. And in the evening, choose more sunset, warm or red hues.

2.     Position and Intensity
Today, most homes are constructed with ceiling lights in every room. Unfortunately, overhead lights alone can create areas of high intensity and glare, with areas of low intensity with unpleasant shadows and dark spots. To combat this, try layering—incorporate multiple light sources at different heights to create an attractive, appealing, and more flattering glow.

3.     Style and Taste
Finally, make sure your choice of lighting fixtures reflects your own personal style. Are you traditional or contemporary? Do you want to be trendy, or stick with a classic? Do you prefer brassy or shiny finishes, or a subtler brushed or even matte look? Think about these as you coordinate your approach to layered light, and always remember that one of the quickest and most cost-effective way of updating a space is through a well-considered lighting pieces.

Your friends will notice the difference.
Proper light does more than create a healthier environment for you and your family, it sets a tone and a mood. As we enter the holidays, you’ll probably be looking forward to welcoming lots of guests. The color, positioning, and intensity of your lighting can make your home feel warm and homey at one moment, or bright and energy-packed at another. Matching what’s appropriate for the moment will not only create the right feel to create great memories in your spaces, but also invite plenty of compliments. And who doesn’t want those? The communists, that’s who.

Sound complicated? (It’s easy!)
While all this might sound complex and laborious (turning lights on and off, adjusting, tweaking colors) it really doesn’t have to be. The smart home controls currently on the market can enable you to effortlessly change the look and feel of your spaces with lighting by a simple voice command. Even better, an intelligent schedule can adjust your lighting automatically throughout the day, so your spaces will be tuned to your needs at all times. (Let Alexa or Google do it for you!)

It may seem daunting, but you don’t need to be tied into one system or product line, or even spend a lot of money to get started. With just a little guidance from the team at Dominion, you can create a system that can grow and adjust with your own schedule and budget.

Save 20% during our Fall Sale!
Now through November 2nd, save 20% on all lighting and fans at Dominion Electric Supply, and let one of our experienced and knowledgeable lighting designers help you create the perfect, healthy, and compliment-worthy environment for your home.

Monday, June 18, 2018

2018 Market Trends

As our buyers prepare to go to June Market, we asked them for a quick review of what is trending in the world of lighting. Lightovation, the Dallas Market Center lighting show each January and June, is a huge market with hundreds of manufacturers exhibiting their latest lighting product introductions. Here’s what captured our attention at the January Market:

Trend One – Finishes

Still GOLD. This color trend is sticking, what’s changing is the type of finish. Oscar Moreno, in our Design and Specification Department, says a satin finish seems to be the key this year and that extends to “looks like gold” brass as well. In general, lighter more neutral finishes rule – gold, white, silver – except for black. Black is in – especially paired with Brass and Gold.

Gigi Collection

Trend Two – Shapes

The Sphere lives on. Everyone said it was a fad, but it is still showing strong. Other popular shapes in the showrooms included all the geometric stuff – diamonds, squares and lines – oh my! Linear, angular, simple, yet strong.

Added elements were borrowed from classic design – think the Greek Key and classic materials - more interesting applications of crystal and glass.

Sphere shaped lighting like the Mara Collection from Quorum Lighting

Trend Three – Still Mid-Century Modern

Mid-century modern still continues to be big. However, it’s not your grandmother’s fixture! The aesthetic is young and fresh. The fixtures are almost minimalist. The simple structure is not only very practical – less maintenance: less to clean, less that could break – it is also visually appealing. The result is a fixture that suits a wide audience. Part of the movement continues to be the love of the Sputnik with manufacturers playing with different glass finishes.

Mid-century modern lighting like the Liki Collection from Robert Abbey

Trend Four – Still LED - But Cutting Edge Modern

LED continues to push all the limits. The fixtures being designed around this technology are so very modern. It is everywhere. Found in all shapes - linear to round. And in all applications – chandeliers to hidden undercabinet. And always improving in rendering – a softening if you will with a warmer color temperature.

Cutting edge modern lighting from Hubbardton Forge - Loves Me Collection

Trend Five – Something New - An Introduction to Color

Pale blues, reds and navy finishes notes Erin Schwartz, Residential Lighting Consultant and Dominion Buyer, are making an entry onto more “main stream” fixtures.

Introduction of color to lighting like the Pop Collection from Hubbardton Forge

Trend Six – Concern Over Light Pollution

As people continue to expand their living space outdoors, they are discovering the beauty of a night time sky. As a result, more manufacturers are introducing Dark Sky friendly fixtures. Dark Sky “compliant” fixtures are more environmentally friendly for evening enjoyment. Barn lights are increasingly popular as they push the light down and hide the source.

Concern over lighting pollution

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Five Festive Decorating Tips

Five Festive Decorarting Tips

Tis the season to welcome guests and create a cozy ambiance in your home.

We’ve polled our staff and come up with FIVE SIMPLE WAYS to change the look of your home for the holidays.

Bring light to your gatherings
1. Bring light to your gatherings.

Whether it’s real candles or a beautiful candelabra style chandelier, the look of candlelight softens  edges and creates warmth.

Use mirrors to reflect your lighting.

2. Use mirrors to reflect your lighting.

Professionals know that well-placed mirrors can make small spaces feel larger, and can brighten a room just by reflecting ambient light.

Add throws and pillows to accent a room.

3. Add throws and pillows to accent a room.

Small items can be great punctuation marks, especially when they’re in a contrasting color or pattern.

Bring the outdoors in.

4. Bring the outdoors in.

Discover nature’s influence in lighting design with fixtures that feature leaves, pinecones and other natural elements. You won’t even have to sweep up pine needles!

Warm your welcome with entryway lighting and decor.

5. Warm your welcome with entryway lighting and decor.

When visitors arrive, be sure they can find their way safely to your door with well-placed lighting.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Discover e-lighting with our APP and CONSULTING SERVICE

Dominion Electric Supply Smart Phone Residential Lighting App
The Dominion Residential App gives creative users the tools to customize and design their own space from the comfort of their smartphone or tablet.

Here’s How It Works
Take a photograph of a room, add products, scale them to the room’s dimensions, and arrange them for the perfect look. Simply tap a product to see prices, descriptions, and more. You can add products to your own personal portfolio, or save entire room designs.

Search “Dominion Electric Supply” in your App Store.

If you need guidance with your lighting selections, our e-lighting Consulting Service is the thing for you! We can assist you in making your space shine.

Here’s How It Works
Simply email a photo of the room you need to light, along with dimensions, to: We will connect you with one of our Residential Lighting Consultants. Answer a few questions and they’ll do what they do best: select and layout lighting options that are just right for your space.

*The first hour of consultation is free; additional hours are billed at $100 per hour. Expect our consultant to review your room(s), prepare a couple of virtual lighting concept boards for review, and provide a quotation for fixtures featured. Additional costs apply to the purchase and delivery of fixtures. A licensed electrician is required for installation. 

If you are unable to fill out form please download the pdf form. For best results viewing this PDF use Acrobat.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Lighting Tips From The Pros

Lighting Tips from the Pro's - Dominion Electric Supply
You’re ready to shop for new lighting, but you have some questions. We’re here to help! When it comes to lighting, our many years of experience means we can guide you in
selecting the right lighting for your space – whether you’re shopping for a new dining room chandelier or considering a whole room renovation.

Lighting is such an important element in the home, customers usually have a lot of questions as we plan their lighting. Here are some of the most common questions we hear and the lighting tips you can use before choosing the perfect lighting for your space.

What is the right type of fixture for my foyer - Lighting Tip
Image courtesy of Kichler Lighting
What is the right type of fixture for my foyer?

When determining the type of fixture for the foyer, scale is important. Many foyers have a higher ceiling height than other rooms, so a larger fixture is appropriate. The best rule of thumb is that the bottom of the fixture should be at least 7’ from the floor. If there is a window above the door in a 2-story foyer, center the fixture so it can be seen from the outside.

What is the correct table to ceiling ratio when choosing  a dining room chandelier?
Image courtesy of Elan Lighting
What is the correct table to ceiling ratio when choosing a dining room chandelier?

There are two dimensions to consider when selecting a dining room chandelier: the size of the chandelier, and the height placement above the table. Generally, a good chandelier size is calculated by adding the width and length of the room, and converting that size to inches. For example, a dining room measuring 18’ x 22’ would look best with a 40” diameter chandelier.

When placing the chandelier above the dining room table in a room with an 8’ ceiling, the bottom of the fixture should be approximately 32” to 34” above the tabletop. If the ceiling is higher than 8’, mount the chandelier an additional 3” higher for each foot above 8 feet.

Image courtesy of Hinkley Lighting
What is the best placement for bathroom vanity lights?

There are usually two types of bathroom lighting: wall sconces and bath bars, which are placed above the mirror. Sconces flanking the vanity or mirror should be mounted at eye level, approximately 36” to 40” apart. A good width for bath bar lights is 24” so there is even lighting across all surface. The fixture should be mounted 75” to 80” from the floor and centered in the vanity or mirror space.

What does transitional lighting mean - Lighting Tip
Image courtesy of Currey and Company
Is it okay to mix finishes together in a room or is it better to stick with the same finish?

In the past, decorators recommended using the same finish for all the fixtures in a room for consistency’s sake. Nowadays, mixing finishes is completely acceptable and actually brings a lot of character to a room. For instance, mixing and matching finishes such as oil-rubbed bronze and brushed nickel looks spectacular. Brass and chrome also work well together. The only caveat is to keep the mix to two finishes per room – any more than that can make the room look disjointed.

What does transitional mean?

Transitional simply means the fixture is versatile. Feel free to mix a transitional chandelier with contemporary pendants – the looks play well together and results in an ornate and sleek look.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Beauty and Brains - Smart lighting control for your home

Meet the family

Caséta Wireless is made up of dimmers, a remote control, a bridge, and an app.

 You can build your smart lighting system with as few or as many products as you’d like. A kit is the easiest way to begin, but you can also purchase products individually and mix and match them. And you can add more products to your system at any time.

Connected Living Throughout Your Home

Getting started is easy. It takes just a few minutes to install your Caséta Wireless lighting control system. Once you have your system up and running, you can seamlessly expand beyond lighting to other connected home solutions.

Lutron Smart Bridge and App for Caseta Wireless

The Smart Bridge and App for Caséta Wireless are the perfect foundations for creating a connected home system. Monitor and control lights (as well as shades and temperature) from anywhere, so you can always be in touch with your home with or without an internet connection.

Lutron Automated Shades and Thermostats
Integrate with Automated Shades, Thermostats
Leaving work earlier than usual? Want a warm welcome home from your vacation? Control the comfort of your home from anywhere using the Lutron App and a wide range of compatible thermostats, including Lutron, Honeywell®, Nest®, Carrier® and ecobee®.

Lutron Serena® wireless shades
These battery-powered shades are easy to install, they move quietly, and have batteries that are the industry leading battery life. Available in roller or insulating honeycomb styles.

Add personalized scenes to control multiple lights and shades together at the touch of a button. Create a “movie” scene that dims lights and lowers shades as the movie begins. Or create a “goodnight” scene that turns off all your lights and closes shades before you drift off to sleep.

Schedule lights and shades to adjust automatically at set times of day. Turn on your porch light at sunset and turn it off at sunrise. Turn lights on to a soft level and slightly raise shades every morning as you head into the kitchen for coffee.

The geofencing feature controls lights based on your location. Maybe you always leave the entryway lights on as you head out the door in the morning? Geofencing will turn them off for you once you’re out the door. It can also turn lights on for you when you come home.

Look like you’re at home—even if you’re not
The Smart Away feature randomly turns lights on and off during the evening when you’re not home. You can manually trigger this feature in the app at your convenience or automatically trigger it if geofencing is turned on. You can also trigger Smart Away using the Nest Home/Away Assist feature.

Apple® HomeKit enabled
The Smart Bridge contains Apple HomeKit technology, so you can use Siri® to control your lights. Tell Siri to turn all your lights off just before going to bed or to dim your dining room lights as guests arrive for a party.

Control from anywhere
Control lights, shades and temperature in the comfort of your home or from anywhere in the world – the office, the airport, the beach – so lights aren’t left on or shades aren’t left open when you’re away.

Expand your Smart Home System
The system can even be expanded and integrated with best-in-class products available from partners like Apple, Xfinity, Nest, and the Echo “Alexa” from Amazon to incorporate the best Smart Home technology into your home.

Lutron Caséta Wireless works with Alexa

The system is ultra-reliable
Caséta Wireless features Lutron’s patented Clear Connect® technology, which sets the bar for reliable wireless performance. Its quiet frequency band is free of interference, so your Caséta Wireless dimmers are not affected by other wireless products. It just works!