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Lighting Guru Illuminates Techniques at July Las Vegas Market

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Lighting industry expert Randall Whitehead shared his expertise with Las Vegas Market attendees during a presentation on July 30, co-presented by Residential Lighting magazine and World Market Center Las Vegas. He covered the art of lighting – the good the bad and the ugly. In addition to the co-presenters, the seminar’s sponsors included Ellington, Hands Duus Blacksmith Inc. KALCO and Lite Source Inc. “Now that people are tending to stay in their current homes and upgrade them, instead of moving into larger homes or building new ones, designers are finding themselves involved with remodeling projects more than ever,” he said. “People are using the equity in their homes to improve them.” Light language includes only four words, which are functions of light—decorative, accent, task and ambient. He shared multiple examples of top lighting manufacturers one should know for areas including decorative lighting, fans, LED & CFLs and exterior lighting. New requirements for energy-efficient lighting on remodeled homes had some California designers scared, but Whitehead presented some attractive fixtures that comply with these new rules. “These are not the fluorescents we grew up with,” said Whitehead. Test your room using different lights throughout the day, Whitehead suggested. Hunter green in daylight may appear like pond scum in the evening under incandescent light and red candles and yellow lights can make plants look sickly. Try a blue filter to make them look lush and healthy. Many homeowners are spending money on capturing the space outside their homes, so landscape lighting is increasingly important. He revealed examples of compact fluorescents inside pillar candles and stone fixtures that use GU technology which appear very warm. Pagoda lights used for landscape lighting give the effect of an airplane landing and are what Whitehead calls the ‘Paris Hilton’ of lights. “They just say, look at me,” added Whitehead. “Instead, homeowners should create outdoor rooms and make the outside as inviting as the inside. Think about LED color changing lights. You want exterior lighting to extend your space out, and without the proper exterior lighting, you get the black mirror effect.” Other colorful and illuminating tips shared by Randall Whitehead included: - If you do only accent lighting in a single space, you create the ‘museum effect’ which tells people you are more important than they are. - Recessed down lights are very unflattering unless you are lying on the floor looking up…a very difficult way to entertain at a party. “Recessed down lights make people look scary.” - Task lighting is the workhorse of lighting. Cross illumination is most effective for lighting around mirrors, or center fixtures with back lighting. “If you have lighting on the side you are going to look fabulous.” - Of the four types of light, ambient light is the most important. It’s all about looking good with indirect illumination. Some people think if they leave the TV on it will create ambient lighting. And light that is bounced off a ceiling lends the cloudy day effect. “You may look good, but you should be the star of your own home.” - Decorative lighting is what Whitehead refers to as architectural jewelry or architectural ‘bling.’ Decorative lighting by itself does not work, since chandeliers and table lamps can visually over-power space if not layered with other lighting. “You become a lampshade showroom. Decorative lighting is the supermodel of lighting – it looks good and doesn’t have to do anything.” - Embrace new products and new techniques, such as dimmable GU24 compact fluorescents and color-changing LED lighting. “When used with the right shade, the bulbs do not appear fluorescent. They even dim.” Whitehead says ‘sexing up fluorescent’ is a fun challenge for lighting designers, including the use of color-changing fluorescents. Whitehead favors hiding lighting in architecture, so it appears that pendant lights are creating all of the light for a space; but there are track fixtures hidden and other lights layered in the room. Randall Whitehead is an internationally known architectural lighting designer based in San Francisco and a prolific author. He appears regularly as a guest expert on the Discovery Channel, CNN, HGTV and Martha Stewart Living Radio. About World Market Center Las Vegas: World Market Center Las Vegas is an integrated home and hospitality contract furnishings showroom and trade complex in Las Vegas. With the opening of Building C, World Market Center now stands at more than five million square feet of space, exceeding the size of any trade merchandise mart in the United States. When fully built, at 12 million square feet in 8 buildings, World Market Center will be the largest trade show complex in the world. The $3 billion, state-of-the-art campus will showcase furniture, decorative accessories, gift, lighting, area rugs, home textile and related segments, as well as the Las Vegas Design Center (LVDC), open year-round.

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