built in lighting in valances above windows

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Location: Fort Worth, Texas

built in lighting in valances above windows

Postby oldbarbarino » Fri Sep 16, 2005 2:40 pm

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Postby ch » Fri Sep 16, 2005 5:45 pm

Howdy Texas,
I once owned a house in Connecticut that was designed by a student of Frank Lloyd Wright and it had those same type of valances. Of course in my case, they had been removed and luckily I discovered their existence by studying the original architectual plans which came with the house. The originals had been florescent but I restored them using incandescent fixtures because I wanted the ability to dim them. I also believe very strongly that florescent lighting NEVER belongs in anyone's residence and should be outlawed completely. Here's a so-so before picture but you can see the valances above the windows.

One of the nicest discoveries when all was done was how great the lights would illuminate all the windows at night, thus providing a compliment to the daytime illumination. The effect was to turn what would normally be dull and dark expanses of glass into warm and glowing lighting.

Good luck with the restoration and get those valance lights working!

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Postby oldbarbarino » Fri Sep 16, 2005 7:46 pm

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Postby blenderama67 » Fri Sep 30, 2005 1:40 pm

I just checked out my copy of Sunset Book: Lighting Your Home (1963) Practical Ideas for Interiors and Patios. They cover valance lighting as well as soffit and other clever lighting techniques.

Your library might have a copy of it. It's worth checking out the picts.

If you need something more specific from the book I can have a look for it and fax it to you easily from home.

Hope this helps.


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Postby SDR » Sat Oct 01, 2005 10:22 am

Does the light in these valances spread upward to the ceiling, down to the windows/drapes, or both ?

New energy-consumption regulations are being implemented (as of today, in our area) that tend to require the use of fluorescents. While tube fluorescent lamps woud seem ideal for installation in valances like these, there are two potential objections: the lamps are made in only a limited number of lengths, which may not coincide with the lengths of the valances, and some would find the quality of light unacceptable (wrong color, and/or not dimmable).

But, there are more options in the way of lighting fixture and lamp ("bulb") types than ever before -- particulary when compared to fifty years ago ! (The old books are the best source for vintage Modern design ideas, however.) Consult with a lighting store before making a choice; there may be an option that would be ideal for this application. The issues here would seem to be: cool operation (confined location of light source), even spread of light in a linear pattern of varying length, and dimmability.

"I laugh in the face of danger! Then I hide until it goes away." Bender

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Postby idlewild » Mon Oct 03, 2005 6:18 pm

Hey, Barbarino-

Who designed your house? I have a 1958 Mark Miller designed MCM in Dallas and it has built in valance lighting over the sliding glass doors and windows in the open plan living and dining room. We have similar lighting in the bedrooms- only the ledge lighting is along the longest walls rather than over the windows.

I'm curious if your house was done by the same architect/firm.

I'd love to see photos if you have time to post them.

Modern Fan
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Location: Fort Worth, Texas

valance lighting

Postby oldbarbarino » Wed Oct 05, 2005 5:51 pm

Thanks to all who have replied to my question about the valance lighting.

First, I want to say that they are wired for flourescent lights. Second they are over the windows in the den, living area and in two of the bedrooms.

They are in working order and I am trying to decide what to do at this point.

Blenderama thanks for the information about lighting in the Sunset book. I plan to look for this soon.

Oh, SDR the lights are only over the windows and do not extend down vertically. So the light only goes up to the ceiling.

To my compadre in Dallas all I know about the architect who built my house is that his name was Mr. Barnes and that information come from my new 70 something neighbor who has lived in the house next door for forty years. I will post photos soon but at this time my house is a mess because we are redoing all the flooring.

I have been educating folk in Fort Worth for the past 7 years about MCM..........

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Flourescent/Incandescent Lighting

Postby DAS » Tue Nov 01, 2005 10:48 pm

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