Trimless is in some ways the perfectionist’s choice and in this era of minimalist design, it is becoming extremely popular. The seamless look has a clean elegance that has caught the imagination of designers, architects, and clients alike. Stylistically could we be heading out of the predominant post industrial aesthetic back to a more minimal clean lined aesthetic?
Essentially trimless is a way of hiding the fixture or fitting and to allow the light itself to play the dominant role. Although trimless downlights has been on the radar for a while, niches, uplighters and floor washers, are now increasingly in vogue. Quite simply, LED has again played a major factor. Longevity of solid state light sources enables us to integrate lights anywhere in a space – with added peace of mind on future maintenance. Lower operating temperature also allows fittings to be enclosed in all areas too.
So here is a quick guide to trimless and some advice on first and second fix strategies when planning an interior.
What is trimless?
A flush solution that allows the light to become an architecturally integrated element.
How do you install them?
First, a housing for the light source is plastered into place at the stage of first fix electrics. It then becomes part of the wall/ceiling.
The subsequent second fix is when the internal part or the guts of the light is fitted.
Benefits and tips
Glare is greatly reduced as some trimless fittings will raise the light source deep within the ceiling.
Some fittings have a choice of trimless fixing or a second fix bezel. The light fixture remains the same except with the trimless version the location of the fixture has to be decided at 1st Fix stage and is NOT moveable later in the project.
Popular trimless fittings are floor and stair washers where a number are run in a row. A group of fittings are usually wired in SERIES, meaning the power supply (driver) is remote and the wiring daisy chains to each fixture and terminates back at the driver.
Some models offer a particular frame according to whether it’s being fitted into brick or plasterboard, so be sure of the material into which the trimless fixture is being fitted.
You do not always need to re-plaster a wall or ceiling when using a trimless product. There is a range of trimless downlights that can be installed at 2nd fix and ‘feathered’ into place with fine plaster filler. It’s not as easy to install but is a helpful option when trying to get the look without the added expense of more plastering.
This is one job where the plaster becomes key to the project’s success. In terms of integration, it’s best to look out for some potential snags.
Avoid badly designed products that do not allow sufficient depth of plaster around the housing and can cause cracks in the plaster later in the installation, especially around rivets or plasterboard screws that are not countersunk.
Remember – trimless wall lights do not usually have a glass front so the product can collect dust over time once installed, so it will require periodic cleaning.
If you want to explore trimless – don’t be a stranger. Call us and we will explain their application and give you a guided tour around the fixtures and fittings available.
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