Are LED Light Bulbs Worth the Investment?

LED light bulbs are pricey, but we think they’re an excellent alternative to the standard incandescent.  Ranging anywhere from $10 – $50 a bulb, the LED is considerably more expensive than an incandescent… but they will eventually pay for themselves and then some.  Here are some pros and cons of the LED light bulb…



LEDs Are Energy Efficient.  LEDs use about 75% less energy than an incandescent bulb.  You’ll see the advantages of an energy efficient LED every month on your electricity bill.


LEDs Have a Long Life.  LEDs last A LOT longer than an incandescent.  Lasting approximately 25,000 hours – the LED could potentially last up to 25 years versus the typical 6 months of an incandescent bulb.  You’ll not only save money – you’ll save yourself the time and hassle of changing out light bulbs.





The only real negative with the LED bulb is that, right now, they’re not very attractive.  They sort of look like an alien version of an incandescent.  You’re probably not going to want to use these in a fixture where the light bulb is part of the look.  But any fixture that hides the bulb would be a great candidate for an LED light bulb (FYI – Boyd has started marking all of our fixture info with “LED Screw In” where appropriate – so you don’t have to guess when it comes to this).


The good news here is that lamping manufacturers are working on this aesthetic problem… which means there should be some viable options for “pretty” LED bulbs (LED bulbs that look like incandescent) sometime in the near future.


So… do you think you’re ready to make the switch to LED light bulbs?  Let us know in the comments section!

Create Your Own LED Light Art

LED light art has become a thing… just take the Bay Bridge for example.  The Bay Bridge has been outfitted with 25,000 LED lights that will display a variety of undulating designs nightly for the next two years – and it’s a must-see if you’re in SF.  But – if you think this kind of thing is only attainable for those with a cool $8 million to spare… you’re wrong.  Check out the below video & see how you can create your own LED light art on an Average-Joe budget.






Boyd Cares: Food Bank Fundraiser

Canned Food Sculpture

For the past several years, Boyd Lighting has held a holiday season food drive for the San Francisco & Marin Food Banks… a cause near and dear to our hearts. Helping this wonderful organization collect donations is our small effort to give back to the community that has supported our business for over 90 years.


Once again, we have organized an online Virtual Food Drive where donations can turn your $1 bill into $6!  Through generous corporate partnerships, local farmers, and food donors, the San Francisco & Marin Food Bank is able to take your $1 bill and secure $6 worth of nutritious foods – enough for three full meals – which can then be distributed throughout the community.


Think about that for a moment…  A  $10 donation can turn into 30 meals.  A $25 donation will provide 75 meals for seniors, children, the disabled, and those down on their luck.  Each and every day, the SFMFB distributes the equivalent of 100,000 meals, so the need is there, and unfortunately, it only seems to get greater.  Without your monetary donations this effort would certainly not be possible.  Even the smallest of donations make a difference.


We have set a modest goal of trying to raise funds for 6000 meals.  We did it last year and we will try our best to surpass that goal again…with your help!


Please give what you are able in order to help out this wonderful cause. Donate here for the San Francisco & Marin Food Bank.  For more information on food banks near you, or for information how you can donate with a check, please contact me.


Happy Holidays!


New Grasse Sconce by Designer Jamie Drake

We’re excited to introduce the Grasse Sconce – Boyd’s newest fixture by designer extraordinaire, Jamie Drake!


Grasse Sconce in Orange


This hand-blown glass sconce was inspired by a classic perfume bottle… and so it was named after the perfume capital of the World: Grasse, France.  (**FUN FACT:  Just under 15% of the world’s fragrance raw materials supply comes from Grasse, France**)


Back from London – Jet Lagged and Design Lagged

I returned last night from two weeks in London and am at my desk early this morning jet-lagged and design-lagged.  Every time I go to London I realize what a sleepy town San Francisco is…we think we are cutting edge here…and cool…but the truth is, aside from the overwhelming number of techies and hipsters, we don’t have a clue.  The truly “smart” in London know that “hipsterism” is passé.  But I digress.


In Bloomsbury, Spitalfields, Mayfair and Marleybone the signs of a Euro Melting Pot design sensibility are everywhere.   We happened to land in London the week of the PAD – Pavilion of Art and Design – Fair, and there in Berkeley Square were amazing pieces in furniture, lighting, sculpture and fine art from as far Brussels, Paris, New York, Milan, Beirut, Zurich, Barcelona, Stockholm and Cologne etc.  But the Serge Mouille pieces in all their glory could not hold a candle to the Tom Dixon selection down the street at Conran’s in the old Michelin Building.


Floor Lamp seen in a German Gallery

Floor Lamp as Art



In fact Tom Dixon – famous for his spare, blackened, hammered brass lighting – was all over London.  From Conran’s we stopped in at Old Bond Street to pick up my daughter from her part time job at Joseph, and while I stood caressing the reception desk of riveted aircraft aluminum, the sales associate informed me that Dixon had done the entire store, light fixtures to flooring.  Amazing.


Beat Pendants by Tom Dixon

Beat Lighting Pendants by Tom Dixon


Down Regent Street, fall was in full swing; windows brimming with taxidermy and pumpkins.  What pair of hunting brogues doesn’t look sportier next to a stuffed Badger?  Where would a Glen Plaid blanket be shown to more elegant effect than next to a pert fox and leaping rabbit – all dead – but so cozy!


Stuffed Badger

Nothing says cozy like a stuffed badger


Baby George was christened Wednesday, and in design obsessed London the bookies took odds on what color the queen would wear and whether or not her hat would be a Philip Treacy number adorned with pheasant feathers.  Kate’s unconventional choice of celebrity photographer, Jason Bell – famous for his chic work in Vanity Fair – had the London press in titters.


When I saw the hedges at Kensington Palace trimmed into teapots and brioches, I had an epiphany….the Brits simply cannot pass up any opportunity to “design.” 

Frankly, all that design was a little daunting…I went to London on vacation and filled an entire Moleskin with notes for Boyd Lighting. 


Kensington Palace Hedge

Brioche Hedge

New Catena Sconce by Designer Eric Chiarelli

We’re very excited about our newest fixture, the Catena Sconce, not only because it’s a simply beautiful & versatile fixture, but also because it is our first collaboration with designer Eric Chiarelli of Red Brick Studio in Atlanta.




A Brief Background on Eric Chiarelli:

Eric Chiarelli graduated top of his class from the Art Institute of Atlanta where he earned a BFA in Interior Design.  After graduation Eric spent 10 years as a designer for Hirsh Bedner Associates in Atlanta – contributing to award winning, high profile projects like the Atlantis Paradise Island, the Park Hyatt Zurich, the Grand Hyatt Macau and the Jing ‘an Shangri-La (to name a few).  With his Ohio farm-boy roots and his years of experience in high-end hotel design, Chiarelli promises to be an exciting new design voice for Boyd Lighting.




Eric believes that materials should speak for themselves, and his new Catena Sconce for Boyd, with its classic chain motif, reflects that aesthetic.  The Catena is available in several metal finishes, which gives it a versatile personality.  Done in one of three brass options it takes on a “rustic” vibe and would be at home in any farmhouse, mountain lodge or country cottage.  In a satin nickel finish the Catena Sconce takes on a very different, more modern look of high fashion jewelry.


Catena Sconce by Eric Chiarelli

Catena Sconce by Eric Chiarelli


With a budget friendly price point, a versatile design and initial rave reviews from our sales reps – we’re confident that Eric Chiarelli’s Catena sconce will be a hit in both residential and commercial applications! 


Boyd’s ‘GIVING THANKS’ Program


Giving Thanks


It’s the cusp of the holidays and we, at Boyd, always like to get into the spirit of the season by participating in food drives and local charity events.  This year we want to get a running start – so we are kicking off the giving-season with a promotion that helps our clients give to those in need.


From now through the end of November we will be donating $500 each week to worthy charities chosen by our clients.



How it works:

  • All client orders which are firmed between October 1 & November 27, 2013 will be entered into a drawing.
  • At the end of each week we will select a winning client order.
  • $500 will be donated in the client’s name to the charity of their choice.
  • The charity should be specified on the order.  If the charity is not specified on the order, we will donate the $500 to Boyd’s charity of choice:  Blessings in a Backpack
  • Each week the name of our winner & their charity will be posted on the front page of our website.

Over the next few months your Boyd Lighting purchase could make a difference in the life of someone who needs a helping hand. 



Randall Finds an Old Friend in New York

I had just gotten off the plane from Frisco to New York City. I took a cab to the East Village where I would be staying with a friend of a friend. It is the end of summer and the thick humid air weighed heavily on people’s shoulders. As I stepped onto the steamy sidewalk I looked up at the impressive Art Deco façade of the 10 story apartment building. The lobby looked like it was right out of a 1940’s noir film. Suddenly I found myself face to face with an old friend. There, hanging proudly was a pair of Boyd Palos Verdes pendants. They instantly made me feel right at home. And as I wandered wearily towards the elevator I knew that I found a safe haven in the gritty city that they call the Big Apple.


Palos Verdes

And so we meet again...





I Can’t Drive 55

What a week it has been on San Francisco Bay!  Last Tuesday, the sparkling new eastern span of the SF-Oakland Bay Bridge made its big debut.  It was completed billions over budget and many years behind schedule, but judging from the initial reactions, it was all worth it. While I have still not had the opportunity to actually drive across it, this beautifully designed suspension bridge is breathtaking to behold and is a stark contrast to the original, double-decker cantilever bridge that it replaced.  The new span is a modern architectural wonder that will be enjoyed for generations to come.


New Span of Bay Bridge


Monterey Car Week

A severely-weathered and long-neglected Model T.  A rolling procession of one hundred-fifty classic Corvettes.  A Bentley GT3 racer that seems fast…even when parked.  A $27 million Ferrari.  What do these cars have in common?  Well if you were on the Monterey Peninsula last week, you may have seen them during the return of the annual Monterey Car Week, one of the area’s biggest events of the year.


From Monterey to Salinas to Carmel-by-the-Sea, and all points in between, you could not escape the glitz and glamour of this event.  Car shows were held, but not your everyday, run-of-the-mill variety.  There were collector car auctions, including one where a rare 1967 Ferrari was sold for $27 million.  (Yes, you read that right.)  Extravagant galas were hosted with folks dressed to the nines, and oh yeah, there was some racing, too.  No matter where I looked, there was something breathtaking to feast my eyes on…Lamborghinis slowly creeping past tourists on the famous Cannery Row, MG roadsters cruising down sun-soaked Highway 1, an Aston Martin parked at a supermarket, an Audi R8 at a stoplight–the proud purr of its V-10 engine mesmerizing passersby.  Other marques included Porsche, BMW, Lotus, Mercedes, Austin Healy, Morgan, Cooper, and on and on.