A generation ago, lighting for new production homes was almost an afterthought for builders, a necessary function consisting of standard (read: boring) fixtures delivering ambient light. Anything more—usually table and floor lamps—was up to the homeowners.
Fast-forward to today, and the market for residential lighting for mainstream housing offers a dizzying array of options, enabling builders to make lighting a marketable feature in their homes by creating “wow” factors for competitive distinction and meeting consumer demand. And not just with style, but with thoughtful design that puts light where people need and use it.
Lighting today also includes a wide array of highly energy-efficient fixtures, thanks to advances in LED lamps, and smart features that enable homeowners to program or automate “scenes” for different times of day, activities, and additional energy savings … as well as home security.
The following products represent a small sample of what’s out there in today’s lighting world to meet those demands and create truly unique experiences at almost every price point.
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Stylish Lighting Galore From Kohler
Kohler’s lighting division offers a trio of new pendant light options:
The Hauksbee Collection hearkens back to the industrial revolution and its utilitarian lighting. Hauksbee combines glass with cool metals in mixed finish options with vintage detailing. It’s the largest collection and will be available in single-light, two-light, three-light, and four-light sconces, along with a pendant, chandelier (shown), and semi-flush mount designs. Click for more info
The Vorleigh Collection reflects elements from the 1930s and French Art Deco design. Each light features a pivoting, round shade that allows the user to control where the light shines. Vorleigh lighting products are available in sconce and chandelier designs in five finishes: Brushed Moderne Brass, Polished Brass, Polished Nickel, Polished Chrome, and Gunmetal (shown). Click for more info
The Parohn Collection (main image, above) mixes Bauhaus design elements with a focus on symmetry and scale, the company says. Light fixtures are made of hand-cast metal with spheres and linear details balanced by hand-woven fabric shades. Parohn lights come in chandelier (shown), pendant (shown), and flush-mount designs in five finishes. Click for more info
Recessed Lights by USAI Lighting Keep It Small
LED manufacturer USAI Lighting says its new line of recessed lighting, LittleOnes, offers up to 1,000 lumens from a 1-inch light source. The collection features downlights, accents, and wall washers with glare control, square and round options, and dimmable lights. Click for more info
Smart, Connected Lighting From Modular Lighting Instruments
Modular Lighting Instruments’ new Smart Lotis 1.9 series delivers lighting that reduces technical and installation roadblocks to achieve a connected system. The installation consists of one drill hole in the surface for a connected wire, allowing designers to organize the lights freely. Smart 1.9 series lights offer up to 311 lumens per fixture, and users can control both the light intensity and warmth. Click for more info
Hi-Macs Reimagines Its Tulip Light
Natural acrylic stone manufacturer Hi-Macs has reimagined its Tulip light, designed by Pierre Cabrera, as a pendant. The LED fixture comes in two styles: acrylic or leather. The company says adding leather ties the elegant silhouette with a unique and natural material. Click for more info
New Pendant Colors From Hinkley
Hinkley has expanded the available finishes for its industrial Argo pendant. Pale Blue (shown, with Lacquered Brass), Sage Green, and Light Taupe join Argo’s existing Prass, Polished White, and Satin Black finishes. Hinkley says the new colors help conjure up natural, calming elements. Click for more info
Brilliant's Dimmer Switch Makes Regular Lights Smart
Brilliant’s new smart dimmer switches turn regular lights into smart lights and make smart bulbs even smarter, the company says. The internet-connected switches combine with Brilliant Control Panels (required) to enable control of any or all light fixtures with touch, motion, voice, or on a schedule, or remotely via a mobile device app. The switches can also be enabled to control ceiling fans (on/off) and Sonos sound system volume. Click for more info
Nora Lighting's New Linear and Multi-Head Fixtures
Nora Lighting delivers flexibility and functionality with two new products:
Nora’s Iolite LED Multiple Lighting System (shown below, left) is now available in both a flanged style (shown) or trimless model with a contemporary, knife-edge appearance. The series offers one to three independently adjustable and interchangeable heads, and each offers three reflector types, three optics, and three finishes for custom applications. Reflectors include a fixed downlight, adjustable snoot, and wall wash. Available in Black, Haze, or Matte Powder White (shown). Click for more info
The updated Ledur TW Linear Luminaire (shown below, right) from Nora Lighting offers a choice of five field-selectable color temperatures and two lumen outputs selected with a five-position sliding switch on the under-cabinet fixture. Edge-lit LEDs provide smooth, uniform light across a countertop and eliminate hot spots on granite or other reflective surfaces, the maker says. Available in five lengths from 11 inches to 42 inches in Bronze or White (shown); hardwired or cord plug available. Click for more info