A better understanding of light pollution

Lighting pollution of a city

However, the impacts of light pollution on our environment are real. The awareness of this issue is relatively new, so it remains mysterious for many people. In this article, you will learn about light pollution and possible solutions to minimize its impacts.

A brief definition

Light pollution is the projection of artificial light into the sky, making it difficult or impossible to see the stars at night. Did you know that 80% of the world’s population lives under a sky polluted by artificial light? For Europeans and Americans, this percentage even reaches 99%! Furthermore, most human beings will never be able to contemplate the Milky Way or the Zodiacal light. These luminous phenomena which are visible in the night sky, can only be observed in the most isolated areas of the globe, where light pollution is absent or very low.

Light pollution is increasing at a rate of 2.2% per year worldwide and causes all sorts of problems, such as economic, ecological and astronomical.

The impacts of light pollution

Since light pollution is relatively new, we are only beginning to understand its impacts on ecosystems. Notwithstanding this fact, many specialists and researchers have started to sound the alarm to ask governments to put in place measures to limit the damage of light pollution.

A disoriented migration

Fauna is strongly affected by artificial lighting at night. For nocturnal animals for example, predators use the darkness to hunt and prey use it to hide! As a result, the environment of these animals is severely influenced by humans, as their nighttime activity period is now shifting to daytime due to the amount of lighting present.

Illuminated city of Vancouver producing light pollution

Migratory birds are also severely affected by this type of pollution. When night falls, these birds must orient themselves with the light of the moon and the stars. The nighttime light from cities attracts birds to a dangerous environment of illuminated skyscrapers. In Toronto, light pollution is responsible for the death of tens of thousands of birds per year, according to the Fatal Light Awareness Program.

Light pollution also affects the migration cycles of these birds. Indeed, these birds use seasonal indicators to predict their migration and their perception of these indicators is biased by light pollution, so they do not migrate at the right time and miss the right weather conditions for their reproduction.

The economic cost

Often, the excessive use and the misuse of lighting cause us to direct light towards the sky for no reason, which makes us waste energy and financial capital. In Quebec, it is estimated that it costs $45 million per year to light the sky. Light pollution has then an important economic weight in Quebec, if we consider that this amount could be reinvested for a better and more environmentally friendly lighting. For the United States, the cost of light pollution is $7 billion per year!

A significant impact on science

Astronomy is a science that is directly affected by light pollution, because the stars are much more difficult to study near large cities where light pollution is strong. This is why astronomical observatories are located relatively far from these cities. Finally, the fact that the stars are less and less present in the night sky near the cities, makes that there are fewer and fewer amateur astronomers. Already in 2003, the British government recognized that there is a link between the lack of interest in astronomy and light pollution.

telescope with the milky way

How is light pollution produced?

Now that we know the impacts of the phenomenon of light pollution, it’s important to know how this is produced. The first cause is the lighting directed towards the sky. In fact, many street lamps and other light sources direct light inefficiently. They should direct the light only to the area in need of light.

Quebec is a major emitter of light pollution in Canada, for two reasons. First, the very low cost of energy means that people and businesses in the province can afford to install more artificial light. Second, there are currently very few government regulations governing artificial lighting in Quebec. Some regulations are in place near astronomical observatories, but it seems that these are very little respected.

Rethinking our lighting

With all these problems that light pollution creates, a question arises: is it possible for governments to ensure safe and useful lighting for the population while limiting light pollution? Yes, it is!

Smart Lighting

First of all, intelligent lighting could prove to be an effective solution in the fight against light pollution. Indeed, programming night lighting with intelligent control systems would ensure that only the amount necessary for the city’s safety and operation would be on during the night. For example, an intelligent street lighting system would ensure that street lights would only be activated when cars are on the portion of the road to be lit, and would remain closed when they are not.

Street lamps that respect the environment

Light up more efficiently

As mentioned earlier, many street lights do not effectively redirect light. Ideally, streetlights should be able to direct light properly so that it is not wasted. In addition to reducing light pollution, these streetlights would limit the intrusive lighting that disturbs those who live near roads. To do this, investing in lighting sources that effectively direct artificial light to the areas to be lit would greatly reduce the amount of light projected toward the stars.

We can help you reduce your ecological footprint!

To function it is sure that the cities cannot do without artificial lighting. It ensures the safety of the population and allows them to remain in activity during the night. With the impacts that this form of pollution plays on the environment, the need for cities to rethink their lighting systems is increasingly considered.

Offering a range of specialized products and services, LUX Lighting Solutions has the expertise for all your smart and environmentally friendly lighting projects. Please contact us to learn more about how you can give back the stars to the night!

lighting history timeline

In the 21st century, artificial light has been widely used in several spheres of our societies for many years. Lighting is an essential factor in the proper functioning of cities and businesses. That being said, the need for man to light his environment is not new. In fact, we have to go back to prehistoric times to find the first lighting methods developed by man.

Lighting by fire

The invention of the first method of lighting goes back a long way. Most historians even agree that fire was used for 250 000 to 300 00 years! The domestication of fire by Neanderthal man had a decisive impact on his way of life. This source of light was now going to allow them to keep predators away, to facilitate the working of certain materials, to keep warm, to cook food and to illuminate their environment once night fell. Still today, fire is used for lighting and has been the main source of light for humans for several hundred years.

Fire on a black background

Around 30,000 B.C., Homo sapien decided to burn animal fat and plant resin at the end of a branch to create the very first portable lamp, the torch. With this invention, prehistoric man could now venture into caves where natural light did not reach. By using other types of fuel to light with flames, man opened the door to the discovery of a host of new lighting options. Indeed, over 15,000 years ago, the first oil lamp was invented. This lamp was a reservoir of vegetable oil in which a wick supported by a spout was dipped. 10,000 years later, the candle made its appearance. Indeed, by surrounding a wick of animal tallow, it is possible to obtain a light source which will last longer. The disadvantage of burning tallow is that the odor and smoke are not pleasant.

Oil lamp carved in rock

Derived from the candle, it is in the Middle Ages that the candle as we know it today was born. Mainly made of beeswax, these lamps were very expensive and therefore mainly used by the clergy and the lords. It was not until the end of the 15th century that the more affluent citizens were able to start replacing their tallow candles with wax candles. It was not until the 1820s that candles regained popularity with the development of stearic acid, a new material that replaced animal tallow for candle production. This advance made candles more affordable and less intrusive, and it was from this point on that tallow candles became less common.

Although oil lamps had already existed for a long time, it is towards the end of the 18th century that this mode of lighting became trendy, with the development of new processes. In 1782, the engineer Aimé Argand developed an oil lamp with a lateral reservoir and double air currents that was 10 to 12 times more powerful than a normal candle. Later, the French pharmacist Antoine Quinquet refined Argand’s invention and marketed the Quinquet oil lamp, which was widely used until the advent of kerosene in 1853. This light oil obtained from the distillation of crude oil became the main fuel for indoor lamps for several decades and completely replaced oil lamps.

Antoine Quinquet and his oil lanterne, the quinquet à l'huile
Crédit photo: Detroit Institute of Arts

In those same years, a new type of lighting arrived on the market: gas lighting. At that time, the world’s major cities, in desperate need of modernizing their public lighting, decided to follow the lead of gas lighting in order to replace oil lamps. At the time, gas lighting cost a quarter of the price of oil, which made it very popular in Europe and America. By the mid-1840s, almost all of London and half of Paris were lit by gas! This new type of lighting was relatively dangerous, however. When used indoors, it was common for buildings to be set on fire because of the operation of this type of lamp. They raised the temperature of the rooms and had to be lit with a long stick at the end of which was a flaming cotton ball, which was relatively dangerous, not to mention the risk of explosion. In addition, gas lighting also seemed to be harmful to the environment because of gas leaks in the pipes. A safer lighting solution was now required.

Kerosene lamp

The transition to electricity


On August 15, 1881, Paris, the City of Light, hosted the very first International Electricity Exhibition. A young American inventor came to present a product that would revolutionize the lighting industry forever: Thomas Edison’s incandescent light bulb. At that time, only a handful of prestigious buildings were lit with electricity in Paris. Specifically, it was with arc lamp technology, an electrically powered lighting system that was commercialized in the late 1860s. With his invention, Thomas Edison presented the general public with an invention that could democratize electric light. As early as 1881, Edison’s Company, which later became General Electric, was already manufacturing complete lighting systems including bulbs, wires, dynamos and bases.

In the midst of industrialization in Europe and North America, such a lighting system would allow industrial buildings to be lit efficiently and easily. The advantages of the incandescent bulb are numerous. It is safe, inexpensive, easy to install, can be turned on immediately with a switch and the light output is higher than gas lighting. In the years that followed, propelled by the development of electricity and the lighting needs of industrialization, incandescent bulbs gained drastically in popularity, eventually replacing gas lighting in large cities. Still present today, the incandescent light bulb has been lighting up our daily lives for over a hundred years, although it has undergone several improvements over the years.

The incandescent light bulb of Thomas Edison
Credit photo: Pinterest / Archive.org by Edison Electric LIght Company

The first half of the 20th century marks the arrival of 2 new types of lighting: the neon and the fluorescent tube. The neon will be widely used for commercial signs, because this type of lighting can be shaped to obtain writings or forms. The fluorescent tube will have a more traditional function of lighting. It is in the 1930s that the marketing of fluorescent tubes will begin. This new technology offers a white light that is close to daylight. The benefits put forward by the manufacturing companies are the low heat production, the long life, the light output and the simplicity of operation.

In 1959, a variant of the incandescent lamp was born. It is the halogen lamp. Working in the same way as the invention of Thomas Edison, the halogen lamp is equipped with a quartz glass bulb that can withstand high temperatures in which have introduced halogenated gases at high pressure. These gases increase the efficiency and life of the tungsten filament that produces light when exposed to electric current.

Open sign made out of neon

It was in 1962 that the first visible spectrum light-emitting diode (LED) was invented. The invention of this diode was made by Nick Holonyak, a young American engineer. For several years the LEDs were available only in red, yellow and green. In the 1990s, two Japanese researchers have developed a diode of blue color of high brightness. This invention will then allow to adapt the colors of the LED to obtain a white color that will be widely used in the design of TV screens. This invention will also reveal the potential of LED as a lighting device. Indeed, having an interesting lighting efficiency and having a very low energy consumption, this new technology will start to replace quietly the more traditional lighting devices. Today, LED lighting is available in many forms and its use is becoming widespread for public, residential and corporate lighting.

City lit by LED lights

A history that is still being written

Man has always needed to illuminate his environment in order to function well in society. Depending on the availability of technology, he has had to develop his lighting methods, starting with fire and ending with LED lighting. Lighting is an industry that will continue to develop over the coming decades to meet the growing needs of consumers who are now looking for aesthetic, functional and energy efficient solutions.

Sources

Luminaire suspendu de salon avec éclairage LED indirect

The ceiling is present in every room and yet so often forgotten. Did you know that with lighting, it is possible to showcase it and transform it into a decorative element?

Cathedral ceiling with suspended light fixture

How do you do it? Here are several tips and tricks to sublimate the ceiling.

Pointing the light upwards

First of all, by directing the light upwards, towards the ceiling, it will certainly be more visible and give an original aspect to the room. Indirect lighting is ideal to achieve this goal, whether in the form of LED strips or wall sconces. It is also possible to install suspensions that light upwards instead of downwards, or even both at the same time.

Indirect LED lighting in office

Illuminating a low ceiling

Second, upward-facing lighting can be used to enlarge a room with a low ceiling. Indeed, in some forms, lighting will make a room brighter, but it will also make it look much more spacious! Floor standing lamps are perfect in such a room because they avoid overloading the already oppressive low ceiling. Otherwise, wall lights and indirect lighting are always welcome.

Living room lit with a pendant light and LED recessed spots.

Suspension lights for a cathedral ceiling

Thirdly, if you are lucky enough to have a high ceiling or a cathedral ceiling, suspension fixtures are the perfect choice! With all this space, we can afford oversized suspensions, which will be the stars of the room. They will indeed occupy the space, while conferring a warm atmosphere and an original style. Do not hesitate to hang them low, so that they are a real eye-catcher.

Very high ceiling illuminated by a large light fixture

The LUX team can design custom lighting solutions for you that will make your ceilings look majestic. We also have many products that are perfect for all your lighting projects, such as wall sconces, LED strips, recessed lighting, fixtures and more.

Contact us today or make an appointment now on our new online appointment scheduling platform!

Éclairage de la chambre à coucher avec spots sur rail

Several functions of this important room must be considered when choosing its lighting. Indeed, the room is used not only for sleeping and resting, but sometimes also for reading, working, exercising, playing, etc. Lighting must therefore be versatile and well adapted.

Bedroom with indirect led lighting and floor lamps

Adapt your lighting

First of all, there must be general lighting, which must be warm and relaxing, while allowing good visibility. Dimmable lighting is to be preferred, as it will allow the intensity of light to be adjusted according to need and time of day. Ceiling or pendant lights are generally the perfect products to fulfill this function.

Bedroom illuminated by a pendant light

Secondly, other light sources, such as accent lamps, will obviously be needed if, for example, you want to do a bit of reading before going to sleep. This second light source must be more direct and less distant. Wall lights above the bed, table lamps or floor lamps are ideal and practical for this purpose.

LED strips for indirect lighting

After having seen what is necessary to have proper lighting, it is time to have some fun and to integrate a bit of madness and originality to our decor and lighting. The room can indeed be sublimated by a huge chandelier, or various elements backlit with LED strips.

LED strips are perfect for creating spectacular backlighting around the bed base, headboard, behind a post, in a wall or in shelves and shelving.

Modern bedroom with walk-in closet and LED recessed lights

The trend is also towards multiple suspensions, which fill the room and create an intimate and muffled atmosphere by lowering the ceiling. The shape and material of the suspensions will greatly influence the atmosphere. For a relaxed atmosphere, opt for textiles rather than metals and rounded, soft shapes.

Bedroom lit by natural light and pendant lights

Let your creativity flow

In the bedroom, it is more than permissible to mix styles and create a space that is truly to your taste. After all, what room is more personal than this one? So treat yourself to the decoration and lighting, because even though many of the elements have different styles and don’t seem to go well together, the result can be surprising and original.

Bedroom with oriental decoration and LED spotlights

Strings of lights or LED strips can also give the room a fairy-tale look and provide enough light for relaxing moments. They offer many interesting possibilities. Let them inspire you!

Bureau de travail avec une lampe et une plante

Office design is changing a lot, and while the emphasis used to be more on productivity, the emphasis is now on atmosphere, originality and vibrant colors.

What kind of atmosphere do you want your offices to have?

Several new trends are emerging in 2021 for the design and decoration of offices and lighting is obviously part of the game!

Modern and colorful office

First of all, the orientation and layout of the space are revisited. Offices are no longer just a place to work and must be able to accommodate a more relaxed atmosphere as well.

Modern office with large windows and plants

Pleasant materials such as wood, velvet and felt will give a certain warmth to the décor and make employees feel calmer and more confident.

Open and modern workspace with plants and several windows

Plants can also be a great addition to office decor and atmosphere! Also, the use of color temperature lighting that is warm rather than cold will create a more relaxed atmosphere.

office with plants

Illuminate your work environment with LED lighting

Secondly, you can let yourself go with fashion and style and dare to incorporate unusual elements into the office decor.

Conference room with decorative recessed lighting

For example, huge designer chandeliers, sofas with famous designs, backlights or recessed LED strips with amazing designs, emblematic decorative elementsand etc, are more than welcome. The goal is to capture people’s attention and stimulate them.

Shelf with LED strip lighting

We then rely on original and interesting colors, patterns, textiles and objects! In 2021, offices can stop being mundane and can finally take on a personal character.

Blue office with visual art

A modern office is more than a workspace

Did you know that fashionable and personal touches in their offices greatly increase employee productivity, while giving them more confidence and strength!

Office with Cactus

Thirdly, spaces dedicated to team building, relaxation and play are becoming more and more popular, and in 2021 will even become one of the arguments used by companies to attract and recruit new talent.

Modern workspace with chairs and pendant lights

From relaxation areas with hammocks to reading corners and various playrooms, lighting is essential! These areas require subdued lighting to create a comfortable atmosphere. Several types of lighting are suitable for this purpose, such as recessed, wall or pendant luminaires.

Green Office with pendant lights

LED lighting, to reduce your ecological footprint

Finally, environmental friendliness is at the top of the new trends and brings decorations with natural colors and materials. A feeling of comfort often results from the choice of such a decor. The addition of vegetation will make the space infinitely more welcoming and lively, in addition to allowing employees to rest their eyes more.

Rest area of an office with hanging plants and cushions

In addition, the use of ecological or eco-efficient technologies such as LED products is a must! Wall sconces, LED strips, recessed, ceiling lights and LED suspensions are indeed the best lighting products to follow the trend of respecting the environment, given their low energy consumption and their considerable lifespan.

Open collaborative office with colorful chairs

LUX has completed several office and workspace lighting projects over the years and has what it takes to help you with your projects! Contact us now, make an appointment online on our new platform or visit our website for more inspiration or to store!

Meeting room
Salon blan avec des encastrés LED

The trend of recessed lighting

This type of lighting is extremely popular and is now visible everywhere, whether in stores, offices, stores, houses, restaurants, etc.

Hall d'entrée avec moulures noires au plafond

Several reasons explain this growing popularity.

First of all, recessed lighting offers many advantages. It provides a powerful and uniform lighting, but also creates different atmospheres, specific to certain rooms or work surfaces.

Escalier avec de l'éclairage encastré dans le mur

Recessed spotlights and LED strips

Indeed, recessed lighting can be used on the ceiling, but also under or in cabinets, in stairs, walls, floors and more.

Cuisine blanche éclairée à l'aide de spots encastrés

It also saves space and energy, since recessed fixtures are normally LED technology, compact and eco-efficient. There are many different styles of recessed lighting that make the possibilities endless. In addition, their lighting is mostly adjustable, both in intensity and color and color temperature.

Bureau d'accueil avec un éclairage encastré décoratif

Whether in the form of LED strips, square or round recessed lights or other, recessed lighting is suitable for all rooms and all utilities!

It can be used to highlight shelves or objects, make worktops more practical, enhance architectural details and much more. It is a decorative element that can be subtle or eye-catching, depending on its location and shape.

Cuisine blanche avec des spots encastrés et des luminaires suspendus

LUX Lighting Solutions offers tons of recessed lighting products and can always custom build recessed lighting for you.

Contact us now or make an appointment through our online appointment scheduling platform.

Pictures credit: Pinterest & Pexels

Couloir blanc avec arts visuels

Hallway lighting is normally given very little consideration. However, it is very important and can be a fabulous decorative element.

Hallway with indirect LED lighting on ceiling and floor

A hallway embellished with lighting

Since corridors are often devoid of decorations and furniture, lighting becomes the star of the show! Lighting fixtures of all shapes and styles can enhance these underestimated spaces.

Thanks to lighting, a hallway can become warm, colorful, dynamic and stylish!

LED recessed wall lighting

Consider multiple light sources

In order to create stylish lighting, it is possible to combine different types of light sources such as wall sconces, LED strips, recessed lights, tracks, spotlights, backlighting, pendants, etc.

Corridor with several ceiling lights

The repetition of light sources and a geometric arrangement of light sources can be used to make the lighting dynamic and quite stunning.

Wall lights

Corridor lighting must still be functional and well distributed. It is preferable to have several light sources. However, there are multiple options to accommodate those with a single wire outlet, such as track lighting or multiple suspensions, among others.

Hanging light in a hallway

LUX Lighting Solutions has what it takes to light up the hallways with brio! Our team can also customize original lighting solutions that will make your corridors look great!

Contact us now or make an appointment on our online appointment scheduling platform.

Pictures credit: Pinterest

Salle de bains avec un mur fleuri

The lighting of this key room is as important as the rest of the house. It must not only be functional, but it must also be increasingly decorative and original.

Public bathroom with pendant light fixtures

The LED for a complete and utilitarian lighting

A well-lit bathroom can be achieved in many ways. A homogeneous light and the absence of shadow corners are recommended. For this, LED lighting is perfect, whatever its form: wall lights, LED strips, recessed, suspended lights, ceiling lights, etc..

Bathroom made of ceramic and wood in a blue color

The space near the mirror should obviously be more illuminated. For this purpose, the use of wall lights or suspended lights is quite common.

white bathroom with a glass door

Current trends include the backlighting of areas or mirrors, as well as track lighting, which, among other things, allows the light to be directed precisely where it is desired. Moreover, if one has only one light source, making it a rail with several spots solves an important problem of light distribution.

Black bathroom

Finally, we must finally think about the functionality and the technical side of bathroom lighting, because this is the most important. We need enough light to allow us to have an adequate and comfortable vision. We normally try to get as close to daylight as possible. Also, to maximize efficiency, it is best to provide several light sources, according to the needs of each specific space in the room.

White bathroom with circular mirror

Consider waterproof devices

The lighting chosen should also be water resistant or at least steam resistant. It must therefore have a sufficient protection factor. In addition, several safety and installation constraints must be respected, so you should definitely ask for a professional installation for the lighting of this room.

White ceramic shower with glass door
Escalier avec des marches lumineuses

Staircase lighting must definitely be effective, but why can’t it also be creative?

Indirect lighting in a staircase

Safety, utility and modern lighting with LED

There are many interesting ways to light a staircase, and these can even be combined for an even more sensational result.

Stairs illuminated with wall lights.

Thanks to its efficiency and versatility, LED lighting is perfect for this type of project. It offers undeniable advantages, such as a long life, low energy consumption, variation and color change options, among others.

Stairs with a lighted ramp

In a staircase, it will be both practical and give a modern style, whether in the form of wall, ceiling or floor recessed LEDs, LED strip light, LED suspended, wall or ceiling lights. Staircase lighting can even be artistic and eye-catching!

Huge ceiling light overhanging a circular staircase

Spotlight on steps and ramps

It is indeed possible to create wall lighting points, geometric lighting on walls and even a rain or a cascade of light. Recessed or indirect lighting also offers exciting alternatives! You can for example illuminate risers, steps and railings.

Recessed wall lighting for a staircase

There are 1001 ways to light a staircase. Contact the LUX Team or make an appointment now for plans and customized lighting solutions!

Pictures credit: Pinterest

Salon bleu avec éclairage indirect au plafond

A Lighting made possible by LED technology

LED strips have revolutionized ambient lighting and offer exciting possibilities to create original and warm decorations in every room of the house!

Salon avec un foyer et un plafond indirectement éclairé

Indirect lighting is invisible lighting that illuminates the walls or ceiling of rooms, on which light is reflected and diffused. It is possible, thanks to this, to create a more convivial and relaxed atmosphere, since indirect lighting is softer and less aggressive. It is also used to enhance or highlight certain architectural details, such as mouldings, beams or false ceilings.

black bedroom with a walk-in closet with glass doors

LED strip light, the ideal product for indirect lighting

LED strips can be recessed almost anywhere: behind partitions, cabinets, shelves, furniture, headboards, cornices and more. Steam and water resistant versions are also available, allowing for unusual bathroom and shower lighting.

Ceramic bath with indirect lighting

They also allow you to light a staircase or corridor in a functional and original way. Indeed, they sublimate these often poorly lit and ordinary spaces.

staircase with illuminated steps

Thanks to LUX Lighting Solutions and its team, it is possible to carry out superb indirect lighting projects in the home on a reasonable budget. LED strips and accessories are LUX’s specialty!

Contact us now for all your projects!

Pictures credit: Pinterest