There is something warm, comforting and, dare we say, romantic about candlelight. There was a time when burning candles was necessary, but now with the wealth of contemporary lighting options that we have, burning candles is an indulgence.

And it seems to be an indulgence that lots of us really enjoy. According to the National Candle Association (yes, it is a thing):

  • Approximately 35% of candle sales occur during the Christmas/Holiday season. Non-seasonal business accounts for approximately 65% of candle sales.
  • More than 1 billion pounds of wax are used in producing the candles sold each year in the U.S.
  • It is estimated that more than 10,000 different candle scents are available to U.S. consumers.

 

Candle Cautions

You should never leave a burning candle unattended – that’s the first thing you need to remember if you want to safely light your interior spaces with candles.

As the Chicago Tribune reports, you should also be aware of what your candles are made of.   “Paraffin wax is made out of petroleum, while soy or other vegetable-based waxes and beeswax aren’t, said Ted Myatt, senior scientist at Environmental Health and Engineering, Inc., professor of environmental science at Brandeis University and director of research Integrity at the University of Rhode Island. A 2009 study by researchers at South Carolina State University found that long-term exposure to paraffin wax can be hazardous to your health and may cause poor indoor air quality,” the paper reported.

Certain scented candles also pose the possibility of contributing to indoor air pollution. And, of course, there is the issue of soot with some candles.

There are plenty of safe options if you want to use candles as bath lighting to treat yourself to a some relaxing “me time.” If you like using candles because of the fragrance, you can always investigate the use of essential oils, which might be a healthier than lighting your interiors with scented candles.

Thomas Edison will never be forgotten and his incandescent lightbulb will always stand as a testament to human ingenuity, but contemporary light fixtures and lighting design allow for the use of different kinds of lightbulbs.

“The incandescent light bulb has been around since the late 1800s, but the venerable technology’s dominance seems just about over,” National Geographic reported. “On January 1, 2014, in keeping with a law passed by Congress in 2007, the old familiar tungsten-filament 40- and 60-watt incandescent light bulbs can no longer be manufactured in the U.S., because they don’t meet federal energy-efficiency standards.”

The Next Generation in Lighting

If you need to change the lightbulb in today’s contemporary light fixtures – from bath lighting to designer exterior lighting and contemporary chandeliers – you will be using a CFL lightbulb or, perhaps, an LED bulb. With either, you won’t need to change them nearly as often as you did their incandescent precursors.

“By the late 1920s and early 1930s, European researchers were doing experiments with neon tubes coated with phosphors (a material that absorbs ultraviolet light and converts the invisible light into useful white light). These findings sparked fluorescent lamp research programs in the U.S., and by the mid and late 1930s, American lighting companies were demonstrating fluorescent lights to the U.S. Navy and at the 1939 New York World’s Fair,” the Department of Energy says. “These lights lasted longer and were about three times more efficient than incandescent bulbs. The need for energy-efficient lighting American war plants led to the rapid adoption of fluorescents, and by 1951, more light in the U.S. was being produced by linear fluorescent lamps.”

The need for energy conservation continued to drive innovation. “It was another energy shortage — the 1973 oil crisis — that caused lighting engineers to develop a fluorescent bulb that could be used in residential applications,” the Department of Energy says.

In the 1970s, Edward Hammer at General Electric created the first compact fluorescent light (CFL) by bending the fluorescent tube into a spiral shape. While they were more energy efficient, until fairly recently, the price of CFLs was a deterrent to their use. Now, according to the Department of Energy, “Nearly 30 years after CFLs were first introduced on the market, an ENERGY STAR® CFL costs as little as $1.74 per bulb when purchased in a four-pack.”

For more information on fluorescent lighting and other options in designer home lighting, feel free to contact your friends at Sculpta Contemporary Lighting.

Sure, sliced bread was a wonderful innovation but, more than 150 years after it was invented, it is the image of a lightbulb that still stands as a symbol of a great new idea. It is hard to overstate the impact that electric light had on society. It is not an exaggeration to say that the incandescent lightbulb not only revolutionized interior lighting in homes and businesses across America, it revolutionized society.

The lightbulb – something that most of us take for granted – changed the way we work; the way we cook and heat our homes; the way we design buildings; the way we are entertained and so much more. It changed the way we live!

The Early History of the Lightbulb

Edison was a giant in the field of electric light, but he wasn’t the only one working to bring a lightbulb to market. “Thomas EdisonGeorge Westinghouse, and other inventors began introducing practical electric power systems in the 1880s,” The Smithsonian National Museum of American History points out.

Expanding on that idea, the Department of Energy says, “Like all great inventions, the light bulb can’t be credited to one inventor It was a series of small improvements on the ideas of previous inventors that have led to the light bulbs we use in our homes today.”

The experts at Department of Energy go on to say, “Long before Thomas Edison patented — first in 1879 and then a year later in 1880 — and began commercializing his incandescent light bulb, British inventors were demonstrating that electric light was possible with the arc lamp. In 1835, the first constant electric light was demonstrated, and for the next 40 years, scientists around the world worked on the incandescent lamp, tinkering with the filament (the part of the bulb that produces light when heated by an electrical current) and the bulb’s atmosphere (whether air is vacuumed out of the bulb or it is filled with an inert gas to prevent the filament from oxidizing and burning out). These early bulbs had extremely short lifespans, were too expensive to produce or used too much energy.”

He was one of the greatest inventors this country has ever seen, but not even Thomas Edison could have foreseen the way his simple incandescent lightbulb would someday evolve into the kind of contemporary chandeliers, decorative lighting and designer exterior lighting that we are known for here at Sculpta Lights.  You could say this particular history lesson is electrifying!

For most people in the United States, any discussion of interior lighting is in effect a discussion about decorative lighting or at the very least it’s a discussion of lighting design. Of course, that wasn’t always the case.

One hundred years ago, much of the country was still in the dark. In fact, in 1925 – less than 100 years ago – only half the homes in this country had electricity, according to the National Park Service, which runs the Thomas Edison National Historical Park in New Jersey.

Electrifying the Country

There was no power grid to plug into when Thomas Edison invented the lightbulb back in the 1870s. Edison used generators to power the interior lighting he had installed in very limited locations. Edison might have been a genius when it came to his innovation inventions, but he was a lousy businessman. It was his young assistant, an Englishman with a heavy Cockney accent named Samuel Insull, who provided the business acumen needed to lay the foundation for a profitable system of delivering electricity to American homes.

“On September 4, 1882, Edison Electric Illuminating Company of New York opened a power plant on Pearl Street in Manhattan. Six coal-fired dynamos, each weighing 27 tons, made the steam that powered a grid a mile square,” HistoryNet tells us. “Insull had been integral to persuading city officials, sometimes with bribes, to approve the project, which needed to bury 100,000 feet of wire.”

The Pearl Street Station was the beginning of a massive transformation. Soon a tapestry of privately owned municipal utility companies blanketed the country. By the 1920s, the lights were going on in most of the nation’s cities and towns from coast to coast, but American’s rural communities lagged far behind.

“Running wires into the countryside where there might be only a few people per square mile seemed uneconomical for either investors or tax-payers,” the Smithsonian Museum of American History reports. “By 1932 only about 10% of rural America was electrified, and about half of those people had to buy their own country-home power plants. This electrical divide fueled the difference in standards of living between city and farm, hampering rural Americans’ ability to participate in the life of their modernizing country.”

The Smithsonian Museum of American History says, “World War II interrupted the work of the REA [Rural Electrification Administration]. When President Roosevelt signed the Rural Electrification Bill in September 1944, Roosevelt said, ‘From the point of view of raising the living standards of rural America and providing a more efficient form of farm management, one of the most important projects interrupted by the war is the extension of rural electrification.’”

It wasn’t until the war was over that the electrification of the country was completed. So you see it is only relatively recently that people have developed an interest in decorative lighting. For most of the 20th century, the most important aspect of interior lighting was simply getting the lights turned on!

There is so much to love about the holidays, but not surprisingly here at Sculpta Lights, where our lighting designs and decorative light fixtures are inspired by contemporary sculptures and reflect cultural elements from around the globe, we are definitely partial to the glowing possibilities inherent in every single strand of holiday lights!

Can you blame us? Seriously, who doesn’t smile when the lights are plugged in on the tree? But there’s no reason to limit the use of those lovely – and affordable little lights – to the tree. Holiday lights – or fairy lights as they are now also called – can be used throughout your home during the holidays and all year long.

Lighting Design Projects with Holiday Lights

You can use the holiday lights you pick up at corner drugstore, the big box store or the home store to make a stylish and unique centerpiece for your holiday entertaining – whether the holiday you’re celebrating happens to be Christmas, Hanukah or the Fourth of July!  Just fill various glass containers with small strings of battery-operated lights. Get creative – you might have some mason jars or leftover jars from spaghetti sauce in your cupboard that would look lovely paired with a favorite vase or head to the thrift store and see what fun shapes you can find. You can also run fairy lights down the center of the table, like a runner.

The folks at Country Living rounded up some other fun DIY ideas for decorating with lights that have been freed from the tree, including:

DIY Flameless Fire Pit

Don’t have a fireplace? Add extra “warmth” to your living space by creating this adorable faux fire pit. (Roasted marshmallows not included.)

Get the tutorial at Free People

Winter Sparkle Mirror Garland & White Lights

Winter skies can get a bit dreary, so why not brighten up your rooms with some shimmer and sparkle? String together multiple strands of Christmas lights and mirror garland on a large hanging rod for a dangling decoration that endlessly glimmers.

Get the tutorial at Apartment Therapy.

For more year round interior lighting ideas as well as designer exterior lighting concepts, contact the lighting designers at Sculpta Lights.

There are two wonderful ways to brighten up a room that might feel a bit blah, whether it’s a living room, kitchen, dining room, bedroom or bath – lighting and color. Interior lighting and color can both make a statement, add focus and infuse a space with personality.

One of the most interesting colors to emerge as a popular choice in interior design has been Millennial Pink. “Millennial Pink can seem like a daunting color to incorporate in to your home but using just the right amount or pairing it with some smart color options can really let it do its thing and make a room shine,” says HouseTipster.

If you search for images of Millennial Pink, chances are you’ll see pictures of a variety of different shades of pink. “The tricky thing about Millennial Pink is that it’s also notoriously difficult to identify. While it appears some bloggers, designers, and color enthusiasts use the name Millennial Pink as a sort of catch-all for anything that roughly falls between bubblegum pink to rose quartz, Millennial Pink is its own entity, hard to classify as it may be.”

Millennial Pink Lighting

Perhaps the most intriguing thing about Millennial Pink is that it is a neutral. So, if you’re thinking it might be something Barbie would wear, think again! Millennial Pink is a sophisticated shade of pink. In searching for a definition, Shutterstock says terms like “peachy-salmon, rose gold, rose quartz, pale dogwood” can all be considered correct.

“Millennial Pink can seem like a daunting color to incorporate in to your home,” the pros at HomeTipster admit, but don’t let that stop you. The key to decorating with Millennial Pink, they say, is “using just the right amount or pairing it with some smart color options can really let it do its thing and make a room shine.”

If you want to use rose-gold contemporary light fixtures as a way to introduce Millennial Pink into your home décor, we can help.  A number of our decorative light fixtures are available with a rose gold finish that will add a subtle yet undeniably sophisticated touch. Just call us at 800-403-1790.

In the Spotlight: Our Veterans
At Sculpta Lights, our specialty is contemporary lighting, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have a true appreciation for history – especially when it comes to the brave men and women who have served our nation. So, as Veterans Day approaches, we’d like to turn the glow of our designer home lighting on an important chapter in our nation’s history.

The History of Veterans Day
World War I still ranks as one of the deadliest conflicts in history. Prior to the rise of Adolph Hitler, it was referred to as the war to end all wars or simply as The Great War. By the time the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919, in the Palace of Versailles, France, more than 18 million had died. Another 23 million were wounded.

If you remember reading “All Quiet on the Western Front” or any of the other books detailing the horrid conditions endured by the soldiers during World War I, you might just begin to understand the profound relief associated with the end of the fighting. Even fans of “Downtown Abbey” might have gotten a hint of the horrors of the war.

A treaty ceremony securing the peace took place on June 28, 1919, about seven months after an armistice had brought an end to the fighting between Germany and the Allied nations. The armistice went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.

Almost 100 years later, we still pause to remember those who serve on November 11.

It’s Not that Kind of Holiday
In 1968, Congress signed the Uniform Holiday Bill. The idea was to ensure that a few federal holidays — Veterans Day included — would be celebrated on a Monday. According to U.S. Department of Defense, “Officials hoped it would spur travel and other family activities over a long weekend, which would stimulate the economy.”

Turns out, we care about our veterans more than we do our three-day weekends. “Within a few years, it became pretty apparent that most U.S. citizens wanted to celebrate Veterans Day on Nov. 11, since it was a matter of historic and patriotic significance. So on Sept. 20, 1975, President Gerald Ford signed another law (Public Law 94-97), which returned the annual observance to its original date starting in 1978,” the Dept. of Defense explains.

All of us at Sculpta Lights would like to thank our veterans for their service. We manufacture contemporary light fixtures inspired by art work and design elements from around the world and we know that without those willing to fight for our freedoms, our designer home lighting would never shine.

You’ll Need More Interior Lighting: Daylight Saving Time Ends Sunday, Nov. 3

If you’ve been wanting to update your interiors with stylish contemporary lighting, you couldn’t pick a better time than Sunday, Nov. 3, which marks the end of Daylight Saving Time. As we set the clocks back an hour, you’ll be relying even more on interior lighting to banish the darkness and fill your home with light and warmth.

Sculpta Lights, your source for designer home lighting for every room of your home, offers an exciting selection of contemporary chandeliers, table lamps, floor lamps and pendant lights.

A Nation Divided

As we get ready to bid Daylight Saving Time farewell for another year, once again, the nation is divided. Every year as the first Sunday in November approaches, some people will be happily looking forward to gaining an extra hour of sleep, while others will be bemoaning what they perceive as the impending loss of daylight hours.

According to Live Science, “Daylight saving time has a rocky past. Established in the United States in 1918, daylight saving time was a contentious matter and was repealed in 1919. The standardized clock changes, however, were re-established nationally early in World War II and observed from Feb. 9, 1942 through Sept. 30, 1945.”

Live Science goes on to say that, “After the war, U.S. states were free to choose whether to observe daylight saving time, and if they did, the calendar start dates of the time change. The result was time confusion for travelers and newscasters. In 1966, Congress enacted the Uniform Time Act, which stated that if any state observed daylight saving time, it had to follow a uniform protocol, beginning and ending on the same dates throughout the country.”

Which brings us to today. The folks who would prefer that Daylight Saving Time remain in effect permanently may be louder, but according to polls, they are in the minority.

On the Bright Side

Even while Daylight Saving Time still reigns, you may have noticed the fading light as you make your way home from work. With every day, we are moving closer and closer to the winter equinox, the shortest day of the year.  This year, the winter equinox falls on Saturday, Dec. 21.

In other words, you were going to be turning on the lights earlier anyway. Having beautiful contemporary lighting from Sculpta Lights will help you keep the darkness at bay.  Shop our full collection of designer home lighting now.