Lighting in Your Home

There is so much to talk about on the topic of lighting. Lighting in your home is of particular importance because there are so many choices. Today, we’ll be providing a few tips of things to think about when lighting your home.

#1 Tip for Lighting in Your Home: Choose LEDs

When it comes to lighting in your home, my top tip is to choose LED lights whenever possible. If you have working old-style bulbs, throw them out and replace them with LED as soon as you can. While it might sound like a waste to throw out bulbs, the truth is that you’ll save energy and money. LEDs will pay for themselves in a few months. Not only are LED lights more energy efficient, they’re fun to use as lighting in your home. You can create ambiance, and there are just so many choices. Even at big-box retailers, you can find LEDs to replace just about any bulb in your home.

#2: Layer Your Lighting for Ambiance

Where do you start when it comes to lighting in your home? Think about layering. I like overhead lighting for general light: chandeliers, ceiling lights, and hall fixtures. All of those can now be LEDs. If you’re having a challenge with chandelier bulbs being too bright, install a dimmer. Instant ambiance! Of course, make sure you’re using dimmable bulbs. Some dimmable bulbs get warmer colored as they’re dimmed and whiter when they’re bright. That’s the perfect choice for a room that pulls double duty since you can adjust the lighting easily. When putting lighting in your home for ambiance, consider cabinet lighting on your baseboards or above the cabinets. Or put lighting behind glass in your cabinets. And what about safety lighting? The possibilities are endless.

#3: Automate Lighting in Your Home

Automation packages give you control over the lights in some or all of your home. You can have your lights come on at set times to wake you or welcome you home. And when you’re on vacation, lighting automation acts as a safety feature as well. Get creative!

Subscribe on iTunes and get the show notes on The Green Gab Podcast. Get the gab with us as we share what we’ve done, as well as tips for greening up your home, your job, your family and your life! Get in on the gab for why green matters.

Resources

LED Lightbulb

Dimmer

Safety Lighting

Everyday Green Home Lighting

Listen to the Full Podcast or Read the Transcript Below

Welcome to the Green Gab. This is Marla, the green home coach and I am delighted to be talking lighting. It sounds like it should be a poem or a rhyme or something, doesn’t it? Lighting, lighting, lighting, I cannot tell you how much there is to talk about this but I want to give you a few quick tips today, things to think about when you are lighting your home.

                                My number one tip is go with LED lights wherever you can, even if you have working incandescent, the old style light bulbs, go on and throw them out and replace them with LEDs as soon as you can, because you are paying so much extra in the energy for the incandescent that you will save with LEDs, they will pay for themselves in a few months. Better than that, they are so fun to light with. There are so many options and you can just have a ball. You can decorate and just really create wonderful ambience in your home. It can happen in other places too but we’re going to concentrate on the home and that’s where I really want my ambience to be. LED lights come in all kinds of ways now.

                                When they first came out, it was a lot harder to find what we kind of call the more traditional light bulbs and the chandelier bulbs and specialty bulbs but now you can find pretty much anything you want and I find most of them right in my Big Box store or better yet, go to a lighting supplier in your hometown. The greatest thing about these lighting suppliers is they have great expertise and if you lay out what you are trying to do, they will help you identify the best products to meet those needs.

                                Where do you start? I like to think about the most is layering my lighting. I like overhead lighting for general lighting. Think of your ceiling fixtures, chandeliers, hall lighting and if you have ceiling fans, the light bulbs and those ceiling fans. All of those can be LEDs. For chandeliers, one thing I really noticed is it’s hard to get low enough wattage on the individual bulbs without it being so bright. Installing a dimmer on a chandelier can be a great way to create ambience so if you will check, make sure that the LED bulbs you’re putting in, excuse the frog in my throat.

                                When you’re putting LED bulbs in chandelier, you need to check that they are dimmable if you’re going to be using a dimmer switch, which I love on a chandelier in a dining room, I think any chandelier actually, I think it’s just a wonderful way to get that ambience. The other thing you want to make sure is check the size of the base of your bulbs. Most chandeliers are the smaller called the chandelier base. Every now and then I will see some that are the better ones, the more traditional standard socket sized will be often on an Edison socket, so do check on those, but those dimmer switches can also be handy in a lot of other places. Any place you have, can lighting for instance, or spotlighting, you may like a dimmer light, a dimmer switch on the lights to help create that mood setting.

                                I actually helped my mom relight one of her rooms. She has a room that she uses as an office by day, but a TV room by night, and I found these really wonderful LED lights that when you dim them, they got warmer colored, some more soft gold, and when you turn them up, they got more daylight colored as they got brighter. It was absolutely perfect for this room that converter from office to TV room and they worked out really great and better yet, she doesn’t have to replace the light bulb because they will last for years and years. That is the biggest thing I love about LEDs in addition to their flexibility and how many ways they can be used is just put them in and leave it. You don’t have to think about it for a long, long time. Other places to really think about accent lighting for great ambience, it’s under cabinet lighting on your baseboards or over cabinet lighting. I’ve even seen some people put their LED lighting in the top row of cabinets that are faced with glass and they put the LEDs in the back so there’s just a gentle glow inside of the cabinet, absolutely beautiful, really, really love that.

                                You can get as creative as you want. Maybe you want to put safety lighting. There’s even switch plates now that have a little LED light in the bottom of it that comes on. It has a dusk to dawn mode sensor in it and they will just create a gentle path of lighting so if you have people that are up in the middle of the night, you want to make sure they’re safely moving around your home or to create path lighting, you can use even these little switch plate covers, they just work great.

                                The last thing I want you to think about is you might want to think about automation. There’s a whole realm of conversation we have an automating your light, but it is one way if you don’t have controls on some of your lights. Using the automation packages will give you a lot of that control. To learn more about LED lights and how they can add to the fabulous nature of your home, keep listening to the podcast with Nick Frisella called Energy Independence with Brilliance. He has so much great information and you’re going to love listening to this. Enjoy.

Marla:                                   Welcome to The Green Gab. I’m Marla [inaudible 00:00:18] the Green Home coach and I’m gabbing here today about women and men rocking it in green. Green homes, green living and green companies. Tony Pratte my sidekick, cohost, leader in crime.

Tony Pratte:                       I am not the leader of anything. I do not want that title.

Marla:                                   Oh wait. I forgot. We’re IPIGs.

Tony Pratte:                       Yeah, that’s it.

Marla:                                   Yeah.

Tony Pratte:                       IPIGs.

Marla:                                   Intellectual partners in green. Come on.

Tony Pratte:                       Remember IPIGs, not Guinea pigs. Big difference.

Marla:                                   This is true. Yeah. Well that’s thought-provoking. Hey and thank you to the sound room for participating in this with you.

Tony Pratte:                       Well, you know what, it’s one of the fun things I get to do every day. We have a lot of fun things we do at the sound room, but my favorite is coming in here and sitting in with you, and talking green.

Marla:                                   Aw. I just love what we’ve been able to create.

Tony Pratte:                       We’ve created a lot over the last few months.

Marla:                                   It’s been really, really cool.

Tony Pratte:                       We’ve been very lucky to have the opportunities we’ve had.

Marla:                                   Aint that the truth?

Tony Pratte:                       Yah.

Marla:                                   Jane, my business manager, the other day she said to me, “Have you looked at your podcast?” And I’m like, “Yeah, works really great. Thank you so much for everything you’ve done.”

Tony Pratte:                       Yeah. The new sound [inaudible 00:01:19] page looks phenomenal.

Marla:                                   But then she said, “No. Have you really looked at what you’ve created? What you guys are doing? You’re doing this?” I mean, we’ve done over 20 episodes. We’re on iTunes and SoundCloud and we’ve had over a dozen guests on the show. I’m astonished at what we’ve done. Thank you.

Tony Pratte:                       Oh, well thank you for having me. I mean my old roommate, he said the same thing. We were going to the cardinals game and he has a journalism degree from the University of Missouri and he was like, “You guys are just doing it, aren’t yah?”

Marla:                                   I know. Yeah.

Tony Pratte:                       Like, yeah, we did. We just … we were out there. He’s like, “You guys are out there. You’re doing it. You’re sharing knowledge. You’re collaborating.” He goes, “This is the way things should be.”

Marla:                                   Wow.

Tony Pratte:                       I think it’s pretty cool.

Marla:                                   We are blessed and we are doubly blessed to have joining us today, Nick [inaudible 00:02:05]. Hi Nick.

Nick:                                      Hello. Thanks for having me on. I don’t know about blessed.

Marla:                                   We’re going to make you laugh, you know.

Nick:                                      I’m going to try my best.

Marla:                                   I know. We’re going to be the green giggles before we’re all done with this.

Nick:                                      What else

[inaudible 00:02:19]

.

Marla:                                   I started to put on a different outfit today and I thought, “Uh-oh, I can’t go in not in green, because it’s kinda my lucky thing when we’re here. I’m like digging through, “Okay, what can I wear that’s still green?”

Tony Pratte:                       I don’t think I’ve worn green on the set.

Marla:                                   No, you don’t. I do. That’s how it’s been.

Tony Pratte:                       You’re the better partner than I am.

Marla:                                   I’m not the better partner. I’m just the green one. Maybe I just look better in green, but nobody on the podcast can see. So what does it matter? But they can check out our Facebook page.

Tony Pratte:                       They can see pictures.

Marla:                                   Yeah, you can go to the Facebook page, the Green Gab, and see pictures, if you really are curious-

Tony Pratte:                       [crosstalk 00:02:52].

Marla:                                   … what green outfit I’m wearing today. Nick, you are very patient to wait for us.

Nick:                                      Oh you take your time. Take your time. I’m a bit shy so-

Marla:                                   You are so not shy.

Nick:                                      … the more you talk, the less I have to. I’m here from Metro Lighting and I’m in charge of our energy-efficiency department and I-

Marla:                                   That’s an understatement, man.

Nick:                                      Well, I’m involved within the community as well. Like Tony said, these are the fun things I get to do. Usually it’s spreadsheets and looking at efficacy and boring things like that. So I’m always happy to come out into the community and talk about how people can make a difference.

Marla:                                   And you do make a difference. You are active in our St Louis Earth Day and what are other things … A couple other things you’re active. City of Maplewood?

Nick:                                      Yeah I just-

Marla:                                   What else? What did I miss?

Nick:                                      Well, you covered the two biggest ones. I just got added to the board of directors of St Louis Earth Day-

Marla:                                   Oh nice.

Nick:                                      … which I’m very proud of.

Tony Pratte:                       Excellent. Congratulations.

Nick:                                      Thank you very much. Thank you very much. It’s a great organization. They’re doing more than just the Earth Day festival. They do the Green Dining ALliance and recycling on the go and earth action grants. So they’re making a difference as well.

                                                I always like to say that one person can make a difference. When I first started this initiative at our company, I was told that what’s the point? You’re not going to make a difference. So I applied to Energy Star to see if we could win an award. Now we’ve got seven awards from the Energy Star program. We’ve saved our customers, I think it’s annually, $11,000,000 in utility costs.

Tony Pratte:                       That’s a great number.

Marla:                                   [crosstalk 00:04:31].

Nick:                                      lEt’s say a company is the size six lighting locations and-

Marla:                                   In St Louis, correct?

Nick:                                      That’s it.

Marla:                                   In the Metro area?

Nick:                                      Well, one is in Cape [crosstalk 00:04:40].

Marla:                                   Okay. So in Missouri?

Tony Pratte:                       Yes.

Nick:                                      It’s a good story that I try to tell. We each have it in us to make a difference and I didn’t do it alone, but I instigated it and I-

Marla:                                   You were the inspiration.

Nick:                                      … bugged people for a long time and now we’re finally getting somewhere.

Tony Pratte:                       Well, one person has to start the journey and you were the one person and luckily everybody followed. At least the ones that I’ve heard.

Nick:                                      I wouldn’t go as far as to say all of them, but-

Tony Pratte:                       The one that mattered did.

Nick:                                      … never year more jump on board, which is awesome to see.

Marla:                                   This is something Tony and I have been talking about a lot, is that just by doing the right thing, people end up doing the right thing because that’s the best choice in front of them even if they don’t know. So something may look good but also be very energy-efficient and they’ll just choose it because it’s what they want, not because it’s energy-efficient. Then all of a sudden they’re energy-efficient.

                                                So I think more and more companies and even some builders and even some parts of the country are getting that. Actually read story lately, they called it the iPhone effect. How many of us 10 years ago would have said we would want to carry a mini computer in our pockets? I wouldn’t have thought about it. The laptop was great. That was everything I needed, but man, once you gave me a smartphone, now I can’t live without it.

Nick:                                      Oh yeah.

Marla:                                   But I didn’t … I mean, I never would have dreamt. So I think energy-efficient products, green product, green homes, green buildings, new ways of thinking. If we just do it and people find that they can’t live without it, then it can become reality.

Nick:                                      Very well said.

Marla:                                   Okay, you guys are all looking at me like deer in the headlights. Okay. I’m either on something here and I’m astonished you guys [inaudible 00:06:08] the daylights out of you.

Nick:                                      I totally agree. Six years ago, if you had told me that this is where we’d be at, I would have thought you’re crazy. We still have a huge uphill battle to fight and we still do, but we’ve come a long way in the short six years that I’ve focused my energy on energy-efficiency and just being a good steward of the environment.

Marla:                                   Yeah. I’ve been in the industry nine years and when I pause long enough to look back, we’ve come so far. I’m truly amazed some days that we really have made that much progress. We have a long way to go. You’re right, but we have come a long way too.

Tony Pratte:                       I’ve been in this industry for over 20 years.

Marla:                                   Well, you’ve definitely seen more than I have.

Tony Pratte:                       The industry I came into does not look anything like the industry today.

Marla:                                   Oh, I can so totally see that.

Tony Pratte:                       It is totally different, but we joke about it that well, six years ago when you really first started your journey with Metro to energy-efficiency and really being a little bit more sustainable products offerings, where we were then and where we’re going to be in the next six years is going to be an easier journey because this is becoming a lot more mainstream.

Marla:                                   Well, plus it’s becoming exponential because success breeds success, right?

Tony Pratte:                       It does. It’s becoming more mainstream and let’s face it, codes are coming into play now where this is just expected.

Nick:                                      Yeah. Regulations play a role and I would say that the consumers are either excited to help the environment or they’re excited to save money. Then when it looks good, it all comes together.

Marla:                                   Even better.

Tony Pratte:                       Hey. And if it’s all about just for them saving money and the byproduct happens to be, it’s better for the environment, still win-win, right?

Nick:                                      That is correct.

Marla:                                   Yeah. I think we’re kind of really starting to see the whole idea of if you build it, they won’t come because if you build it, but if they’re coming anyway, then they get the benefit.

Nick:                                      Or the better benefit.

Marla:                                   [crosstalk 00:07:52] idea for that quote?

Tony Pratte:                       That’s all right.

Marla:                                   Just go with it, right? Just go with that. Well, hey, we’re at a great moment to take a break and when we come back, Nick, I want to hear more about what you’re doing with energy-efficient lighting and some of the programs you all are running so we’ll be right back.

Marla:                                   Hey, back here gabbing about energy-efficient lighting or better yet, how about Energy Independence Day? We got Nick here. Nick, I absolutely love what you’re doing. I feel like you underestimate the impact you’re having, but thank you for making it.

Nick:                                      Well. I appreciate it. I will say the same thing about both of you. That’s what it takes. A community that is behind such a movement gets so much more done. Sometimes I feel like I’m spreading myself thin by being involved in all these different organizations, but ultimately there’s a story to tell and the more people that hear it, the more people that we can bring on board.

Marla:                                   That’s the truth.

Tony Pratte:                       Very well said.

Marla:                                   That is the truth. I don’t want to spend too long on this because I want to talk about lighting some. You mentioned earlier the Green Dining ALliance and it was funny because I was meeting a friend for business lunch last week and she said, “Well you pick where to go.” So I’m like, “Okay, how can I go someplace different?” So I went to the Green Dining ALliance site. I hadn’t been on for a few months, oh my gosh, there’s so many restaurants getting on the bandwagon now. What I love about this is that it’s an opportunity for a segment of the business to differentiate themselves by showing that they can do good by doing well and adhering to some basic principles. It’s nothing horribly difficult, but it’s paying attention to some details and I love the fact that the Saint Louis community has gotten around that.

Nick:                                      Yeah, it’s an awesome program and I’m not sure how quickly it’s grown, but I know that there is, by the time you’re listening to this, 102 restaurants-

Marla:                                   Wow.

Nick:                                      … in the St Louis area and there will be, I believe, two dining districts, Maplewood-

Marla:                                   Maplewood’s one and what’s the other one?

Nick:                                      … which is my hometown so I’m going to tout Maplewood, which has done a really good job. Delmar is also-

Marla:                                   Oh, that makes sense.

Nick:                                      Yeah. They’ve come along way and lighting does fit into that because that’s one of the parameters. Getting rid of Styrofoam and composting and recycling. Those are also … I don’t have all the information for that, but if anyone’s interested they can go on the St Louis Earth Day site or email JD who is in charge of that program. She’d love to talk to you.

Marla:                                   Nice.

Nick:                                      And it’s doing great things.

Marla:                                   We’ll put the link up on the podcast notes-

Nick:                                      Awesome.

Marla:                                   So if folks want to do it. If you’re listening in another part of the country, there are some amazing programs in St Louis. This is one of them. St Louis Earth Day. We have the Regional Chamber and Growth Association hosts the Green Business Challenge cosponsored with the Missouri Botanical Gardens, which alone has its own programs as well. So we have some really great resources here that are available through the wonders and the magic of the Internet to anybody anywhere in the world. So if you’re listening someplace else, don’t think that you can’t get something started in your locale just because you’re not in St Louis. I know that most people don’t think of St Louis as the greenest place to be, but we’re actually getting a lot done and it’s because of people like you. So let’s circle back around and talk about what you’re doing with lighting and. I love coming into the stores by the way. I just get lost in there.

Nick:                                      Oh, thank you. It’s funny because six years ago we started hearing about LED and how it was going to take over and it was a slow transition. You had CFLs which a lot of people disliked and we’ll get into why and who, but there’s still people that come up to me at different educational events and think that I’m the one who invented the CFL and they want to perhaps take me outside-

Marla:                                   They wanna let you know.

Nick:                                      … I’m not sure.

Marla:                                   That’s too funny.

Nick:                                      But LEDs have finally come to where the price makes sense. You are going to pay a little bit more upfront, but in the long run you’re going to save money.

Marla:                                   Yeah, but it’s not much anymore. The prices have come way down.

Nick:                                      Yes, yes. A 60-watt equivalent say four years ago was $25. Now you’re looking at below $6 and they last 25 times longer than an incandescent bulbs. So he won’t be changing it very often or at all depending on [crosstalk 00:13:20].

Marla:                                   So here’s what I hear. Wait, I have to wait until my light bulb burns out to replace it?

Tony Pratte:                       No, you don’t.

Nick:                                      I mean, that’s a personal preference.

Marla:                                   But they’re going to throw it away no matter what. If it’s burned out or not.

Nick:                                      Right.

Marla:                                   I mean the light bulb still goes in the trash and if you replace it right now-

Tony Pratte:                       You start saving more.

Marla:                                   … and you get start saving right now.

Nick:                                      I would say that if we’re talking incandescent, I would definitely take that approach. Just switch it.

Marla:                                   Absolutely.

Nick:                                      If you have a CFL-

Marla:                                   Maybe wait?

Nick:                                      … those are pretty close to the same efficacy or basically, they save almost as much energy as an LED. They just don’t last as long and then they have mercury in them.

Marla:                                   Right. So if you are throwing away a CFL-

Nick:                                      That’s shame on you. Or shame.

Marla:                                   … what should it … Oh wait. Throw away … If you’ve-

Tony Pratte:                       You can’t throw away the CFL.

Marla:                                   … finished with the CFL, you should.

Nick:                                      You should recycle it. You can do that as a residential customer. You can recycle CFL bulbs for free at Metro up to 12 per person.

Marla:                                   Oh, that’s good to know because I think I have some burning now.

Nick:                                      I think some of the big box stores also still offer that program.

Marla:                                   They used to. I believe they still do. So recycle them. Do not throw them in the trash if you are-

Nick:                                      Definitely don’t.

Marla:                                   … getting rid of your CFLs.

Nick:                                      Yes.

Marla:                                   Because they have icky stuff in them. [crosstalk 00:14:29].

Nick:                                      They have a small amount of mercury in them and one or two light bulbs isn’t going to destroy the watershed, but-

Tony Pratte:                       A thousand might.

Nick:                                      Right.

Marla:                                   Right.

Nick:                                      Or a hundred thousand. And in Missouri there’s only federal guidelines and those are for commercial entities. So there’s no guideline or regulation for residential customer to recycle those.

Tony Pratte:                       Probably because they’re not thinking in large quantities. Whereas the commercial entity, they are.

Nick:                                      Some of that mercury does fuse to the glass or the [inaudible 00:14:59] bulb. So it’s arguable whether or not there’s enough to make a difference.

Tony Pratte:                       Oh, why take a chance if you don’t have to?

Nick:                                      Exactly.

Tony Pratte:                       That’s what it comes down to.

Marla:                                   And so I’m assuming, and this is my personal take on it, is if you are replacing bulbs in your home or business now, go straight to LEDs if you can.

Nick:                                      Yes.

Marla:                                   As many places as possible.

Nick:                                      Yes, for sure.

Marla:                                   They will pay back. Plus you don’t have to change them frequently. My Mom’s been putting LEDs in her home and I said, “Mom, you’re never going to have to change the light bulb again”, because she’s in her seventies. I mean, think about it.

Nick:                                      It’s too like a morbid joke [crosstalk 00:15:31]-

Marla:                                   Yeah, it’s kind of a sick joke, but-

Nick:                                      “Well, you okay you can always hand those down to your grandchildren-

Marla:                                   Absolutely.

Tony Pratte:                       The light bulb’s gonna last longer than you.

Nick:                                      Right. Yeah.

Marla:                                   Well, the light bulb may last longer than me.

Nick:                                      Then you have the people that are, “What if I move?” Well take the LED

[crosstalk 00:15:44]

.

Marla:                                   Take them with you.

Tony Pratte:                       [crosstalk 00:15:44] with you. They are portable.

Nick:                                      That’s right.

Marla:                                   Unless of course it’s fixed to the wall on a fixture. That wouldn’t work so well maybe. Or it could.

Tony Pratte:                       Oh, you could still do it.

Marla:                                   Okay.

Tony Pratte:                       Save the incandescent, right? Put them back in when you move.

Nick:                                      That’s right.

Marla:                                   Yeah.

[crosstalk 00:16:00]

.

Nick:                                      Or perhaps just ask her a few extra dollars they keep the LED.

Marla:                                   Yeah. I know when a lot of people first started using LEDs and CFLs for that matter, everybody felt like they lit differently. The space looked different with the different kinds of light. A lot of those issues have really gone away. They’re just nonexistent right now.

Nick:                                      In the early days, a lot of manufacturers made three or four skews. And that’s what you had choose from.

Marla:                                   A skew being a model?

Nick:                                      Yes.

Marla:                                   Okay.

Nick:                                      Nowadays there’s a very large selection of bulbs and you’re dealing with something that is completely different than incandescent. An incandescent, you would see this is 60 watts and I know how bright it’s going to be and what color it’s going to be. Well now you’re looking at Lumens, which shows you how bright it is, and then color temperature, which is measured in Kelvins. So if you like the look of incandescent, you’re gonna look for 2,700 Kelvin bulb. If you like something that’s more like daylight, you’re looking at 35 to 4,000 Kelvin or K. The higher you get, the more white or like sunlight it is. Marla:   So hold that thought. We’re going to come back and talk about that more

Marla:                                   We’re back gabbing about energy independence through lighting. Nick, you were on a roll talking about how to get into high-efficiency lighting with LEDs and CFLs. So I want you to keep going about how consumers get going with this.

Nick:                                      I think I’m going to step it back a bit, okay?

Marla:                                   Okay. Step it.

Nick:                                      So when were told to sell LEDs now, we’re supposed to sell them as an appliance. Well everybody knew that a light bulb was a commodity and you knew what you’re going to get. You knew the wattage was a certain brightness. So now instead of watts, you think of lumens and then color temperature range, it’s measured in Kelvins. It can range anywhere from 2000 to more than 6,000.

Marla:                                   Explain color temperature again, because that’s kind of a new term for a lot of folks.

Nick:                                      So color temperature is just the appearance of the light.

Marla:                                   So we in America like a softer yellow light a lot of times?

Nick:                                      Yes. So in America, most consumers pick 2,700 Kelvin. It mimics incandescent lighting.

Marla:                                   So that’s that soft yellow light?

Nick:                                      It’s a soft yellow color. In Asia, they’re used to fluorescence. So they’re typically picking 4,000 or 5,000 Kelvin.

Marla:                                   Which is closer to natural sunlight?

Nick:                                      That’s is correct.

Marla:                                   Okay, got it.

Nick:                                      So you think of that and then you also, from color temperature you can go to CRI and CRI is the color rendering index. That’s the way colors appear under the light. So if you had a high end clothing store or a jewelry store, you’d want a high CRI because when your customer takes that item out of the store, you’re going to want them to see what it actually looks like-

Marla:                                   In sunlight.

Nick:                                      … inside the store or in the same living situation.

Marla:                                   So lumens is how much light it is.

Nick:                                      That is correct.

Marla:                                   Color temperature is the yellow to kind of whitish appearance of the light? Then CRI is-

Nick:                                      The way-

Marla:                                   … I guess the sparkle effect?

Nick:                                      Well it’s just the way colors appear under the light. So a cheap light bulb, that’s $2, t’s going to have a low CRI and that means if you have an apple under it, it might look blue as opposed to red.

Marla:                                   Ah, I gotcha. Okay. That makes more sense.

Nick:                                      But that kind of rolls into Metro Lighting is a local company. We employ 200 employees and for the same price, you can have an expert come and help you find the right light bulb for the correct application.

Marla:                                   So the general public can just walk in the store and get the same help as a home professional?

Nick:                                      Yes.

Marla:                                   Awesome.

Nick:                                      Even if you don’t buy the bulb from us, you’ll leave educated. We hope you do-

Marla:                                   Nice.

Nick:                                      … but my goal is to educate people, and through education I think you create partnerships and you do the community a service and the industry, to be honest.

Marla:                                   Yeah, you do.

Nick:                                      Because the more educated we are, the better off everyone is.

Tony Pratte:                       Well, not only that, if somebody is constantly going you for the education, eventually they’re not going to want to go somewhere else to buy it.

Marla:                                   Right.

Tony Pratte:                       Even if they’re thinking in their minds they’re going to save thirty cents, in reality are they saving thirty cents if they have to spend another $2 in gas to get wherever they’re going?

Marla:                                   Good point.

Tony Pratte:                       So if you become an education center, which is something that we do at the Sound Room, which is something Marla likes to do, you become the destination.

Nick:                                      That’s correct.

Marla:                                   I guess I just need to sell more stuff.

Tony Pratte:                       Guess you do.

Marla:                                   I’m working on that. Working on that. Tell me a story or some kind of a typical happening with someone coming into the store, that’s not sure what they’re looking for and you help to improve their life through lighting.

Nick:                                      Yeah, I mean that could be anything from health and we sell seasonal affective disorder lamps, which are a specific spectrum of lighting that helps with depression during the winter time.

Marla:                                   Oh wow. So like for SAD? For the-

Nick:                                      Yes.

Marla:                                   What is that? Seasonal something disorder? Cool.

Nick:                                      Yes. SADD with an extra D.

Marla:                                   There you go.

Nick:                                      Or if someone spent $10,000 on a marble countertop and they want it to look correctly well you don’t want to pick the wrong color temperature because it’s not going to pop. So you’ve spent $10,000 on a countertop and you kind of went the cheap route on your lighting and now, that $10,000 item-

Marla:                                   Doesn’t look so good.

Nick:                                      … does not look good.

Tony Pratte:                       Well not only that, you probably have a homeowner going, “It’s the wrong top. This isn’t what I think now.”

Nick:                                      [crosstalk 00:23:04].

Speaker 1:                           Oh good point, yeah, good point.

Tony Pratte:                       Because people don’t realize that-

Marla:                                   Lighting.

Tony Pratte:                       … items … colors do look differently in different types of light.

Nick:                                      Yeah.

Marla:                                   Yeah, that’s a good point.

Nick:                                      Warm colors tend to do better under a warm color temperature, so if you had something that was red, you’d want to use 2,700 Kelvin, but if you had a nice sparkly, granite or marble countertop that was gray, you’d probably want to use the 3000-

Marla:                                   That’s makes sense.

Nick:                                      … to 3,500K because that’s going to be the right color for that material.

Marla:                                   If I’m hearing this correctly, just to kind of interpret, when we put clothes on and certain colors will walk in different lights to see what the clothing looks like and it’s the same thing that we’re doing for our homes, trying on the different fixtures with the different lights to see the effect?

Nick:                                      That’s correct.

Marla:                                   So the same philosophy, right?

Nick:                                      Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yep.

Marla:                                   Okay, cool. Got it. LED light bulbs and light fixtures come in all shapes and sizes these days. Is there any particular application that’s not well suited for LEDs? I know I’ve gotten them for my chandelier’s, for my fans, for my spotlights, for my lamps.

Nick:                                      Just one comes to mind for me. That is in the north of the country where it’s cold, LED lights do not perform well in traffic lights because they don’t produce the heat, so when it snows, the snow builds up on them because it’s not being melted.

Marla:                                   Oh thank goodness we don’t have [inaudible 00:24:28] traffic lights.

Nick:                                      Yeah, exactly. So I think aside from that there’s no-

Tony Pratte:                       Or driving in the northeast in winter.

Nick:                                      That’s right. There’s an LED for every situation and the beauty of LED is you can control the way things appear, so it gives you a much broader spectrum or brush, if you will, when it comes to designing your home.

Marla:                                   Yeah. Because I know we see lighting tied in a lot with home automation and technology, where all the lighting is controlled through an app or through a control system of some sort, changing the colors, changing the brightness when it goes on and off, timers, motion … I mean, so you really … because it’s more of an appliance than just a commodity that really comes into play, doesn’t it?

Nick:                                      Yes, for sure. I’m sure when you hit the group setting and it says evening, you probably don’t let the color temperature to be 5,000K. But when someone trips the motion sensor and your exterior lights come on, you’re going to want to hit them with that bright white light.

Marla:                                   Yeah.

Tony Pratte:                       This is a really good point because our engineer at the Sound Room is always talking to somebody over at Metro and on the higher end systems, that’s what they’re doing. They’re getting a gauge of what is the lights going in each individual LED, that way they can get the proper draws and the proper wattages and the proper lumens-

Marla:                                   [crosstalk 00:25:45].

Tony Pratte:                       … so when they control it, they’re really controlling it.

Marla:                                   Wow.

Tony Pratte:                       Yeah. It’s not just a all-on, all-off thing. It’s a, this one’s a 2,700 Kelvin bulb. This one’s a 4,000 Kelvin bulb. So that stuff really does matter in the real advanced automation systems.

Marla:                                   So the marriage of brains and the computer and beauty and the lights.

Tony Pratte:                       There you go.

Marla:                                   I love it. Definitely a place where we can look good and perform well.

Tony Pratte:                       Absolutely.

Marla:                                   Which I absolutely love, one of my mottos. So if folks want to come in Metro Lighting or they can go online to metrolighting.com?

Nick:                                      Yes. It’s naturallightingcenters.com.

Marla:                                   Thank you.

Nick:                                      I do have to do one quick plug, which you can cut later if you want, but we’re a Energy Star partner and I would highly recommend that when people are looking for LED products, that they look for the Energy Star logo.

Marla:                                   Yeah. Totally agree.

Nick:                                      That means you’re getting third-party testing and you’re getting the product you need.

Marla:                                   Well, and I cannot say how much I have enjoyed getting to know y’all all there and what you do in the St Louis area is very, very appreciated. We appreciate you taking the time to share energy independence through lighting with us, and we look forward to having you back because I think we have a lot more to talk about on some future show. For everybody listening in on the Green Gab, we’ll catch you next time.

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