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It never sounded like much, but now we all know how long 20 seconds really is. While you’re standing there singing Happy Birthday – or whatever song you have settled on – a couple of times, you’ve probably had plenty of time to think about what’s for dinner or which Zoom background you want to use for the next meeting. (If you took the opportunity to look at your bath lighting, and have decided it’s time for some more contemporary light fixtures, just let us know!) 

Some of the folks here at Sculpta Designer Lighting, had some questions about handwashing so we’ve been doing a little research. We figure if we had questions, you might, too, so we thought we’d share what we learned. 

What’s better – soap or hand sanitizer? 

The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) say that if you have a choice, go with soap and water, which reduces the amounts of all types of germs and chemicals that might be on your hands. And, of course, wash for 20 seconds. “But if soap and water are not available, using a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol can help you avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others,” the say. 

The downside to sanitizers is that they don’t eliminate all types of germs. “Soap and water are more effective than hand sanitizers at removing certain kinds of germs, like Cryptosporidiumnorovirus, and Clostridium difficile,” the CDC experts explain. “Although alcohol-based hand sanitizers can inactivate many types of microbes very effectively when used correctly1-15, people may not use a large enough volume of the sanitizers or may wipe it off before it has dried 14.”

Which leads to the next question…

How long should I take when washing my hands with sanitizer? 

This one is easy – until they are dry.

 

Of course, we’re not scientists or medical professionals, we are experts in lighting design and contemporary light fixtures, so always check with your doctor if you have questions.

Interior lighting is an important element of every room in your house, helping to evoke a certain ambiance while also facilitating the function of the space. When it comes to making a home office a place where you can be both productive and comfortable, the lighting design can be key.

Designer home lighting can make life not only more beautiful but also easier. For example, a contemporary chandelier in the entryway will illuminate the area when you’re looking for your keys but can also fill the space with warmth that will be appreciated when you welcome guests. The right bath lighting can make it easier to put on your makeup or get a good shave, while also helping to create a soothing haven. 

If you already have a home office or if you are converting a space in your home for use as a home office during these unprecedented times, you should take the time to determine if the existing lighting design is going to facilitate your efforts or if, perhaps, you need to make some changes. 

Home Office Lighting Design

Whether you are working from home or are simply at home trying to work, the interior lighting of your workspace can play an important role in determining how much you get done on any given day. 

As Michael Desmond of The Spruce says, “Poor lighting can reduce your energy, dampen morale, produce eyestrain and headaches, and ultimately impair your ability to work effectively.” Boom!

“If you don’t have a lot of natural light, then artificial lights are even more important when considering workspace illumination,” he says. “Many home offices have ambient lighting that includes overhead or recessed lights, but it’s a mistake to think that those will suffice. Existing ambient lighting is not designed for functional lighting in the home office, and it’s necessary to add additional sources.”

Designer home lighting can be both attractive and functional and is worth investing in for the long-term. At this moment in time, when you may need to get your home office up and running quickly, you may need to focus your interior lighting needs on the functional. If we can help in anyway, contact us.

You may have been too busy celebrating the holidays to pay much attention to the Winter Solstice when it rolled around on December 21. But you were probably marking the occasion even if you weren’t aware of it simply by relying much more heavily on your interior lighting.

Depending on where you live, you might be turning on not just your favorite reading lamp but all of your contemporary light fixtures at what seems to be an unreasonably early hour in the afternoon. In the summertime, you might not even use some of those fabulous lighting fixtures, aside from your bath lighting, on a regular basis.  But you have to pay a little more attention to your interior lighting on these long winter nights.

The Longest Night of the Year

The Winter Solstice is the shortest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. As the experts at Time and Date explain, “December Solstice occurs when the Sun reaches its most southerly declination of -23.4 degrees. In other words, when the North Pole is tilted furthest away from the Sun.”

But if you think you’ve got it bad, needing to turn on the lighting in and around your home halfway through the afternoon, think about the poor people living north of you. “North of the Arctic Circle towards the North Pole there is no direct sunlight at all during this time of the year,” Time and Date says.

With the enhanced need for interior lighting, it’s not unusual for people to pay more attention to the light fixtures in their home. Some may notice that the lighting design doesn’t banish all the shadows. Others may just notice that it really is time to hang a more contemporary chandelier in the dining room!

If you fall into either category, contact the designer home lighting experts at Sculpta Lights!

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.

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!