This term refers to lights that are fitted into the fabric of walls, ceilings or furniture. It’s a little more complicated than ordinary lighting, but the effects are worth the effort. Here’s a guide to the most popular options
LEDS Consider placing LED strips underneath stair treads or behind handrails to aid nighttime navigation. ‘LED ribbon in cabinetry or bookshelves is a great way to add atmosphere,’ says Bruce Weil of The Lighting Design Studio (thelightingdesignstudio.co.uk). The strips are cut to length, wired into a power unit (which must be carefully chosen according to the electrical load required – flexfireleds.com has an easy guide) and then plugged into the nearest socket. Shadow gaps – where plasterboard on the wall stops just short of the floor, creating a hollow – can be lit using LED strips instead of adding skirting. Fixing LEDS strips to the underside of the plasterboard, so that they cast light onto the floor without being seen, will highlight this architectural detail. Worried that LEDS produce a cold light? ‘Choose 2700K, at the warmer end of the spectrum, and a Colour Rendering Index (CRI) of 90 or above,’ says Weil. Wall lights Indirect light is softer than direct light, so use wall lights to bounce brightness around and create a flattering effect. Wall lamps – and all other architectural lighting, with the exception of LED strips – need to be wired into your existing electrical circuits. This is a task best left to the professionals. If you do attempt electrical installation yourself, you’ll need to get the completed job tested by a fully qualified electrician and obtain a minor works certificate. Spotlights A plasterer can skim trimless downlights into the ceiling, so that you only see the light and not the fitting. ‘They create the impression that light is coming from apertures in the ceiling,’ says Richard Strange of Darklight Design (darklightdesign.com). Try Whitegoods (whitegoods.com) for plaster-in fittings. Spotlights can also be installed under wall-mounted kitchen cabinets to light worktops; inside wardrobes; and within alcoves to highlight favourite objects – try the ‘Minos’ collection by John Cullen Lighting ( johncullenlighting.com). As above, all spotlights needs to be wired into existing electrical circuits.