Wall Lights

Selecting the ideal lighting for walls

Wall lights have many purposes from decorative to task-based and every project needs good wall lighting but what factors need to be considered when selecting wall lighting pieces? What type of lighting is ideal for your project, where should you position it and what finish works best?

Wall Lights - subtle wall lighting can add atmosphere

The Need for Wall Lights

Wall lights are often chosen to add a certain decorative element to a space. The beauty of a simple wall piece has the ability to make or break a room and can be a work of art in itself.

That said, wall lights shouldn't be a purely decorative element. They are increasingly added as a safety feature. They add light to areas of a room which aren't typically flooded with light and they can be an essential feature on stairways to prevent people from tripping. Uplights are preferred when adding a bit of atmosphere to a space but they won't be useful as task lighting or a safety measure. Vanity lights are a preferred option in bathrooms because of the lack of glare.

Wall lights are pretty diverse. Fancy wall lights are a feature in themselves and may include decorative shades and fluted glass. Flush lights which will be inside or close to the wall. Modern, urban lights are adventurous in many spaces but typically found in hotels and restaurants where they can make a bold statement with their use of raw metal, exposed bulbs and simple pendants. Reading lights are generally found bedside and offer subtle task lighting and can be easily turned on and off from the bed. Alternatively, bedrooms and living rooms may be suitable places for picture lights to draw attention to specific works on art.

Wall Lighting Products

Wall Lights - a range of wall lights with colored shades

selecting wall lighting

To begin with, how much light is needed in the room? Most rooms need a range of lighting options so a mix of ceiling fixtures, table lamps and wall lighting may be necessary. For extra control it may be necessary to allow the lighting to be dimmable.

With regards to wall lamps, location is everything. Before installing lighting, plan where furniture and other fittings will go. Furniture can be moved later but wall lighting is pretty much fixed. Height is another factor - typically, wall lighting will be above, or possibly below, eye level so as not to dazzle people. Lighting which directs light downwards will typically be placed higher up. Hallway wall lighting is a common feature but care must be taken to ensure the area isn't flooded with lights.

The finish can mean a lot to a wall light also. A copper finish can add some warmth to a space but it can appear artificial if overused. A matt lacquer finish is increasingly popular, looks subtle but sometimes doesn't age too well. Bronze finishes have a tendency to be overbearing but they do add a touch of sophistication. Chrome finishes are probably the most common as it is easier to match with other furniture and decorations even if it seems too much at times.

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