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It's dark in here!!! Suggestions for interior lighting?
Posted: Sat Jun 02, 2007 12:01 pm
We have been in our home for about a year now and have decided that we are in dire need of additional lighting in the main family/dining room. The problem is that with the t&g ceiling there is no chance for recessed lighting and track lighting seems like it would be less than attractive. Take a look at our room below and guide us in the right, budget-conscious direction.
We are thinking of going with the above the eat-in kitchen table...anything is better than this:
Now, the pictures below represent the area we have no idea what to do with. The room has big windows and a skylight, but we don't get enough natural light. **Don't laugh at the patches on the wall as we just had the house re-plumbed and haven't gotten around to painting the room the celery green we have chosen.
Posted: Sat Jun 02, 2007 2:36 pm
http://www.lottaliving.com/bb/viewtopic ... n&start=30
try this, and SDR sums it up much better than i could.
my home has dark cedar walls as well as ceiling. georgeous and cozy.
when i want to 'turn up the house lights!' i bring out a couple work lights
to blast the place and spring clean a cob web or 2. or for elec or painting work. thought of placing a permanent floresent, with warm bulbs, hidden
on a fixed dividing wall with a cedar baffle, similar to a ground row in the
theatre. that way i could 'blast' with a switch! or something on a dimmer.
Posted: Sat Jun 02, 2007 3:06 pm
My vote is for cable lighting. It does a wonderful job of really "disappearing" when done well.
I know egads is a big proponent of the "Kable Lite" from TechLighting:
http://www.techlighting.com/default.asp ... ct&sysid=3
The great thing about the cable systems is that you can run them in-between the beams so the won't extend down, vertically, into the room.
Posted: Sat Jun 02, 2007 3:30 pm
What about a valance that runs the length of the room (on both sides maybe?) with indirect lighting behind it on one switch, and directional spots mounted on the visible side on another switch (dimmer). It could run as sections in between the beams (but appear as a single wooden strip) and be stained to match the ceiling.
My room length valance is used simply to hide curtain hardware, but I considered adding lighting...
Of course, your valance could be narrower and closer to the wall.
Lighting is so critical (to me). Your ceiling would look great with some light aimed at it. Some of the directionals on the valance could be pointed across the expanse of the ceiling, while others could light furniture groupings.
Example, illuminated wooden ceiling (FLW)...
Posted: Sat Jun 02, 2007 6:40 pm
I have the same exact problem and very similiar ceiling to yours. I am lucky to have soffits with an outlet up there so I do have some lighting (flourescent) up there. To be honest, it is of little help. I painted the soffits white (both sides) and it provides a little ambient light. I also adding a ceiling fan with light, (still not much help). I agree with the poster who said to aim the light at your ceiling. I am looking for ideas on how to tastefully do that. If you look in the back of my picture I did manage to aim a few track lights at my ceiling for a warm glow. Not too crazy about the track lights look though. Please let us know what you decide on. I would love to hear from Egads regarding his KableLite system too.
Posted: Sat Jun 02, 2007 6:48 pm
Robb and afigure: let's see a night-time shot !
I think in afigure's case the light "soffit" needs to let more light out ! (It isn't an air vent. . .) White on the inside is important, the outside may as well blend into the other wood work. Lower and extend the shape, before you give up on it !
Love those wood ceilings !
Posted: Sat Jun 02, 2007 7:13 pm
SDR: I painted the inner part of the soffit and behind it white too. It's funny but since painting the outside of the soffit white, it packs more punch light wise off than when the light is on. So I don't regret painting it white. Thanks for the suggestion of trying a different angle, what type of lighting do you suggest to point at my ceilings, my flourescents have to go and I don't imagine they would do much to lighten the ceiling. Any ideas??
Posted: Sat Jun 02, 2007 8:25 pm
afigure: Can't tell if your soffit (valance?) runs the length of the room...but if light is a problem, I would have lights behind all of it (flourescents or standard bulbs for dimming purposes) so you get as much indirect lighting as possible. Then, surface mount several directional bullet or cone shaped fixtures right onto it, spaced evenly or in pairs along the entire length. That should light the room plenty. Here's the Swivelier cone shaped fixture I used both inside and outside my house...
I'd aim half of the directional lights up at the ceiling and the rest at various points in the room (furniture groupings, the entry, tables, artwork, whatever...).
SDR: As far as my place, I don't have a wooden ceiling (it's white dry-wall), so my lighting situation is pretty different. But, I light my living room with floor lights...
...as well as lights pointed at the ceiling from the top of a pony wall...
...and 2 globe lights...
http://0044f49.netsolhost.com/nashville ... globe1.jpg
http://0044f49.netsolhost.com/nashville ... globe2.jpg
It's more than enough. With all the dimmers full up, it can be as bright as Kroger at 2am...or, it can be as dim as my brain at 2am...
I'm all about lighting, inside and out. It was a big part of my renovation. You should have seen the electrician snaking cable to all those hard to get to places, then getting the switches and dimmers where I wanted them. Pretty entertaining. They did a great job!
Posted: Sat Jun 02, 2007 10:11 pm
Yummy. Yes, light is everything. Thanks for the pics. I like the floor lights. If you needed it, light behind your valance would be a nice option. . .
Afigure, are the fluorescents behind the white valance(s) ? Why don't you like them ? Wrong color ? Noisy ?
I'm no expert -- the lighting field has moved faster than I do. I guess LEDs are the future, now ?
Posted: Sun Jun 03, 2007 2:58 am
My flourescents buzz and are wrong color. I replaced the ballasts (sp) recently and they are still a bit noisy. I use cool white but it creates yucky office light. I tried a warm tube but that seemed too orange-y. I really like the idea of trying to re-adjust the soffit and aim at the ceiling though. Wood ceilings look so warm when lit up. Here is a pic of my soffits lit up at night, as you can they only produce an ambient type of light.
Posted: Sun Jun 03, 2007 7:50 am
this discussion has me a bit obsessed about my own lighting.
i'm finding outlet boxes 'up there' and some lights are bulbed with
more wattage than they should...
Rob, what a beautiful renovation. and putting the lighting package
priority is key. and thanks for the swivelier reminder. (love your door valances)
i'm testing a double 4ft florescent tonight, one warm, one med-cool bulb
on top of one of my dividing walls directly under the center beam.
it is far enough below,maybe 3 ft, to make a big punch. i'm a fan of way too many things .a good quality, as i am easily pleased. big fan of globe lights on dimmers. and i like a 3 or 5 repitition. Miguels new kitchen is a good example.
Jeff. i like the artichoke light. considered it at one time. but chose a small globe for the breakfast table. yard sale purchase. so it was worth the trial run. the artichoke would give you a similar all over glow that dark ceilings need.
and my #1 favorite lighting is free. is 'skylight' a dirty word? previous owners put in three. bedroom, bath and kitchen. puts out 200 watts even on an overcast day like today. i wish i had three more.
i know...i know...you are trying to solve evening light...
Posted: Sun Jun 03, 2007 7:26 pm
not so good.
even switching out bulbs.
garish. even ugly.
ambient globe is lovely.
flooding the ceiling is odd. harsh. (with floresents, even warm bulbs)
tried two warm bulbs,(i have a close friend,DP)
pro at lighting. (fond of globes)
i would try, silly as it seems, cheap clip lighting.
positioning as you think it would be valuable. key is similar
wattage. try various angles, spotting it this way and that.
(this is what i see every day for a living and it is still difficult)
... globe, glass or fiber, is preferred by most lighting professionals...
now i know why...
and spots for highlighting.
keep referring to rob.....he spent the time, you have to make it work for your situation.
Posted: Sun Jun 03, 2007 7:48 pm
Thanks for the pic, afigure. I'm not sure what to advise about the light source -- but the idea of tilting the valances a bit more might be a good one. Sorry for all the work ! I actually like the effect in the picture -- the light washes the wall as well as a bit of the ceiling.
Posted: Mon Jun 04, 2007 7:08 am
Posted: Mon Jun 04, 2007 8:14 am
rockland- Hi! I do have some track lights mounted from the center beam of my house (cheap HD ones). I know I love the look of the light wash on the wood ceiling. But I am not sure I want to 'litter' my house with track lights (haven't found any that were not ugly or too noticible yet). Like a previous poster, I want them to blend in with the ceiling. I hope to hear from egads soon regarding his KableLite experience. Let us know what you come up with! LED seems promising but so far, I have only seen the garish whitish ones, and I am looking for a warmer look.
Posted: Mon Jun 04, 2007 9:10 am
I was worried about cold flourescent light in my bathroom, so I painted the inside of the valance (and the wall behind it) metallic gold and used translucent ivory acrylic sheet as a diffuser. That, along with using a warm tube, seems to have worked.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/googieagog ... 586303362/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/googieagog ... 586303362/
Posted: Mon Jun 04, 2007 10:04 am
i meant to ask you about that googie.
one of our bathrooms has fluorescent. and is in the typical plastic
diffuser. dark ceiling, chocolate tile. looks and feels fine. that must be
why the globes work so well. all over clean diffused light.
Posted: Mon Jun 04, 2007 4:47 pm
Smart move, googie !
I recall being impressed with the light that the first generation of halogen lamps (those ubiquitous $20 torchieres) gave; it seemed to cover the spectrum quite well. Too bad the bulbs run so hot.
Posted: Mon Jun 04, 2007 5:33 pm
Looks like you ended up in Northcrest? I was wondering what happened to you. Our house has a neat wood soffit in the darkest corner with five 4' flouresents that shine upward, really illuminating the area (wood stain matches the ceiling so when they're off you don't really see them). There are also three series of pendent lights (3 each) that help quite a bit. I also ran track lighting on the sides of the beams so the small halogens aren't too noticable (the wiring is all hidden under moldings, etc so you don't see it) - let me know if you want to come by some time and I'll show you what I've done.
-- Best, John
Posted: Mon Jun 04, 2007 6:45 pm
Well I was going to suggest the sacrilege of painting the ceiling.
There's nothing mid century about kable lighting. However is is a problem solver. I am not at home, so I don't have my reference materials. I use a Biz over my dinning table. It's a glass disk with a mr-16 lamp. I use the widest beam spread on that. The other fixtures are Johnny. Just two wires holding a lamp. In my case I used a Lil Wok lamp accessory around the back and a honeycomb cover over the front to cut glare. Those are aimed at the art. It's amazing how much light you get in a space by just lighting the art. I did add one with a tight beam for reading over (behind really) a chair. There's another fixture I have used that is frosted glass and acts as an up light. I have not installed them yet. They will go in the office. There I want ambient light for computer use. A desk lamp will take care of task. When using the torchieres, pull them away from the walls. Against the walls they just create hot spots. I also think this house would look great with a valence. Notice that the Wright one has the front kicked out at an angle. Another advantage of this approach is that the drapes can be mounted to a hidden hospital type track and would be really easy to open and close. Those loops on the rod must be a pita. I even like Fluorescent because of it's spread. The new T8 lamps with electronic ballasts are much quieter. There are incandescent strip lights that can be used. usually low voltage and dim-able. I don't have the brand of what I've used handy. The rope lighting is just too yellow for me. But I think there are some newer whiter ones. Back lighting plants is also a good idea. Home Depot used to have a small can to set on the floor. It was cheap too. Like $8.00
Posted: Mon Jun 04, 2007 7:36 pm
I made some up-light cans in high school (in the 'fifties) out of big tomato-juice cans, a block of wood screwed into the bottom and a porcelain socket. Guess I got the bug early ! There's something magical about up-light, and plant shadows and silhouettes, etc.
You guys are full of neat tricks. Keep it up !
Posted: Mon Jun 04, 2007 9:08 pm
In my first house. (the one with a bunch of friends in college) I removed the glass globes in the hall and replaced them with one pound coffee cans. (back when a coffee can held a pound) In the entry of that house I had a 7 watt standard base lamp with a cardboard paper towel insert over it. (the lamp was not hot) I also had some night lights that mounted sideways in a plug. Those had the shade tilted up. One of my roommates was an artist and he had a three dimensional canvas form on the wall above it. It looked so cool.
Posted: Tue Jun 05, 2007 6:23 pm
Posted: Tue Jun 05, 2007 6:43 pm
Posted: Tue Jun 05, 2007 7:35 pm
Posted: Tue Jun 05, 2007 8:19 pm
That was sometimes called a deck (I believe) by Wright (or at least by his followers); Schindler referred to it as the "datum." Both men used various versions of it, and it is a vital part of their interior spaces, accentuating the difference between the cozier and the more open parts of the structure -- as well as being a natural place to conceal up-lighting.
If more homes employed this one device, more people would have a meaningful architectural experience in their daily lives.
[Bender says "get over it." Oh, well. . .]
Posted: Wed Jun 06, 2007 3:13 pm
Thanks for all of the responses. I think all this has done is made me more confused in the direction that I should go!!! It's a great house to begin with, so I don't think we could go wrong with any of the ideas posted within.
We did end up in Northcrest on summitridge. We've been in teh house about a year and are finally getting started with some minor renovations, except for the major bathroom reno! We might need to take you up on your offer to come an dsee the house...it is one of our favorites in the community.
Posted: Fri Jun 08, 2007 10:04 am
I know this thread has kinda wrapped up, but....I was just looking around over in the Favorite Buildings forum and noticed how similar this lighting solution was to afigure's. Only, the "valance" allows light to pass thru it. Asher Residence, Rodney Walker (1949)...
Seems like a pretty neat way to add even lighting across a large area.
Posted: Fri Jun 08, 2007 4:45 pm
Thanks, Robb. Viewing this (highly appropriate) example again, I see it as very Lautnerian (if that's the word).
I hope this discussion wil be extended, as called for -- the subject is such a vital part of the interiors we know and love.
"Ground row" ? I wonder how that expression came to be ? Rockland ? Where did you first hear that -- or did you have to invent it ?
Posted: Mon Jun 11, 2007 7:07 am