Earth Day Tips From Celebrity Lighting Designer

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Lighting designer to the stars, and author of a new book, provides lighting tips that save energy and tells us why he opposes new light bulb ban legislation.

Bentley Meeker, who has lighted celebrity weddings for Chelsea Clinton, Robert De Niro, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Billy Joel, as well as thousands of events for corporations, fashion designer runways, television and movie premieres, concerts, prominent hotels, and philanthropic functions, says there are many ways to enjoy light in an energy-efficient way. He suggests:

  •     Putting your incandescent lights on a dimmer at 75% capacity.
  •     Use Halogen lamps when possible –they are more eco-friendly than incandescent lights.
  •     Explore different types of bulbs – clear ones, frosted, different shapes.
  •     Light up the architecturally interesting parts of your home.
  •     Use hanging fixtures that give off indirect light. Bare bulbs, even in chandeliers, can put off harsh light.
  •     Use lots of candles.
  •     Use LED light bulbs in utility areas, such as hallways and basements, to reduce power consumption while not sacrificing light quality in the most lived in areas of your house.

Bentley also opposes the upcoming government ban on incandescent bulbs. “Fluorescent bulbs are not dimmable and provide a harsh light overall,” he says. “The color rendering is usually unattractive and it is generally very flat, non-directional light. This all has a subtle yet very real, negative effect on one’s relationship with the environment. I believe our carbon footprint will actually increase as a result of putting in these lower-energy bulbs simply because they will make us feel uncomfortable and cause a chain-reaction of energy-using events.”

His award-winning company, Bentley Meeker Lighting and Staging (, is one of the nation’s largest and most prominent lighting designers and is celebrating 20 years of serving Hollywood’s elite, Hampton’s premiere socialites, and New York City’s movers and shakers. His debut coffee table book, Light X Design: 20 Years of Lighting was released this month by Glitterati Publishing. With over 200 photos, this oversized, glossy book colorfully and artfully captures a body of lighting design work that continues to glow.

Bentley, recently featured in the New York Times, has also lighted events for Victoria’s Secret, Sports Illustrated and Oprah. Modern Bride named Bentley a “Top 25 Trendsetter.” The New York Daily News recognized him as one of fashion’s “50 Most Powerful.” The Knot just named him a 2011 “Best Pick” for weddings.

Bentley Meeker is represented by Planned Television Arts

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