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Choosing the Best Desk Lamp

Sometimes, the work space you’ve created to do your computer work needs a little extra help when it comes to lighting. Not everyone can dedicate an entire room to become a formal and well lit office, especially if one is renting an apartment or is trying to combine an office area with a living room. As people downsize across the US, it is common now-a-days to use one room for two functions. But then how does one adequately light certain areas of the room and maintain an ambient environment for the whole room? Lets look at the difference between task lamps and table lamps for a moment, to help you in choosing the best desk lamp.

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Desk lighting may not seem an important factor initially, but try working with insufficient light and it will become quickly clear that having the proper lighting is essential. Having a well lit space is not only for carrying out tasks at hand – but for general health as well. When your area is too dark, you may lean forward too much for extended periods of time, placing strain on the neck, back and even the eyes.

Most people will take a long time to select just the right desk chair – because they know that they will be sitting for possibly hours at a time. Proper back support, adjustability and the right size chair, suddenly become of paramount concern. But people tend to skimp on the lighting and consequently, can suffer physically as well. What does one do when the general room lights are not enough?

BLOG-DIMONDThink about the size ….

What size is your desk area? Is there room to place a lamp on a desk? Might a floor task lamp work better for the work area? Maybe your area double serves as a creative area for crafting where you need a brighter light source for doing detailed work. Will you need to move your light around on occasion or would you prefer one that clamps to your desktop?

Think about task light vs lamp light….

Lamps are generally created as accent lighting, to be used on side tables in bedrooms or living rooms. They tend to give off a softer glow than task lights, which are crafted to provide a stronger beam of light to a small area; specifically for reading or doing detail work. Standard lamps tend to have thicker shades which help to mask the eye from the bright bulb. They tend to be built from one non-flexible and decorative center stand, which can lend creative flair in terms of the color, or styling of both the fixture and the shade. However, lamps don’t offer as many options as task lights do.

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Think about bulb type….

Halogen lights are energy-efficient and excellent as task lights. They have a tungsten filament, which gets hot and emits a great deal of visible light, whereas a normal bulb is not as efficient. However, halogens are twice as hot as standard bulbs. When outfitted with more delicate or fringed shades, it’s not always wisest to use halogen bulbs on standard lamps. Fluorescent lights are very efficient but tend to be more expensive than incandescent bulbs. Full spectrum bulbs emulate natural sunlight and are incredibly well-suited to task lighting applications. LED’s run cooler than halogens and offer another option for creating bright light to a small area.

Think adjust-ability….

Adjustable task lamps can have variable height settings so that you can control whether the light is sharper or more diffused. Therefore, some are crafted with flexible necks so that you can bend the light according to your needs. Some have dimmers that offer three levels of brightness. In any event, you want to be able to control the brightness of your work area, without having to squint from the bulb that’s emitting the light.

It costs very little to re-design a work space area and outfit it with the correct lighting. Sometimes all it takes is one extra, well placed fixture. Sometimes adding other lights to the area, such as a low hung pendant or a wall sconce in conjunction with a task light will suffice. So long as you feel comfortable and well supported by the light you need sitting at your workspace, almost any combination will do. Don’t be afraid to experiment over a period of a month or so, moving the fixtures you’ve purchased around to get them in just the right position!

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Crystal Chandelier Cleaning Tips

Remember the day you installed that beautiful foyer chandelier and how excited you were to step back and take in the exquisite view? It cost a pretty penny but it was worth it because you knew you’d have it for many years to come. And it changed the entire look of your entrance way – made the doorway area much more inviting and appealing to arriving guests. Maybe you purchased a stunning dining chandelier and have spent many months having family meals under it’s showering light.

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Crystorama Chandeliers

But months later you’ve noticed something has changed. The fixture doesn’t dazzle you as much as it originally did. At first you can’t figure it out. Was it just your excitement over having something brand new that overrode the fact that it wasn’t as beautiful as you initially thought? It still looks clean on inspection, but somehow it’s…well, it’s just duller! It doesn’t sparkle like it once did. Something has happened to the luster of the crystals and now it’s really noticeable… maybe not to your invited guests… but to YOU! What happened? How did it loose it’s initial shine? Can something be done to get back it’s initial sparkle? The answer is yes! Here are some easy crystal cleaning tips to regain that original shine:

Though your fixture does not appear caked in dust and dirt, every home has floating air particles that carry elements of debris. You’ll usually recognize it as ‘cooking grime’ in the kitchen, when you find yourself cleaning the greasy film off of your appliances. That grease comes from cooking elements (oils that precipitate out from steam), which settle often on the range hood. But in a dining room or a foyer, it’s not grease that is the culprit; but actually very fine specks of general house dust that first begin to adhere to the crystals. Outside debris from nature might even be partially to blame when a foyer light is constantly exposed to the outside elements via the doorway. Over time, the crystals accumulate a light film of this microscopic debris, clouding the original luster of the crystal teardrops. There is a relatively easy way to regain that sparkle – without having to separate and scrub each crystal. You may have to pull out the ladder if it is hanging in a foyer, but the rules for cleaning are the same whether it is located in a dining room, a bedroom or a foyer.

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Here’s the things you will need:

1 large plastic sheet (for covering tables or floors)
1 roll of 1 inch masking tape
1 box of plastic baggies
1 bottle of apple cider vinegar
1 empty spray bottle
1 cup of  water

To be completely safe, turn off the power where you will be working, at the breaker box. Spread directly below the chandelier, the plastic cloth; to protect a table, furniture or just to keep your floor area clean, if it is a foyer fixture you are cleaning. Cover all the candelabra light sticks with a plastic baggie. Wrap the baggie around the candlestick, and secure the plastic at the bottom of each candlestick lightly with a piece of tape. (Do not wrap the tape so tightly around the stick that you can’t later easily remove it). This will protect the sticks and bulbs from getting wet. Then, add in to the one cup of water, one additional cup of apple cider vinegar and pour the mixture (equal parts) of both into the spray bottle. Lightly spray the entire chandelier, concentrating more on the dangling crystals which hang below the candlesticks. Give the chandelier a good rain bath, lightly saturating the crystals with the vinegar-water mixture. For full coverage, you should move all the way around the chandelier, spraying as you go, and moving the ladder to do so if you must. Try not to twist the chandelier. If it is a relatively new chandelier, there is no need to wipe the crystals. Just let it air dry. When it dries, you will see that the crystals now appear as clear and sparkly as the day you bought it.

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Besa Lighting

If you haven’t cleaned your chandelier for a year or so, you may need to use a lightly sudsy washcloth to gently rub each crystal teardrop. Over time, grime can build up and make it tougher to get the crystals clean. After gently rubbing them, respray them with the vinegar mixture. (A second option would be to re-wet the chandelier with a second or third dose of the apple cider mixture to see if repeated sprays help dissolve the grime film.)

When fully dry, remove the tape and baggies and restore power. There was no scrubbing. There was no painful disassembling of each individual crystal. There was no arm sore chore of re-hanging the separated but now-clean crystals. All you really did was safely give your chandelier a gentle rain bath. The apple cider vinegar did the actual work for you. Recommended cleanings of this type are three to four times a year. If you wish to stretch out your cleanings to only once or twice a year, then purchase a fluffy dusting stick and lightly dust every month. This will help to keep all of your chandeliers as bright and beautiful as the day you bought them!

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Adding Elements Designed by Earth

Whenever a room is in danger of looking too cold or impersonal, designers know that they can add character, warmth and life with natural materials. Adding elements designed by Earth can bring us back to nature in small, subtle ways; re-introducing us to the life-giving properties that our planet has always provided us. And while humans will always find a way to place a price tag on anything that can be sold, many of the items you see below do not necessarily have to be store bought. DYI projects to re-cycle side-of-the-road give-a-ways, and items found at roadside lawn sales cost little and if arranged well can create an exciting displays of nature – sans the cost.

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Reclaimed or salvaged wood: If you want to add instant warmth to a space, wood pieces are ideal room items. Whether you incorporate salvaged wood as an accent furniture piece, or simply strategically place a few pieces about, aged wood can keep a room from looking too slick and new. Natural wood combined with stones or crystals, create a magical element of ‘living nature’. Note the striking porcupine quills in the center image.

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Crystal objects: Accessories like geodes, sea glass or glass bottles that serve as votive holders or vases add a touch of earthy beauty to any surface. Try styling these pieces on a tray atop an ottoman, on top of a stack of books on your coffee table, or with a mix of books and art on an étagère. Not only are crystals themselves, one of Earth’s most beautiful  treasures, no two crystals are alike – so you can be the true and proud owner of many one-of-a-kinds. Coffee table crystals are great conversation starters and help to reflect candle-light in a room. Some geodes, like ‘septarian nodules’ date back millions of years and have quite a colorful story behind the creation of them.

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Crystal clusters: naturally radiate energy into the surrounding room or space and also are used to absorb negative energy. They are often used to cleanse a room or other stones by leaving the stone to be cleansed overnight on the cluster. Crystals have long been used in metaphysical, yoga and meditation circles as they are very appealing to hold, to which some individuals even claim to feel the energy emanating from them.

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Plants: One of the best ways to add some natural appeal to your space is with plants. Banana plants, fiddle leaf fig trees, and other large potted varieties make a strong statement, and they literally add life to the room. Try grouping sets of succulents and houseplants in matching or complementary pots and use them as a centerpiece on your dining room table. As noted in the image above, simplicity and just the smallest touch of plant life can create a calm and soothing environment.

We wish to thank Denise Figlar Wilson for providing the above images and decorative suggestions on behalf of DecorAid, an award winning group of interior designers. Find them at Decoraid.com.

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Products that Protect Backyard Wildlife

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Consider Running Water Fountains

One most important and yet, usually overlooked way of protecting backyard wildlife, is to maintain a flowing outdoor water fountain, year-round. Most people consider only placing a birdbath in a garden as a way of enhancing it visually. Though the thought of attracting pretty birds ranks as a high second reason that people purchase them; there are other, more important reasons to place one in the yard. Purchasing products that protect backyard wildlife, also protects and stabilizes the neighborhood environment.

Excessive Heat – with the climate change issues we have been experiencing in the last few years, all areas of the world are experiencing weird weather. Winter storms and winds are stronger, and long standing heat waves are causing droughts. Birds and other small animals are subject to these harsh new changes just like we are – sans protective houses. In times of excessive heat, water becomes a highly sought after life property that is absolutely necessary to survival. When natural resources that animals are used to using suddenly dry up – they are stressed and forced to find water anywhere they can. This can mean crossing dangerous highways or traveling for miles before they even find relief. It can also mean drinking from tainted water sources such as gasoline puddles and chemical sprayed garden trough’s.

Excessive Cold – If water just sits in a fountain bowl in the winter, chances are it will freeze solid and become a completely useless offering. By choosing a running water fountain, it will be much less likely to freeze solid, which will enable the wildlife to survive through the cold and frigid weather. It also enables the fountain to offer water year-round. Neighborhoods that offer small relief stations for birds and other small animals help keep the environment ecologically sound. In purchasing an outdoor water fountain or bird bath, one may be doing more for the Earth and its animals than one might think.

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Use Fully Enclosed Backyard Fire pits

Most homeowners at some point, invest in a backyard barbeque grill, chimenea, or back yard fire pit. These items are not only ideal for entertaining guests all throughout the spring and summer seasons, the entire family can actually make use of them year-round. Yet many people don’t even think about the wildlife, when it comes to making a smart grill purchase. Many chimenea’s and fire pits are often left to burn down at the end of an evening, long after the owners have gone inside. These open holed ovens are a disaster-in-waiting for the night oriented wildlife that might have been attracted to the remnants of burger on an open grill. Slowly dying embers don’t always put off a soft glow, and can appear like natural stone or wood material – until stepped on. Seared little feet can’t rinse off under icy cold water at the kitchen sink to get relief. Foot injuries for four legged critters can be fatal. By purchasing gated, mesh covered fire pits and grills – one can help to protect wildlife from unnecessary injuries.

It’s not always the wildlife that traverses your yard space. Your child’s friends, the pet dog, a neighbor’s open wandering cat all utilize the same space to romp about and play. Eliminating dangerous products from the yard such as folding chairs when it storms, and closing garbage can lids to prevent hungry critters from becoming trapped can help save a life, even when you are not aware of it. Just today, yours-truly-blog-writer took the office trash out back only to find a juvenile raccoon crouched in 90 degree heat, head down in absolute desperation while trapped at the bottom of the dumpster. One look in his beautiful beady little eyes told his entire story of final resignation and utter hopelessness. A happy ending ensued. Co-workers and I released him from the dumpster and restored his sense of freedom.

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Consider All Weather Wicker

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All Weather Wicker Conversation Set by Jeco

Every few years, and it goes without saying, a spring-time review of last year’s outdoor furniture often provokes a weary sigh. Did we forget to rinse down the pieces before storing them for the winter? Has the dirt and grime has now settled comfortably into every nook and cranny? Are the cushions faded or grimy enough to cause you to spontaneously burp to your guests, ‘Oops, let me wipe that quick, before you sit down’? Might we have left them out a bit too long and dead fall leaves made permanent imprints, that now won’t remove with even CLOROX? These are all signs directing you to go look for new furniture. But what should you buy?

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All Weather Wicker Patio Deck Box by Jeco

Consider all weather wicker. With durable, all-weather resin wicker over a powder-coated steel frame, this kind of product is built to withstand anything life throws your way. Unlike real wicker which dries out and cracks, resin wicker is flexible and fade-resistant, which means it stays like new season after season. What’s more, all-weather wicker doesn’t absorb water and also allows for air flow, making it the perfect choice for the poolside! All weather wicker is virtually maintenance-free and cleaning it is as simple as spraying it down with your garden hose or wiping it clean with a solution of mild dish soap and water. That makes it Eco-friendly too – because you’ll save on water, and won’t need to use caustic cleaning agents to get the mud and dirt off.

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Introducing the Over-sized Zero Gravity Recliner by Jeco

Additionally, if we segway off to the pool area, one might think about relaxing in an Over-sized Zero Gravity recliner. This chair has a shade built into it to protect you from the sun. The removable drink tray is great for keeping a beverage at hand. The locking mechanism allows for an infinite number of recline positions and a headrest is provided for additional comfort or use as a lumbar support. The recliner, made of high strength and durable powder coated steel frame, folds for easy storage and transportation. It comfortably supports up to 300 lbs of human weight. The fabric is made of textilene, a long lasting outdoor grade fabric. It comes in twelve exciting color combos.

The Spring and Summer seasons should be all about relaxation, family festivities, restoration and contemplation about life’s forward moving journey. Easing out of household duties, including the pesky after-winter yard work should be a pre-spring priority, so that by the time both seasons arrive – you’re already there.

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3 Reasons To Consider Green

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Stunningly Beautiful Imagery and Product Lines by Crystorama

Today, we give you 3 reasons to consider green as an interior room or home decor color. Out of the full spectrum of colors available to mankind, the ones most soothing to the human soul are the blues and greens. What is it about these colors that calm the human spirit and are so unusually restorative?

Firstly, green and blue are two of Earth’s most abundant colors. The color green denotes life, nature and constant growth and renewal. In Sanskrit, the chakra center associated with green is the human heart chakra. There is even an unseen and cosmic life-force frequency of green light flowing through us that many of us may not see necessarily, but we all naturally feel.

Secondly, Earth has herself, a fundamental resonate frequency, (otherwise known as the Schumann Resonance), which is approximately seven and a half beats per second (7.5 hertz). Earth’s frequencies are intimately linked to human brainwaves, as well as the human system overall.  As everything is made of energy, we are far more dependent upon Earth’s rhythms than we are aware of.

The basic point here is that we are a fully organic species. Our organic body constitution is therefore, dependent upon many life force properties that Earth provides to us; such as green foods and blue water. As our natural affinity is to resonate with and be supported by Earth frequencies, the color green itself helps to remind our bodies that we are perpetually connected to the planet, despite the fact that we’ve blocked those supportive energies via the cement homes we build. Green has been used in hospitals and schools for centuries. That’s something to think about, even if you are a non-believer in what skeptic’s term it – pseudoscience.

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Hinkley – Another Great Indoor / Outdoor Lighting Source

Thirdly, whether or not one believes in auras and chakras…most humans will readily admit that they feel far better outside in a warm and sunny atmosphere, than indoors, provided it’s not too hot out. Golfers won’t readily admit that they all convene on the green – not so much to network – but to escape the pressures of the everyday office and corporate rig-amoral. Who wouldn’t feel greatly relaxed on an expansive carpet of green surrounded by lush trees and occasional ponds? Who’s kidding who?

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Zuo Modern – Contemporary and Bold Designs

There is another type of green, other than the more muted tones and hues of the color, that not only serves to invigorate, but can also instantly perk the human body into a feeling of regeneration. Those tend to be the more bright and lime colored greens, the brighter sea-foam greens and teal-blue-green hues, which reflect the brand new leaves of spring, blue skies and sunlight combined – to inspire a sense of youth.

Various shades of green have their effects on the human psyche whether some choose to label it something mystical or others poo-poo  any ‘healing’ validity whatsoever. The bottom line is that for many people, green does it’s thing on us no matter how we define it or question it. And that ‘thing’ is almost always 100% positive….unless of course we’re talking green mold. Consider green if you haven’t before and see how it affects you. You might just be surprised at how great you feel!

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Sustainable Products on Behalf of Earth

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Since its inception in 2003, Anji Mountain has established itself as the finest source of area rugs and office chair mats made from both natural fibers—including jute, bamboo, sea grass, sisal and cork—and recycled materials. A family business, the company was founded on the principle that only sustainable uses of the earth’s natural resources can be tolerated. Thus, they have developed a specific reputation for crafting and sourcing sustainable products on behalf of Earth. The astonishing renew-ability and versatility of natural fibers and recycled materials creates lots of new ecologically positive possibilities at a time when they are desperately needed. It’s the Anji Mountain mission to bring these wonderful resources to as wide an audience as possible.

This pouf brings some stylish versatility to your living space. Perfectly sized for duty as a stool or small ottoman and ready to switch gears at a moments notice. It sits nice and firm for excellent support yet offers a touch of comfort with a natural jute cover. Just be sure you don’t own cats – lest they think you’ve made a diggy-dig purchase – JUST FOR THEM!

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Simple things we can do to protect our planet….

Most in society agree that global warming is happening. However, the harm that the human race has done to our natural world is reversible—at least to an extent. If we delay modifications to our behavior and practices we do so at the peril of future generations and ourselves. Choosing products made from natural fibers instead of synthetic fibers is a small step towards reversing man-made damage to our planet but it’s an important one.

Consider this comparison of natural fibers and synthetic fibers. Synthetic fibers create a myriad of disposal problems for communities worldwide. They release heavy metals and other additives into soil and groundwater when they are disposed of in landfills. Recycling can be expensive and time-consuming. Incineration produces dangerous pollutants and, in the case of high-density polyethylene, 3 tons of carbon dioxide emissions for every ton of material burnt. Substantial amounts of carbon dioxide are also released into the atmosphere during production of synthetic fibers.

In stark contrast, natural fibers are naturally and easily decomposed with the help of universal fungi and bacteria. Natural fibers can also be composted to improve soil structure or incinerated with no harmful emissions and release of no more carbon dioxide than the fibers absorbed during their lifetimes. Furthermore, one ton of jute fiber production absorbs as much as 2.4 tons of carbon dioxide1. Since carbon dioxide is the most destructive greenhouse gas on the planet and largely responsible for the growing hole in our ozone layer this bit of information illustrates but one significant reason to choose natural fibers.

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Anji Mountain strives to provide the finest quality floor coverings made from sustainable and renewable materials with a focus on natural fibers. Click to view their fabulous line of bamboo rugs and transitional rugs in a fabulous array of bright designs. Don’t forget to gloss over their super plush bamboo shags. Your feet won’t believe what they’re feeling, and your purchase will help to support sustainable manufacturers!

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Sage Classic Water Cooler

Bringing a Sage Classic Water Cooler into your home or office will not only bring you both cold and boiling water to your fingertips, but also the water will be quality clean and great tasting.

Americans consume nearly 10 billion gallons of water, which amounts to an annual spending of $11.8 billion. Breaking that down per person, the average person consumes on average 167 bottles of water and spends $348 annually. The Sage Classic Water Cooler will help save a family of four over $1,000.

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The Sage Classic Water Cooler sits atop of your counter top for easy access and has the capability to reach between the range of 41 degrees F – 208 degrees F and can filter up to 1,200 gallons of water

The Sage Classic Water Cooler has an advanced comes equipped with an advanced filtration unit and UV light. Together, they remove 99.99% of bacteria and microbes residing in your water.

The Sage Classic Water Cooler is easy and safe to use :

  • Digital panel to easily dispense any temperature water you want
  • Programmable LCD Interface for programming the temperature of water you want
  • Child Hot Water Safety Lock Programming
  • Has Sleep & Timer Functions
  • Can put into Energy Saving mode
  • Will notify you when its time to replace the filter or UV light.  (Depending on usage, can be between 6-12 months)

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The sleek and modern Sage Classic Water Cooler can be found in nine different finishes: black, blue, green, orange, purple, red, red metallic, silver and white so it can fit in any decor.

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You can eliminate the costs of water ordering, delivery, shopping and storage. Also, you can reduce your carbon footprint by not using plastic water bottles.

Find Sage Class Water Coolers, filter replacements and UV light replacements and more at EliteFixtures.com

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Varaluz Lighting Takes Beautiful to the Extremes

70% recycled steel. 0% recycled style. Most Varaluz lighting fixtures use steel that has 70% or greater recycled content, and glass that is 100% recycled. Varaluz Lighting uses many reclaimed materials in the glass and shades used on their modern lights, green lighting and contemporary lighting designs. As the old saying goes, “One person’s trash is another’s treasure.” Varaluz just takes it to beautiful extremes. With Earth Day coming up, Varaluz is offering all their fixtures at 10% off until the end of April.

Visit http://www.elitefixtures.com/index.cfm/promo/varaluz-lighting-sale to see all the fixtures this great brand has to offer.

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