You may have noticed that we have become infected by a rash of retro utilitarian styled pendants – spreading across bars and commercial properties across the land. So what lies behind this trend?
3 reasons why clustering drop pendants work well. It creates form that is not restricted to a centralised chandelier / decorative fitting but covers a wide area. Varying heights of fittings has always been a contributing factor to successful layering of light – drop pendants of different lengths offer a relatively inexpensive solution for this effect. The deconstructed design of a decorative bare lamp on the end of a cable may sound crude, but in practice it offers a sophisticated style. The success of this trend lies in the no frills (but with flare) approach arising from frugal times.
5 tips on successful drop pendants Use a braided silk cable for the drops – keeping the honesty of a simple drop but with detail and a nod to the past. Try mixing up squirrel cage lamp sizes. Have fun with the cables – swoop them in bunches bringing the power in offset to where you want the lamps to hang. Daisy chain lamp holders off cables but be sure to use lamp holders that can take 2 cables. Don’t forget the ceiling rose needs a little consideration too!
We do find ourselves following styles or at least being influenced by them in all areas of design – it’s often subconscious. Accepting this is a key step to freedom in design choices – embrace the charge of the drop pendant and make it your own. We have plenty of lamp, flex and fitting options for you and a whole host of free advice on Bar lighting schemes – just give us a a call…
“What more do I need to know about downlights?”, you might ask. We all use them on a regular basis – what more is there to learn? Increasingly we have transferred our love of halogen to LED as the availability of conventional light sources has faded away. In this transfer to LED, must we change the way we use downlights in room design?
Four things that top interior designers do with LED downlights:
Use fewer downlights
– in reality they are an over-used tool. There is a temptation to flood a space with light. Lighting down from a ceiling is very effective and a ceiling has lots of space for fittings – so it is easy to achieve. However I do advocate (that as often as possible) you must try to light something physical with a downlight rather than just space!
- Avoid the ubiquitous row or grid of ceiling spots that are so tempting sometimes to position and install. Position a light fitting where we need the light. That may mean we have lights in the ceiling that are not neatly lined up – but that needn’t be a concern as the eye will see the light before it sees the fitting. In some instances the client may demand symmetry in the ceiling and they wish to avoid a peppering of holes. Solve this by choosing fittings that double or triple the down light source within a ceiling fitting and ensure they are adjustable.
They effectively throw light into the space in various directions
- from a single point. Select a recessed fitting that sinks into the ceiling and is as unobtrusive as possible. This type of fixture often has a black recess but we have stocks of fittings available with white to lose them in a white ceiling.
- Use a downlight with beam width options. The results are worth the effort – variety is the spice of life and this can apply to our lighting. A short cut to remember is to specify a wider beamed light for the fittings around the perimeter of a room, so the light will wash down the wall a little and push those walls back – and tighten the pools of light inside the room so that the lighting is defined and not simply washed everywhere
- Make the transition from low voltage halogen to LED with care. Be mindful of the transition between the light sources and be aware of the comparative lumens levels (strength of light) between the old and the new technologies. Mains halogen = approx 450 lumens
LV halogen = approx 900 lumensGauge your choice of LED within these boundaries for the desired result between task and ambient.
You will not need a large number of LED downlights to replace an existing halogen scheme. LED lamps are not achieving the LV equivalent in terms of power, but you should ask the question – “…do you really require a 900+ lumens level punch from a light?”.
It’s that age old problem that bites us when we least expect (and cruelly) during the final installation phase of a project. For all of us who specify and design lighting – glare is a real problem – the need to provide sufficient light onto an object with the minimal amount of discomfort to the user’s eyes.Arguably the best lighting is where the cast of light is seen and not the source. However, unless completely shielded – light will inevitably be bright at source and likely to shine glare into the eye. Spotlighting is an application where designers have to be particularly careful.
Top tips to minimise glare if a fixture isn’t concealed:
1. Ensure the beam angle of the fitting isn’t unnecessarily wide – This avoids
extraneous light hitting the eye and directs light only to where it is required.
2. Choose a lamp or source (typically an LED) that is recessed into the fitting. How? Use a baffled fixture – which has a short tube/cylinder construction (typically black) – by sinking the source deeper into the fitting the spill of light is minimised
3. Add a snoot – Odd word for another tube added onto the front of a spotlight. This deepens the source thus hiding it further – reducing the angle of light that may trouble users vision.
4. Add a honeycomb louvre – Some fixtures provide the option for this – simply hiding the source from the eye at a wider viewing angle.
5. Be aware of unprotected LED chips behind lenses – The current trend
toward the miniaturisation of fixtures utilising LED’s small proportions brings with it a potential downside. Maximum output is achieved if the bare LED is behind a lens but it’s very harsh to the eye and must be used with care.
Lastly – if in doubt – dim the fitting but that is only supplementary and not a fundamental fix.
When you specify and purchase lights from us – this advice is all part of the extra value service we offer all our clients. So if you wish to light your next project with total confidence – call us and we will be happy to help!
Now – is this solely the territory for the lighting geek OR is this really relevant to you?
It’s actually a key principle to understand to help your lighting designs go from good … to great.
In this short video Andrew gives you 5 practical tips to aid you in this process.
1. Choose what you are lighting – is it simply the floor or a piece of furniture or maybe an architectural element?
2. Light spreads increasingly wider the further it leaves it’s source – so how wide would you ideally want the spread of light to go by the time it hits the lit surface?
3. Calculate the distance – between light source and that surface.
4. Now draw to scale – this distance with the source at one side and the rough desired spread on the other.
Draw a line from the source to the edges of the desired lit width – the angle between these two lines is our chosen beam width.
5. Now select a lamp or fixture – with a beam width as close as possible to that value.
Remember too that light is also used and chosen to highlight objects all along it’s pathway
For example – if you use a floor light to uplight a column – you’ll want to keep the beam width tight and follow the line of the architecture from the moment it leaves the source carefully considering how wide it will spread along it’s path.
Another great benefit to purposefully choosing your angles of light also helps combat the glare that light can bring to the eye.
So let’s start taking control and next time you choose your lighting – not only think of us here at Orange Lighting – but consider those beam widths.