How do you sync Hafele’s Loox RGB and Multi-White Remotes and Mixers?

6 10 2014

If you’ve never asked yourself that question you have been missing out on some of the latest innovations in Hafele’s Loox lighting line.  Unlike prior versions of the RGB color-changing ribbon, where every a unique remote was required for every 30 watts of ribbon, our current remote can now control an infinite number of “color mixers”.

We enticed our camera shy lighting product manager, Mr. Jeff Ratkus to walk us through the process of pairing the remote with multiple mixers and how to sync out-of-sync mixers.

While we were at it we had Jeff walk us though the same with the Multi-White ribbon, which we like to call the “Goldilocks light” because no matter the white color temperature you desire it can be tuned until it is “just right”.

I have a new favorite Häfele product: “The Goldilocks Light”

10 07 2014

Homer's PEZI’ve confessed before that it probably isn’t right that I have favorite pieces of hardware, but it’s just a fact that I do.  These are products that I can’t stop thinking about, talking about and trying to find places to use them  My last one was the Huwil FREE Flap lift-up fitting, but these past few weeks it’s been the Loox Multi-White LED ribbon. It’s hard not to get intrigued with LED lighting in the first place, and if you read Karyn Judd Reilly’s last post on our blog you’ll see that she briefly mentioned the importance of color temperature (measured in Kelvin or “K”) when it comes to lighting.

Imagine investing a small fortune in a stone countertop or a beautiful purpleheart veneer accent only to have the cabinet lighting make it look like a slab of nature’s best Con-Tac Paper!  The issue is likely the color temperature of the lighting, and Häfele’s approach until recently has been to offer lighting in a choice of three temperatures: 3200K, 4000K and 6500K.  I guess this requires a little further definition, huh?

OK, here’s the textbook definition:  “The light color is a specification of the color appearance of a light source and is measured in Kelvin (K). The lower the Kelvin value, the warmer the light; the higher the value, the cooler the light. Sources below 3200 K are considered “warm”, while those above 4000 K are considered “cool” sources.”  

These three color temperature options are fine and dandy for 97.3% of  residential lighting needs, and at least 89.2% of commercial applications, but what if you want to “dial-in” the exact, perfect color of white for a specific situation?  What sort of situations?  Well, like those mentioned above, and how about a retail jewelry store that one day displays diamonds in their front window, and gold watches the next?  6500K is best for both white and colored diamonds, but what if those diamonds are in gold settings?  Gold looks better under warm light.  And don’t get me started on lighting a PEZ collection.  If only we could vary the color temperature of our lights. Enter the Loox #3017 Multi-White LED Ribbon.

Hafele Loox Multi-WhiteThis puppy* is our warmest light at 2700K, or it can be super cool at 5000K or ANY color temperature in between! Let that sink in a bit. That’s right, if you feel that you’d be happier with a slightly warmer light or a slightly cooler light in a particular application, the #3017 Multi-White ribbon can output just the right light that you need.

Ask your Häfele representative to show you a sample of the Loox #3017 Multi-White ribbon and use it to illuminate a beautiful piece of wood or stone that you have sitting around.  Play with the remote to tune the light until, like Goldilocks porridge, it looks “Just right”.   In fact, I believe that’s what I’m gonna call this light from now on; “The Goldilocks Light™”. Read more about this awesome LED ribbon light in the current Loox Lighting catalog or here: * “Puppy” is a technical hardware term that we’ll cover in a future post.

Notes from a Designer: Lighting and Context

7 07 2014

We are excited to share a post from guest author Karyn Judd Reilly.  Karyn is one of the lighting designers that Häfele America Co. has on retainer to provide lighting designs for customers who are incorporating Häfele’s innovative Loox LED lighting into their projects. 

It’s been almost two years since I began working for Häfele America Co. as a lighting designer, and time has flown by. I have learned a great deal from my interactions with our clients, and the questions seem to follow a particular path. In this series of posts, I hope to shine some “Lumens” onto those questions.

  1. How do I know how intense a light will be and which light is best for my circumstances?
  2. So I get it, Lumens and Lux, but how do I use it? What does it mean for recommendations?
  3. How does the Häfele power system work? Can I hard wire your products?
  4. What is color temperature? Or shouldn’t everyone use warm white light for all applications?

Those are the big recurring questions, and I will attempt to answer the first question below.

Lighting is measured in various ways, but in the US we’ve become accustomed to thinking of light intensity as the same as wattage. It might have been an easy gauge for comparing incandescent light bulbs to each other, but that’s no longer the case given the variety of light sources on the market. As higher wattage incandescent products are phased out to make way for more efficient options, alternate ways of measuring intensity are becoming mainstream. The US Dept. of Energy (DOE) does a good job of making this point, in this post. (link on the word post)

As a designer, I use Lux to understand not only the intensity of a light, but how far that intensity will travel to my destination. Lux is the metric equivalent to foot candles you may have studied in school. Lumens ratings are a great way to compare products to one another, but a lumen is measured as light output from the source, so we don’t know how far or well the intensity travels. We’ve posted about Lumens and Lux in previous posts, found here, and I often refer clients to this page to explain the differences.

Lux vs Lumens 3Each of our LED products has a corresponding chart that tells me critical information on it’s performance at various distances.

The chart also tells me the beam angle on the product, so naturally the tighter the beam angle, the further the light will travel before diffusing. To place this in context, the puck illustrated in the chart above, installed at the top of an 80” high tall glass cabinet, would not illuminate the entire height of the unit. In this application, I would recommend using vertical LED ribbon down the sides to provide even illumination.

Simple, right? Well, of course there is a catch. Lighting is all about context. I often receive schematics of spaces that need lighting, but a black and white drawing only goes so far. Until I know the context of the space, I can’t make a great recommendation.

  • Quality of existing lighting-Is the area full of natural sunlight or is it a dark room full of dark wood finishes? What is the color temperature of the existing lighting?
  • Context of finishes-What is the color and texture of the surfaces in the space?
  • Goals of new product-Does the end user need task lighting or are they more interested in accenting features? What, if anything, will be on display?

Lighting plays off the surroundings of a space or product, even the colors of the surfaces they illuminate. The next time you are lighting a dark walnut unit, remember that the finish calls for more lux than if the piece was painted white. Likewise, using pucks in cubbies will give you more intensity than if used as under a long bank of cabinets in a kitchen -there is more surface area to reflect the light back into the space.

There’s your quick intro into lighting, and I hope you come back for more in our future posts.

Signed, Karyn

Was KBIS 2014 a success for Häfele America Co?

7 02 2014

Hafele America Co KBIS booth shot 2014 3It’s always tough to quantify the success of a trade show.  If we were selling Ginsu Knives or ShamWow’s we would just have to count boxes as we reload our Chevy van at the end of the show.

No, for us, sales come somewhere down the road as Designers find their way home and consider how to incorporate our product into their designs and projects.

One thing we can tell you for certain is that our booth was buzzing with interest in:

  • Electronic wardrobe lifts that finally make sensible use of dead space near tall ceilings.
  • LED lights that glow without discernible hot spots reflected on polished stone counter tops.
  • Countless numbers of sliding doors that never got in the way, even in a tight and hectic booth.
  • Decorative knobs and pulls for every style, finish, whim that also feel great to the touch.
  • Pantries and home storage solutions were a hit, and every drawer opened to reveal something magical.

We had conversations with old friends and made lots of new ones and even got to daydream a few solutions to problems that had nagged their clients for ages, which is always gratifying.

So yes, we are going to say it was a good show.  A very good show.


Here’s something completely different: A Foot-Powered Lathe

17 01 2014

Don’t you love it when form and function get all dressed up and go out for a night on the town?  The videos below are from a woodworker named Chris, who enjoys working with hand tools as well as building his own tools, including the foot-powered wood lathe show in the videos.  This isn’t the first lathe he’s built, but this one is something special. Chris also has a Facebook page where he updates his fans with his latest shop projects, and it has far too few “Likes”, so I think you know what to do:


Is there a Designer in the Houzz?

1 10 2013

SEN Houzz seminarLast week a couple of us Häfeleians (or should that be Häfellas?) had the pleasure of participating in the SEN Design Group’s 2013 Fall Conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

If you don’t already know this, the SEN Design Group is a buying group composed of 220+ Kitchen and Bath design professionals, and let me tell you, it shows.

As Häfele America’s Trainer, I attend a lot of trade meetings, conferences and shows, but what makes the simi-annual Sen Design Group conference so enjoyable for me is their laser-like focus on educating their members on emerging trends, designs, technologies and business practices.

At this conference I was invited to make a presentation on the latest innovations in LED lighting, and in the days that followed I sat with one of my coworkers as we me one-on-one with each member in attendance, which numbered 70+.  Normally at events like this I answer a lot of product questions about specific product features like weight capacities, available lengths, etc., but at this conference, time and again we were asked deeper questions about the value to the consumer of certain approaches to lighting and the impact on the home owner’s experience in the spaces that they are designing.

Lunch at Kramarczuk during SEN 2Among the highlights of the event for me was a presentation by the folks at  Houzz is a Pinterest-like website that features photos posted by Designers and Architects of their own work, that users of the site can “like” and add to their personal “Ideabooks” for dreaming, planing and future discussion with their design professional.  We were excited to learn hat the most popular category on Houzz is home organization, and that their most “liked” photos are of kitchens that feature tricked-out pantries like the ones offered by Häfele.

Of course we found time to see a little of the city, including lunch at the world-famous Kramarczuk’s Sausage Company, and another crazy sausage spot down the street called New Bohemia Wurst and BierHaus where we enjoyed enough Polish food to hold us over through the end of the year.


Lunch at Kramarczuk during SEN Design Conference 2013










Nothing goes better with lunch than a nice smile.  Podziękowanie Kramarczuk panienka!

Hafele lunch at New Bohemia during SEN Design Conference 2013








Some of the wurst at New Bohemia.  On a side not, I don’t know why they call it wurst because I though it was the best. (sorry)



Lumens vs Lux: Demystified

3 09 2013

Hafele Loox LED Lux vs Lumens 3One question that we hear a lot when talking about lighting is “What is the difference between Lumen and Lux?”  That’s a great question, and it’s something you need to get your head around when selecting light fixtures.

The chart at right is an example of the information that you’ll find in our lighting catalog for each of our light fixtures.  All of the Häfele Loox LED lighting fixtures have a lumen rating that indicates the light output at the fixture, and then this chart explains the Lux levels that you can expect at various distances from the fixture. You’ll notice that the “warm” colored 3200 K fixture will produce a lux level of 70 lx at a distance of 500 mm, (roughly 19″).

One of the best ways to explain this concept is to think about your shower head.  All modern shower heads in the USA dispense a maximum of 2.5 gallons per minute. Lux vs Lumens Example: Shower  If you held a bucket up to the fixture so that you catch every drop of water, you’d collect 2.5 gallons in about a minute.  With a light fixture the lumen rating is a measurement of ALL of the light produced by the fixture.

Now, imagine moving that bucket to the floor of the shower. How much water would it collect in a minute?  The fixture is still dispensing 2.5 gallons, but because the bucket is further from the source any one spot below is going to receive less water.  As it relates to lighting, this measurement is called Lux.

So in a kitchen, if I know that I want 50 lx of light on my work surfaces, and that I have cabinets in one part of my kitchen that are 18″ above the counter, and 30″ over the counter in another area, I’m going to need two different fixtures with different light outputs, or I’m going to need more of them where the distance is greater.

Your Häfele rep who can walk you through this, or can even get you connected with a lighting designer who can help you achieve the results you desire.


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