Do You Hate Your Bathroom?

Do you hate your bathroom, but don’t have the money to spend on completely renovating it? Check out This Old House’s bathroom before and afters from people who hated their bathroom and did most of the work themselves to save money. Some repurposed items or built things themselves to give the room a whole new look, while others completely renovated their bathroom. These stories can help give you ideas on how to improve your bathroom without spending the big bucks!

PicMonkey 2013 Bathroom Collage

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Lessons in Bathroom Lighting



Your bathroom lighting may not be top priority, but it is important. Having certain areas of your bathroom well lit will make your morning preparation go more smoothly.

Shower/Tub Lighting

This area needs to be well lit to make shaving and washing easier. Having natural light in the bathroom is very beneficial, but let’s face it for many of us it’s dark in the morning when we are getting ready for work. Many homes also do not have windows in the bathroom, making good lighting a necessity. We recommend using 3500K to 4100K color temperatures, which will give the area a brighter look. LED downlights over top of the shower makes for the best lighting, we recommend having at least two sources of light over the shower to help reduce shadows.

Shower light


Vanity/Mirror Lighting

This lighting is vital for illuminating your head and face, allowing you to put on make-up, shave, and style your hair. Lighting around your vanity mirror needs to be placed just right to eliminate shadow areas while you are getting ready in front of the mirror. The lighting either needs to be placed on both sides of the mirror or directly over top to give you the best lighting to get ready or as some of my friends call it “putting your face on”. We recommend using LED bulbs in the 3500K to 4100K color temperature range for a more natural lighting, so you know what you will look like when you walk out of the house. Make sure you use the same color temperature in your whole bathroom, having different color temperatures will throw off the look of the room.

Mirror Lighting


For more extensive bathroom lighting tips check out This Old House’s article on bathroom lighting. Check back all week for more bathroom lighting tips!

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Entertainment Lighting for Your Outdoor Spaces

Lighting can help set the mood for your dinner parties and events. Here’s some tips to help brighten your outdoors for entertaining.

Outdoor Dinner Parties: Cooking after dark? Try some task lighting by your grill for both function and appearance. These sconces equipped with floodlights focus light directly where it is needed. Attaching spot or floodlights to shine directly on the main common area of your deck can help guests enjoy their outdoor meals in the right light.



Keep walkways well lit: Besides for safety reasons, this will help guests see the entire entertainment area, which will help guests from staying in one small area. A more affordable solution than individual step lighting would be to purchase spot lights that can illuminate the entire staircase.


Pool and Hot Tub Lighting: Many pools and hot tubs come equipped with bright lighting for the interior, but the entire area should be well lit. This home uses floodlights to showcase some of the trees surrounding the pool, which also help illuminate the walkways around the pool. Add some small solar lights by the walkways or utilize spotlights to shine a safe walking path to and from the pool.


Find more lighting ideas for your outdoor spaces from Better Homes & Gardens.

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Secure your Home with Outdoor Lighting

Lighting can help to keep your home safe and secure. From illuminating every access door to incorporating motion-detecting spotlights, there are many affordable solutions on the market to help keep your home secure from break-ins.

Illuminate Every Access Door:

Many homeowners focus their lighting on their front door, but often times forget the other entries into their home. It is ideal to have at least one lighting fixture by each access door of your home. To avoid the worry of bulb burnout, make the switch to LED light bulbs that are designed to last up to 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs.

Utilize Motion Detectors and Spot Lights:

Solar powered lights are often too dim to be used for security lighting. Invest in lighting fixtures that utilize spotlights or flood lights for areas of your home that will make walking more secure after dark. Good suggestions are areas in front of your garage or parking areas, and any side or back doors that are commonly used.  Look for LED BR or PAR bulbs for these types of fixtures.

Automate Your Lighting:

A great way to secure your home is to use smart lighting. With smart lighting systems, you are able to set the lights in your home to timers and can control them from your smartphone while you are away. Burglars will stay away from an occupied home. Check out the Connected by TCP® Smart Lighting System here.

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For more outdoor lighting ideas, check out this article from

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DIY Ice Luminaires

It’s been pretty cold the past few weeks here in Ohio – negative degrees kind of cold.  Add the typical shorter days to that and you’ve got the perfect recipe for wintertime blues. Here’s an easy DIY project to brighten up your outdoor deck or patio – ice luminaires!

This simple project just requires a few things, cold weather, balloons, and some water.

Check out the full instructions to build your own ice luminaires here.


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Did you know…How to choose a light bulb

Have you ever encountered a time when you’re walking about your house and enter a new room when suddenly you turn on the light switch to find a light bulb has burnt out? You’re not alone. Whether it’s a bulb in your bathroom vanity, your outdoor porch light, the ceiling fan or table lamp, the solution is to replace the bulb as quickly as possible. Like me, you may just unscrew the old one (waiting till it cools down if it’s an old incandescent or CFL), head to the store and try to find a match…until you realize there are numerous options available and you think to yourself, “when did the lighting aisle become as overwhelming as the potato chip aisle?” Allow me to assist you in your purchasing decision.

ENERGY STAR has this nifty tool to help you determine the right bulb for the right fixture at the right lighting temperature! This interactive tool allows you to check out fixtures around a home and illuminates the corresponding bulb types. You can also click on the light switch to sample the different color temperatures that ENERGY STAR bulbs are available in.

So the next time you’re caught in the situation of needing to replace an old bulb  check out this tool and head to the store prepared to find the perfect light bulb!

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Add Curb Appeal to Your Home with Outdoor Lighting

You’ve put countless hours into creating the perfect outdoor landscape to compliment your home, the last thing you want is to have it all lost in the shadows. Here are some tips to help brighten your outdoors.

Add Variety to your Lighting:

Incorporate various types of lighting. This home below is a great example – the homeowner used spotlights to highlight the trees, solar lights to light walkways and small plants, and outdoor covered lighting to brighten the entryway of the home.



Highlight trees: Use above ground spotlights – light narrow trees from directly underneath, and larger trees at a close distance to allow for more of the foliage to be shown.  Floodlights are the best option for highlighting trees, look for LED BR30s as an energy efficient option.



Focus on the Entry Way:

Set the center stage for your outdoor lighting by focusing on the front door. This will help give a welcoming feel to your home. Add simple updates to your existing outdoor fixtures by incorporating LED A-lamps or Decos. This beautiful entry way below uses both covered lights by the each side of the door as well as floodlights directly above the door to give the entry way a more welcoming glow.



 Check back this week for more tips to improve your home’s outdoor lighting.

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Reading to pass the time!

Can you guess some of the best places to read while passing the time; well if you said the airport you are correct! The airport and on an airplane are the top places to read and pass the time. Some other great spots: the local coffee shop; and trains or buses on the way to the office. Would you like a little side of scenery to go with your book? If so, stop by your favorite local botanical garden or state park; find a quiet spot and enjoy. If you are more reserved and like to spend some alone time there is no better place than a nice hot bath tub with a cup of your favorite spirits and a great book. Hope these places help spark the passion for some good ole fashion reading to pass the time.

Reading Place


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Making Smart Choices with Your Lighting

Latest Additions to the TCP Smart Lighting Family

Last week TCP joined thousands of tech and electronics companies at the Consumer Electronics Show to release the latest additions to the smart lighting family. TCP demonstrated some of the latest bulb additions to the Connected by TCP product line including down light retrofit kits, PAR38’s and also a new smart plug that will allow you to control any plug-in electronic device.

In addition to demonstrating the Connected by TCP system, TCP debuted ColorSpree Smart Lighting. TCP’s ColorSpree bulbs include A-lamp LED bulbs that can transform to any color in the RGB spectrum. The color-changing LED bulbs are programmable to music and can sync to the rhythm of any song and are also Bluetooth compatible, allowing for dimming and color temperature changes all controlled from a smart phone or tablet.


Make Smart Choices with your Lighting

As technology continues to advance, the lighting industry also evolves. TCP has continued to stay on the forefront of the lighting revolution by continuing to create energy efficient lighting solutions for the commercial and consumer markets.

With 2015 just beginning, there is still time to make changes to your home or business to become more energy efficient. TCP not only offers a wide variety of LED Energy Star rated products, but many also qualify for lighting rebates. Lighting rebates offer a win-win for businesses and consumers to help keep money in your pocket.

Learn more about TCP Utility Rebates here.

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From Black and White to the Big Screen

The trend of turning books into movies is steadily increasing as we approach the 22nd Century. Some movie studios have mastered this art and others; well let’s just say they are still working on getting it right. According to here are the top ten book to movie Adaptations of 2014; Do you agree?

Best Top 10 book to film adaptations of 2014:

  1. Divergent- Book written by Veronica Roth
  2. The Double-Book written by  Fyodor Dostoevsky
  3. The Fault in our Stars- Book written by John Green
  4. Edge of Tomorrow- Based off the book All You Need is Kill written by Hiroshi Sakurazaka
  5. Snowpiercer- Based off the book Le Transperceneige Written by Jacques Lob, Benjamin Legrand and Jean- Marc Rochette
  6. The Hundred Foot Journey- Book written by Richard C. Morais
  7. This is Where I Leave You- Book written by  Jonathan Tropper
  8. The Maze Runner- James Dashner
  9. Gone Girl – book written by Gillian Flynn
  10. Big Hero 6- From Marvel Comics

You can check out the honorary mentions: Here

I have to say though I think Buzzfeed books got this one wrong in my opinion. The Maze Runner, Gone Girl and Big Hero 6 should have all been at the top of the list, they were easily my favorite movies of 2014.


Interested in any of the suggestions above, grab one of these books at your local book store…and then go check out the movie and tell us your thoughts!

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