I've just bought a lovely new house, and I'll need to rewire the 2nd and 3rd floors and replace the mains, at the very least. Might as well move up to a 200A breaker box, while I'm at it. And I'd like to automate as much as possible, but for multiple reasons I dislike/distrust wireless systems. X10 questions after the fold... [more inside]
I've been wearing makeup more regularly than before, but I can't seem to get my foundation to look consistent from my home (where I apply it) to work/elsewhere. I think this is because the lighting in my house is mostly incandescent and at work it's fluorescent. What techniques (or technology, do I need a lighted mirror?) can I use to make my makeup look decent at work? [more inside]
When fluorescent lights burn out, what is happening? Also, why do they flicker when they're about to go out? [more inside]
I've installed new LED-compatible dimmer switches. But I still find that the dimmable LED's I've bought don't dim all the way. [more inside]
Our office building is in the process of switching over to all-LED lighting. Our recessed can lights were recently swapped and it's causing a lot of grief- will we just get used to it over time or can I buy some warming filters that won't melt or look like yellow/orange/red dots all over our ceiling? I have only found theatrical lighting sources online so far. Help!
A bar I visited the other day had old-school Edison bulbs hanging from the ceiling, and I noticed that in several of them, the filament was vibrating. And by vibrating I mean vibrating big time — swinging back and forth a full inch or so inside the bulb multiple times a second. The bartender didn't seem to know what caused it, but seemed to think it wasn't uncommon. Any idea? [more inside]
I replaced a ceiling light in a 1950's-wired apartment. There are insulated black and neutral wires, but no ground connection (fixture has ground wire but just connected it to mounting bar). If wired backwards, what happens when I flip the switch? When I touch the fixture while power and/or switch are on? [more inside]
Clueless new homeowners here. After a shower and a use of the toilet upstairs, water started dripping through a screw on the track lighting in the kitchen. It started maybe 10 minutes afterwards and lasted maybe 10 minutes, maybe a cup or so of water total, then stopped. What happened? What do we do now? Call a plumber, presumably, but how urgent? An electrician too? Is there danger because of the light fixture? [more inside]
The company I work for wants to take pictures of flooring samples (artificial surfaces that look almost identical to wood). They want 4-5 boards roughly 4 ft x 8 in laid flat and then photographed. [more inside]
I really like this chandelier. Buy-able versions I have found are way out of my budget, but the designer posted instructions for a similar DIY version. I live in a rented apartment in NYC - are there legal/insurance/safety issues I need to be concerned about? [more inside]
After studying a lot of lighting tutorials, I've settled on some form of 3 point lighting to illuminate the subject (me!) as I cook. The problem is that my kitchen is connected to my very dark, cavernous living room, and so the space tends to swallow up any lights I use. Can you give me pointers on lighting this space, and help me to purchase more lights (if necessary) to adequately light my kitchen? [more inside]
Why do these light bulbs keep dying? [more inside]
New York Magazine had a short piece the other day about some street photographers in NYC who post some jaw-dropping stuff on Instagram. I've really been enjoying following their feeds --- so now I'm wondering, what about the other great cities of the world? NYC can't have a monopoly on cool cityscapes. Can y'all hook me up with some other great Instagram accounts to follow? From Paris to Lagos to Phnom Penh, I'm interested. [more inside]
This week I watched a Doctor Who episode from the Russell T. Davies era with David Tennant as Doctor 10. I cut my teeth on the Matt Smith episodes, so I always find the older episodes so different in terms of production quality. But what am I seeing, exactly? What were the technical changes in production between the two series? [more inside]
Watching A period piece film and wondering if, before gas and electric lighting, having a roomful of candles ever really illuminated things as much as they appear here or were all large rooms of the time like spotily-lit caverns after dark? [more inside]
Looking for an industrialish-type fixture to replace the brass boob in my ceiling and the snowglobe stuck above my sink. [more inside]
I work at a small company that wants to get into producing short video clips. I have been asked to figure out a basic lighting setup for filming individual people talking to the camera in front of a green screen. What do I need to know about video lighting? [more inside]
I need to take an outdoor photograph of a subject standing in front of a large, white, shiny background (a vehicle). The person and the vehicle are equally important elements in the picture. I need to take the photo when both the subject and the vehicle are available, so I have no control over the date or time or weather. Assuming I need to do this on a bight, sunny day (although I'm hoping for a slightly overcast one) where do I position them relative to the sun? [more inside]
Just purchased a ceiling fan that allows for 2 60W lightbulbs with a candelabra base in a closed glass dome. Need something brighter as this will be the only light source in the room. Having trouble finding small CFLs or LEDs with a candelabra base in 18W (equivalent 75W incandescent) or higher that will fit in the dome. Any ideas on where to find these kind of bulbs, or if they even exist? If not, any other ideas on how to keep the fan and to safely add some wattage? [more inside]
This house is unoccupied at this time, need carport light to come on a dusk and off at dawn. Bought one of those light bulb sockets at Wal-Mart and it worked good the first month. Now it stays on all the time. Have tried moving the photo eye around with no improvement. Any suggestions that does not involve wiring would be helpful. I was thinking about the timer light socket but read many bad reviews about those too (not working correctly).
I want to hang a fluorescent strip light above my workbench. How can I do this? [more inside]
I'm looking for a ceiling light fixture for my kitchen that has 5 or 6 (or more) cords coming from a central plate, each terminating in a light socket. The cords are long, say 6-8 feet, so that downlights can be hung as desired around the room. I could probably custom fabricate this whole setup myself, but it would be great not to have to. Have you seen anything that looks like what I'm talking about? [more inside]
I have a very tall cabinet in the corner of my living room. I'd love to put lighting on the top of the cabinet, and I like the idea of having a few lanterns like this or this up there. But, it's too tall to be messing with candles in there, and I'd want to use this regularly- it would be a lot better if I could have something that plugged in. I have exhausted all my Google skills on this one, but it seems improbably that it really doesn't exist! Can anyone tell me, have you ever seen or heard of one of these, or alternate search terms I could try? Or, do you have any similar ideas for lighting up the dark corner that wouldn't look weird perched on top of a cabinet?
My monorail track lighting stopped working. All of the lamps work if I push a little on one of the lampshades (making better contact with the track or something?) but only for as long as I'm pushing. I have already tried removing all the lamps from the railing, cleaning the railing and the contacts of the lamps, and making sure they are all screwed on as tightly as possible, as well as making sure the thingees that hold up the track are all screwed in as tightly as possible also. What should I be trying next? Thank you!
I'm in the market for some monolights. I'm leaning towards Alien Bees, but I'm open to suggestions. I'm looking to hear of your positive or negative experiences with both them as well as anything you might suggest, as well as what mix of heads would work best for me. At the moment, I'm thinking two B800s and a B1600 (two 320w and one 640w) (or equivalent from another manufacturer) would be a good start. [more inside]
I recently moved. The only light in my bathroom is from five of these bulbs (with the smaller bases -- I don't know exactly what they're called) over the medicine cabinet. I'm wondering if there are nice, bright, LED (full spectrum?) SAD-fightin' bulbs, ideally with warm white light, that I could screw in in their place. Any additional brightness would be welcome to help my brain as I get ready for the day and the year gets darker (I have to get up very early for work). Thanks very much!
My recently purchased 1000 sq ft one bedroom apartment has terrible lighting, and I have no experience retrofitting lighting. What are the best resources for learning about lighting? Where can I buy decent light installations without breaking the bank? If I have a limited budget, what should be my priorities? [more inside]
I bought a light fixture yesterday at Ikea and I was all like YEAH THIS IS GOING TO BE SO EASY. Ha. Can you help me not die? [more inside]
Work just moved me into my own office space and I would like suggestions on anything either technological or not to improve my workspace- apparently this is a good time to ask the business office for additional things. [more inside]
I bought a number address plaque from Etsy and I love it. However, the wall it is mounted to is blue, and consequently it is pretty difficult to read the sign from the street. I'd love to mount something behind it to solve this problem. [more inside]
I am looking for a rounded translucent glass cover for an indoor overhead fixture and have struck out so far - it may be a non-standard design. Basically it is a dome-shaped, flat-based, non-threaded cover that has two slots into which two tabs on the base fit and it secures in place with a quarter-turn. You can see photos of the base and of an identical cover in this gallery. Are there terms of art I need to use in my search for compatible covers? Thanks!
I can't find a job in my industry now for four months, which has pushed me to limits of madness. I am kind of tired of my chosen industry, and I have been considering going back to school to utilize my skills as a Lighting expert to get a degree in Optometry. I have a wife who can work, but her training is Canadian and her monthly tops off at around $1500. Is it possible to go back to school for 4 years and live as a 35 year old? Where should I start? [more inside]
Dimmable LED light bulbs seem more economical than halogens. But they're really expensive. Will they quickly come down in price, so I should wait? Or will they come down slowly, so I might as well start saving? Also, how good is the dimming? I tried dimmable CFL's, but they don't seem to dim past 50%.
I'm looking for a nice, inexpensive task lamp to put on my desk at work. It should have adjustable brightness (low/high is fine) so that I can have either a little or a lot of light, as required. Free-standing, not clamp-on. $30 or less would be ideal. Help? [more inside]
We had lots of wiring replaced recently, including two lamps connected to a dimmer switch; the dimmer was also replaced. Yesterday we noticed that the dimmer was now only allowing fully on or off. Today the light went off with a loud popping sound and a visible spark from one of the lamps, though both bulbs themselves work fine. What happened and how do I fix it? Is it likely just a faulty dimmer switch? Do I need to turn off the circuit (which has many other lights on it) as a precaution?
I have converted the top half of our hall closet into a little standing dressing area that holds my jewelry box and mementos. There is a mirror over my jewelry box on the back wall of the space. How do I light it? [more inside]
I have a lava rock fireplace. Let's make it erupt! [more inside]
I'm designing a show this week (Iolanthe) which is far from my first lighting design, but I've never really gotten to experiment much with different gel color combinations. Which are your favorite combos (front, fill, back, side, etc.) for different set-ups. I'm looking for both the classic standards and less common combinations you've come across and enjoyed. I'm going to have a bit of free reign with this, so I'm curious to see what new (to me) things I might want to try. Rosco colors preferred.
Most SAD therapy lights are somewhere between utilitarian and ugly in terms of design. I want one that is beautiful, such that you could actually design a room around it. I think I would probably need to have it custom made, but I don't even know what sort of person I would begin trying to talk to. Let's ignore the question of cost for the time being, where would I find a person with the requisite skills (lighting, electrical, design, etc...) to build this for me?
I'm looking for tips and recommendations to improve the audio/video quality of online meetings. We already have good connections/machines for online meetings - but as I'm doing more and more of those, I'd like to specifically improve experience of everyone - especially for sound & video. [more inside]
What kind of equipment could I purchase within a $300 budget for the backdrop and lighting? My house is naturally very dark. I use white plates and minimal props for the food. My camera is a Canon 40D. I don't have much time lately so I'll spend a little more for convenience. [more inside]
Last week my boyfriend replaced the wall mounted sconces in our living room. Today one of them is buzzing intermittently - it sounds sort of like it has a fly caught in it. There is no fly in it. I have taken out the light bulb. I have flipped the switch in the fuse box in the basement that powers this light. It is still doing it and it is freaking me out! Any idea what is going on and if it could be dangerous? I will be out for a few hours tonight and then will be alone in the house till very late and would rather not have a fire start in my living room wall. [more inside]
Where can I find an affordable, attractive, globe-ish pendant lamp? Like this one, but under a gazillion dollars. [more inside]
What are your favorite lamps that you have used to do work under? What light bulbs do you recommend for these lamps?
What is the best way to outfit an office in an apartment with quality lighting for studying? [more inside]
How can I dim these lights? [more inside]
I bought a great looking lamp for my nightstand. But the max (60 watts) isn't nearly bright enough. What are my options? [more inside]
Potentially-nonexistent-product-filter: Is there such a thing as a light system that emulates dawn-to-dusk daylight? Something that brightens and dims relatively closely following actual sunlight? [more inside]