Elk-Blog-Image

Re-Defining Twine

Elk-Blog-Image

 Elk Lighting 15902/5 Pearce 5 Light Chandelier

As a proud planetary guardian of several indoor cats, I can with absolute certainty declare that the feline species has taught me many things no human could. One message in particular that stands out when viewing the new twist Elk has put on the Pearce Collection – is the importance of simplicity. Lighting manufacturers are heavily challenged to constantly produce new styles, so as to keep up with yearly fashion trends in home decor. In some years, there is definitely a flood of fresh new styles, which can often spark a home design buying frenzy. In other years, fixture designs can be ho-hum boring – as if we’re seeing the same old ‘same olds’, coated in different finishes or colors, in a weak effort to mask ‘designer’s block’.

Similar to the many times I’ve attempted to keep the household kitties entertained – some toys that I truly thought would entice them – completely bored them. Yet one year, when the funds for kitty entertainment was somewhat low, I took to finding things around the house. Feeling somewhat an incompetent fur nurturer, I tossed down some cut up toilet paper rolls and dribbly twine and tried to coax them to play. To my utter amazement, no coaxing was needed. The kitties entertained themselves for hours – winging the TP rolls up in the air and grabbing the twine by mouth and running about – which caused a trail of followers who dappled at the bouncing tail-end as if a live mouse were about. It’s as though my furry friends were telling me to nix the harmful plastic human creations and stick to the more ‘natural’ things in life – the simple stuff.

When I normally write for the company blog, I typically don’t interject personal experience into the pieces. But when I saw this twine-version fixture by Elk Lighting, I half wondered if the designer of that particular fixture had a cat. Sometimes, a little bit of rope can go along way. And though the fixture design itself might be something I’ve seen before – bravo to Elk for re-defining twine and coming up with something other than just another coating of color.

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Shopping for a new home? Consider this….

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Outdoor Fixtures by Maxim Lighting

Shopping for a new home? There are many things to consider when shopping for your new home. However, finding the right neighborhood is equally as important, if not more important, than finding the right home! Think of it this way; you can always update any part of your home, but you cannot remodel your community.  You are just a small component of what makes your community! Consider this….

  1. Homeowners Association (HOA)
    A homeowners association regulates the rules of the neighborhood, monitors crime and can be a great asset to your neighborhood.
  2. Neighborhood schools
    If you have children, it is critical to have good schools (elementary, middle and high schools) in your neighborhood.
  3. Surrounding amenities
    Does the neighborhood have a nice park? Is there a grocery store just a couple blocks away? What about a nearby gym or rec center? Does the community provide services and functions for everyone?  Good amenities can make a huge difference!
  4. Future development
    It’s important to check with your city planning office on the community’s plans for road expansion, property development and construction. Future construction can really add to or take away from your ideal setting.
  5. Good record
    Crime rates, school tests scores and diversity are all statistics that may help you decide on your next community.

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ElitefixturesFraudProtection

EliteFixtures Protects Customers Against Fraud!

NEW YORK (AP) — Credit card fraud is serious business. The new chip credit cards that shoppers are getting in their mailboxes may prevent criminals from stealing from stores, but many thieves are expected to move their operations online. Small businesses could be the most vulnerable.

ElitefixturesFraudProtection

Online fraud in the U.S. is expected to nearly double to $19 billion by 2018 from $10 billion in 2014, according to Javelin Strategy & Research, a consulting company based in Pleasanton, California. In Britain, which began shifting to chip cards in 2001, online fraud rose 55 percent from 2005 to 2008, according to the UK Cards Association, an industry group. “It’s inevitable it will happen,” says Steve Platt, an executive vice president at Experian, the credit reporting company.

Banks and other card issuers are sending consumers the new cards because the chips embedded in them are harder to counterfeit than magnetic stripes. Issuers began sending replacement cards in the last year because, as of Oct. 1, merchants are responsible for financial losses from fraud committed with chip cards if they don’t use new equipment to process chip card payments.

Small businesses are likely to be most vulnerable because many can’t afford the sophisticated software big retailers use to quickly determine whether transactions are fraudulent. Banks no longer have the liability in such cases. And there’s another wrinkle that could make operating difficult for businesses that experience a lot of online fraud: Companies that exceed a limit on fraudulent transactions — usually 1 percent of their total transactions — may be barred from accepting credit cards. People attempting to commit fraud online buy card numbers and other information from hackers who invaded computers systems at companies such as Target Corp. and Home Depot Corp. Then they use the stolen card numbers to make online purchases.

To stop the criminals, Allen Walton examines orders at his surveillance equipment company, SpyGuy Security, one by one. “We manually scan all orders for anything suspicious, like fake names, requests for overnight delivery, and high-ticket orders,” says Walton, whose company is based in Dallas. He finds fraudulent orders several times a month.

The increase in online fraud is likely to happen over time, partly because the switch to chip cards is ongoing and expected to continue into 2016. “The crooks tend to go where there’s less security,” says Ken Paterson, a vice president at the consulting firm Mercator Advisory Group in Maynard, Massachusetts.

Technology can help companies root out fraud with software that analyzes a number of factors in a transaction: whether shipping and billing addresses match, whether the order is placed from an unfamiliar computer or device and whether the email address associated with the order is unfamiliar. A high number of transactions in a short time is another red flag, says Tom Donlea, director of e-commerce at Whitepages, a Seattle-based company whose services include address verification for online businesses. When several suspicious factors are present, the software flags a transaction so a retailer can investigate.

EliteFixtures.com, a retailer of lighting fixtures, plumbing and home decor products in Hillsborough, New Jersey. Elitefixtures protects customers against fraud. It has built a fraud detection system that it says has almost completely eliminated fraudulent transactions. “If someone is ordering a $10,000 chandelier and it’s going to a ZIP code where the median home price is $130,000,” says owner Steven Annese, “that doesn’t make sense.”

Courtesy of AP News: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/61273ab8ccd04c4a993c28339731f187/expect-more-online-fraud-new-credit-cards-arrive

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How To Size a Foyer Chandelier

Maxim

One of our manufacturer’s recently offered a tip on how to size and select the perfect foyer chandelier. It drove us to ‘thinking about’ customer queries we often receive, regarding how to select the right chandelier for any room. With online sales driving brick and mortar businesses to locational scarcity, most homeowners are forced to do their shopping online. Hiring an interior designer of course, would nip this sizing issue in the bud. However, what if it’s just a simple DIY fixture replacement?

Having to make an important lighting decision based on an online web-store’s photo and listed product dimensions, often leaves customers confused. Homeowners are forced to use their ‘best guess’, and most of them quite frankly, try to simply ‘eyeball’ it and then choose. That usually means returning a product that doesn’t fit the space. Since many manufacturers no longer accept ‘buyer remorse’ returns without charging restock fees, additionally, customers are often left to pay the shipping fees to send the item back to the manufacturers. All kinds of things happen in the shipping process to and from warehouses and homesteads. What’s a homeowner to do?

Here are a few suggestions, from not only Maxim Lighting, but from our point of view as well:

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Featured: Maxim Lighting Chantilly Collection

Maxim Lighting has many designer choices in chandeliers such as the Chantilly that creates a classy, elegant ambiance. The foyer is usually one’s first impression of your home. A chandelier would be a perfect fit when there is at least 3 feet of space available. To determine the size of chandelier, add the length and width (sq. feet) of the foyer and convert to inches.  [For example – a 10 by 12 foot foyer would require a 22 inch wide fixture].

Sample-images

Feiss: Oberlin Collection P1426SN-LED                                                                                                              Crystorama: Pallas Collection 529-SA

Measuring for Rooms in General

To Determine Width of Chandelier

  • Know your room dimensions. Measure the height and width of the room. Then add the two measurements together. Convert the feet measurement to inches. If your room is 10’ x 20’, (10 + 20 = 30) a chandelier with a 30” diameter would best fit your space.

To Determine Height of Chandelier

  • Measure the ceiling height, from the point of installation (point where you plan to hang the fixture) to the floor. Multiply the height by approximately 3” (1 foot wall height to 3” chandelier height, per foot measurement). So, if you have a 10 ft ceiling, multiply that by 3 and you get 30, or 30” diameter.

A second option would be to determine a chandelier’s size by strictly the width of the room. Measure the width of the room, then and calculate 2 inches per every foot. A 12-foot-wide room would need a 24-inch-wide chandelier. The measurement doesn’t have to be perfect to these suggestions. It can be an approximation by a few inches, give or take.

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Feiss: Cascade Collection F2661/8+4HTBZ and Khloe Collection P1412ORB

Take these other things into account as well: (image above)

Remember that finish, amount of bulbs on a fixture, choice of shade types and overall style will have a great impact on your room as well. If you choose a chrome or satin nickel finish with clear glass shades, the fixture will allow the human eye to visually see through it – giving the appearance of a larger room. Whereas if you choose an oil rub bronze fixture with amber or opaque shades, the eye view will stop once it meets the fixture, thus a room may appear smaller visually, as the fixture would then be a purposeful attraction for the room, thus possibly obstructing a full view of the room.

While shopping from online stores can seem confusing at first, a great customer service department can always assist you by phone or chat. It’s worth it to reach out and ask, prior to purchasing when in doubt. One phone query might save you more than you think – and if you do your homework first, chances are it will truly pay off in the long run!

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Styling Via Your Lighting

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Often overlooked by DYI home renovators is the importance of selecting a versatile lighting style that will fit many types of interior décor. Lighting not only needs to be functional in terms of making sure one’s visual environment is suitable for everyday living, but it should also emit a personal sense of ‘home’. Manufacturers often create fixtures with a variety of finishes, sizes and shade coverings with the knowledge that homeowners vary in their décor choices. Often the shade color is right, the finish is perfect but the size is wrong. When considering a re-decoration project, whether you’ve hired an interior designer or are choosing to do it yourself, styling via your lighting should be a consideration equal to the choice of couch you will order.

Crystorama
When styling via your lighting, the Luna, crafted by Crystorama, is a fixture that makes an impressionable statement. Each fixture is like a piece of modern art with bold shapes and lines. The English Bronze and Antique Gold finish have wonderful textures and movement. There’s undeniable magic when light meets exquisite crystal and glass. The family-owned design house of Crystorama has been celebrating this marriage for more than 50 years in its lighting creations. Crystorama is known for its standout lighting, which is exceptional in quality and design.

With every chandelier it manufactures, the company draws upon its history, knowledge, and legacy of stellar craftsmanship, and then embraces modern shapes, inspirations, and materials. From traditional all-crystal designs, to princess mini chandeliers, to even transitional lighting collections, Crystorama offers styles that will match any decor and are always in fashion. The 585-EB-GA English Bronze + Antique Gold Pendant features:

Wrought Iron Body
Maximum hanging height of 95″ with provided 72″ chain
UL and CUL rated for installation in dry locations only
Bulb Base: Candelabra (E12)
Bulb Type: Incandescent
Chain Length: 72″
CUL Listed: Yes
Height: 23″ (measured from ceiling to bottom most point of fixture)

layla-collection

Known for it’s particularly stunning and elegant designs, Crystorama has well over 100 collections to choose from. For instance, the Layla Collection features eight different fixture styles in antique silver or antique gold. No matter how wild, traditional or monotone your room décor is, there is a fixture to match.

 

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Anji Mountain Confetti Paper Shag

Interior Design Trends

For 2016 interior design trends, we will see a movement towards simplified color palettes that incorporate organic and natural elements. We were asked recently by Natalie Richardson to provide a few tips on design trends for 2016. Here’s a few ideas we have about what’s happening on the USA home front. Check out some other ideas from PoshFlooring.co.uk, that hail from other parts of the globe too!

2016 Design Trends - Anji Mountain Confetti Paper Shag

Anji Mountain AMB0452-0810 Confetti Paper Shag

Many now seek to part from the technological assaults the outer world commands of them.  Lots of natural sunlight, nature colors and sparsely furnished rooms with functional but soft and comfortable seating is popular. Couches and chairs with pet friendly fabrics that require very little effort to clean are sought now. Simplification in home decor reflects our biological need to remain connected to Earth properties – sans electronics.

Flooring

Hard flooring is still the easiest to clean, whether it is made of cement, wood or stone. There is still a strong preference for very dark stains. While the lighter floor shades help to open up a room, the darker stains help to create drama. Floor sheen’s are no longer shiny, but are in various types of matte finishes. Bamboo is an organic material that is being used more. For softness and ease on human feet, fuller, solid shag or geometric design throw rugs help to create room warmth.

The Confetti Paper Shag Ethereal, Cumulonimbus cloud-like puffs of unbelievably soft fabric invite bare foot days and nights while maintaining a refined, contemporary disposition. This rug also makes a compelling sustainability statement with its inventive use of recycled paper in its pile.

2016 Design Trends - Hinkley-3872bn

Hinkley Lighting 3872BN Foyer Meridian

Lighting

Table and floor lamps are being replaced by simple-design pendants and ceiling lights. Ceiling fixtures help to lift the atmosphere of a room as they can more easily spread light into the surrounding air. Fixture styling trends are of cleaner cuts and sleeker looks, with less ornamentation. The Hinkley Meridian (3872BN) features minimal transitional styling with clean lines, soft curves and low-profile faceted 1/2″ thick glass. The stem-hung simplistic design adds a crisp focal point to any room decor.

2016 Design Trends - Uttermost

Uttermost Accent Piece Options

Home Decor

Think – less clutter, fewer possessions and featuring prominently in one’s environment, a few items that carry true emotional significance. Technological advances have dissolved the need for large stereo systems and bulky televisions. Music CD’s and videos are vacating shelves, as they’ve been replaced by the use of cell phones, tablets and flat screens. With more ‘room’ space, homeowners are beginning to explore aspects of their inner creativity and are doing so via the use of color and carefully chosen items that reflect aspects of the inner soul.

Uttermost offers one of the most broad and most current product lines in the world. Their line includes accent furniture, decorative mirrors, alternative wall, art, clocks, lamps, lighting fixtures, botanicals and accessories. EliteFixtures.com is an Uttermost Lighting authorized dealer.

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Advantages of LED Lighting

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While LED lighting may be relatively new and expensive, it’s price is definitely coming down as more businesses and households purchase and install them for use.

If you’re a green-friendly recycling kind of person (like my wife), you’ll instantly be happy to hear that it uses far less energy than the conventional incandescent bulbs.  And when I say far less, I mean like up to 85% less!  That’s a substantial savings.  With that said, that also equates to money saved in your electric bill.  When comparing to Fluorescent bulbs, its approximately 5% more efficient.  Even though the comparison between LED and Fluorescent may not be as significant it is when you factor in the longevity of the LED Bulb that can last up to 50,000+ hours!

Look at the chart below and you’ll easily recognize the benefits of LED bulbs.

led-incandescent-fluorescent-bulb-chart-comparison

 

Do you have light fixtures that are in hard to reach places or just plain difficult to install (you know, the foyer chandelier, recessed lights, bulbs in a glass enclosure, etc)?  Using LED bulbs in these applications are almost a set it and forget it since you won’t have to change the bulb often!  Another small yet useful advantage of using LED!

According to Energy.gov, by replacing your home’s five most frequently used light fixtures can save you up to $75 per year!  So the next time you’re making a purchase for light bulbs, think about the advantages of LED!

LED lighting will be the light of the future, so warm up to that light, no pun intended!

Come check out some of our deals on LED light bulbs!

 

 

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Shop Safe and Secure with encryption

On January 1, 2016, there could be a number of devices where the security will no longer work.  You know that small green or gold lock that usually sits in the corner of your web address bar on your browser?  Visit us here: https://www.elitefixtures.com/index.cfm?dsp=member.cart.view and you will see it!  Yes, that one!

Well, this lock is displayed for your protection.  However, on Jan. 1st, support will be dropped for a certain level of encryption where older devices will no longer meet the requirements.  The techies (such as myself) refer to this as SHA-1.  Over the next year, algorithms of encryption that are older than SHA-1 level will no longer meet the required trusted security level and thus not render that lock.

For a better explanation that’s less technical, it works like this….. When you connect to a website from your web-browser (phone, pc, mac, tablet, etc) you send and receive data to communicate with the website.  During this process, and most certainly at checkout when making a purchase, there is encrypted (or secretive) data being passed back and forth.  Ahhh yes, that little mystery green or gold lock you see is actually doing something!  If it didn’t have that lock, whatever was being passed back and forth would be deemed unencrypted and could essentially be picked up by hackers.

We take security serious and are always striving to keep each and every one of our customers feeling secure from their shopping experience at www.EliteFixtures.com.  Keep your software up-to-date and be sure to always look for that lock anytime you’re transmitting sensitive data!

Happy Holidays!

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How to add instant curb appeal

First impressions are critical and the curb appeal of your home is the first impression everyone gets. For curb appeal, there are two major components; landscaping and lighting. In the past, you would see elegant outdoor lighting on homes that generally were 3000 sq ft and up. As we observe consumer behavior, we’re seeing a trend where homeowners are really sprucing up their landscaping without breaking the bank.  Of course it depends on how big your property is and how much you want to renovate, but in general, you can make a big impact for as little as $1500.

Here are some tips to get you started:

  • Take care of small tasks like weeding, mowing the lawn, or cleaning out the storage closet
  • Start planning and executing the larger tasks such as painting, remodeling or other aesthetic repairs
  • Haul any trash that you were “going to get around to”
  • Clear the clutter – hide belongings that might otherwise mask the greatness of your property

For the landscaping aspect, adding great looking bushes, shrubs and pavers to a pathway make a difference!  Additionally, installing outdoor lighting that isn’t your ordinary post and wall mount light just makes the landscaping really standout. For example, outdoor path lighting and outdoor spot lighting really adds to the appeal. Keep in mind that adding new smaller bushes and shrubs also make your home appear newer. When night approaches you can truly appreciate the beautiful curb appeal created.

To start your renovations, it’s great to know that the days of spending the entire weekend making trips to a few local stores to find the best deals on the items you needed are gone!  Online shopping really has its advantages when comparing prices from unlimited retailers across the country that also offer free shipping (and sometimes no sales tax).  Most consumers don’t know that when shopping online, purchasing from a smaller retailer (non-big box, Amazon, Walmart, etc) has its privileges. Two important privileges are:  Personalized service; you can actually speak to a live and knowledgeable representative ready to assist with your needs and 2) Better pricing thru promotions and discounts.

For instance, you can purchase pavers for as low as $1.75 sq ft from http://landscapeliquidator.com and create an elegant walkway that adds a wow factor.  Bushes and Shrubs can be purchased relatively inexpensive at http://www.naterehills.com where they offer lower pricing on additional bushes purchased!  EliteFixtures.com is always running promotions on lighting and home décor and specifically on outdoor lighting.  For savings of 50% or more on closeout items, you can visit our outdoor lighting sales.  Additionally, if there are no promotions on the item you desire, call us direct and we will generally provide a discount!

Start outlining your plans on sprucing up your curb appeal.  Be sure to price shop online and call retailers for discounts.  You’ll be amazed at the savings and more amazed at the new look you’ve created for very little money!  With these small upgrades, you’ll have curb appeal day and night!

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Benefits of Home Ownership

Home ownership has many advantages, both from a personal and financial perspective.  However, as you know, buying a home is a very important decision. Understanding the differences between renting and buying can certainly help you decide if it’s the right time to make that leap.  While it can be fun and exciting to buy a home, it can also have its stresses!  However, the good news is there are benefits to Home Ownership! :)

Benefits of Home Ownership:

  • Tax savings
    You may earn a significant tax savings since you can deduct mortgage interest and property taxes from your federal income tax as well as many states’ income tax if you itemize your deductions properly.
  • A stable monthly housing expense
    Your monthly housing loan or mortgage expense can remain the same for the life of your mortgage, depending on the type of loan you choose.  Since interest rates are at all time lows, this is a good scenario to take advantage of!
  • Equity
    You may build equity in your home over the life of your loan, which allows you to plan for future goals like your child’s education or your retirement.  When renting, you are not building any equity (unless you’re a saver).
  • Personal satisfaction
    Your home can be a great source of pride and satisfaction – giving you peace of mind that you’ve built a solid foundation on which to build your future.

And best of all…. You get the decorate your home with great fixtures whether its lighting, furniture or great home decor!

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