AR­CHI­TEC­TURAL LIGHT­ING

ELLE Decoration (UK) - - Sourcebook | Lighting -

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.

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