Tag Archives | lighting ideas

L&L Ideas Guide: Best Lighting For Artwork

There are 3 things to remember when looking for lighting for artwork, and they are: heat, color and placement. A lot of lights, especially halogens, will produce a sufficient amount of heat. If these lights are placed too close to the artwork, or are left on for too long, this could damage the piece. Ways to avoid this is to use LED lights, fiber optics, or to make sure the light fixture is a good distance away from the art pieces. For example you can use track lighting for artwork, as these are installed into the ceiling, and each individual light can be angled to different parts of the room. Another option is to use recessed lighting in the ceiling that can be angled down towards the art work.

track lighting in an art gallery

Track lighting being used in an art gallery

The color of the light bulb can play a role in how the artwork will look. White light allows for true colors to be seen in the art, while yellow shades of light can distort it depending on the hue.

gallery art lighting

Wireless gallery lighting

Where you are going to place the lights needs to be taken into consideration. Using track lights will be simple, as they are installed into the ceiling. If you are going to use wall lights, hung right above the artwork, then how the wiring will get there needs to be looked at. One alternative is to use battery powered gallery lights. We highlighted the best lighting for artwork in our The Cordless Gallery Light post here: Highlight Decor Pieces Easily With Wireless Art Gallery Lighting. Not only do these lights not require any wiring, but they can be attached directly onto the frame of an art piece (or they can be attached to the wall). The cordless lights use LEDs so there is little to no heat and ultraviolet rays.

image credits: David Group

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L&L Design Guide: Stairwell Lighting Ideas – From Lip Lighting to Motion Controlled Lights

There are a number of stairwell lighting ideas to choose from. Some are simple, like attaching battery operated motion sensor lights to the wall, or using pendant light adapters to modify your ceiling lights. Other ideas require some work – like installing lights into the side wall of the stairs, or fitting lights to the underside of the stair lip.

One idea and the most elegant solution for stairwell lighting is to do under lip lighting. This is when you install lights right under the lip of the stairs. This can be done with LED rope lights or with more innovative lights like LightTape.

under lip staircase lighting

A second option would be to install lights recessed into the side wall of the staircase. The best way to do this is to have them professionally fitted and wired up. A simpler and faster option would be to use battery operated motion sensor lights that can be cheaply picked up from Amazon for around $10-$30. Simply stick them to the side walls of the stairs (Conserving Energy with Wireless Motion Sensor Lights and Adapters).

side lighting stairs

wireless stair lighting

Another way to add stair lighting is to take a look at the overhead lighting. Recessed lights are a modern lighting solution, and this would be good idea if you have low hanging ceilings. For high ceilings, pendant lights would be a better choice as these lights bring the light closer to the ground. You can easily convert normal ceiling light outlets into pendant lights by using pendant light adapters.

Instant Pendant Lights

Having lights installed into the front facing, vertical part of the step is ideal for outdoor stairs, but is not visually appealing lighting design for indoor stairs. Also look to avoid the runway effect. This is when you place lights on both sides of the staircase, at the same levels. The way to avoid this is to alternate the steps where the lights will be. For staircases you only really a wall light for every 3 of so steps.

The best way to light a stairwell, or any part of the home, is to use a variety of light fixtures (ie. stairwell lip lighting and overhead pendant lights). This creates more lighting layers, and avoids a monotone look that you would get from using just one type of light.

If you are a looking for more advance lighting options or are planning a major remodeling of your home, take a look at these two stairwell lighting ideas. First we have the side lights: lights are fitted into a small gap between the wall and the stairs, which provides soft indirect lighting (and also makes the staircase look like it is floating).

Side wall lighting

For those DIYers out there with some electronics skills, there are tutorials online on how to build motion sensor stairwell lighting. The lights will turn on as you approach the top or bottom of the stairs. In the video below you can see how the lights of each stairs light up gradually one by one. You can find a tutorial for this here.

image credits: property snaps

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Restaurant Lighting: The Lighting Design Guide

Opening and running a restaurant is an exciting way to make a living and create a business that can be passed down from generation to generation. There are many considerations to take into account before opening a restaurant that are crucial to ensuring your success. Making sure the location is convenient and has the clientele you want to target, creating a delicious and varied menu and securing competent, professional staff are key components you must get into place before your grand opening.

The Importance Of A Restaurants Ambiance

While menu, staff and location are all important factors in the success of an eating establishment, they are not the only factors that matter. The ambiance and environment of your restaurant will make customers feel welcomed, relaxed and comfortable so they stay and spend time and money, or it will drive them away and keep them from coming back. Make sure the environment you create is as inviting as possible with proper ambient and task restaurant lighting.

The 3 Types of Restaurant Lighting: Task, Ambient and Accent

photo: paul (dex)

The right lighting design will create and inviting space, which will capitalize on the foot traffic outside the restaurant

Task lighting is used for areas where a certain task is being performed. Good restaurant lighting design will take into account the different tasks being performed in every area of your restaurant. Bright, direct overhead lighting is critical in the kitchen where chefs need to see every ingredient and visibility needs to be high. Task lighting in salad preparation areas, dishwashing areas and sanitation stations are critical components to running a smooth and sanitary kitchen and these areas can be illuminated efficiently and easily with inexpensive fluorescent lighting.

photo: Alex Akopyan

Taking advantage of natural light is a great way of providing ambient lighting in a restaurant

Ambient lighting in a restaurant is what sets the tone and feel of the place. A brightly lit, restaurant with neon beer signs will work well for a sports restaurant while, a lighting design that uses softer tones, candle light and designer light fixtures will create the sophisticated tone needed for an upscale establishment. When it comes to ambient lighting here are some things to consider: Lighting over bar areas should be lower and more ambient than in dining areas to create a cozy, relaxed feel. Pendant lighting and track lighting with interesting designs and touches are perfect for bar areas. Lighting in restaurant restrooms should be bright enough to allow easy make up touches or personal grooming without eyestrain or hassle, but not so bright that the return to the dining area seems dim. Burning scented candles in a tinted glass votive in restaurant restrooms is a great way to add ambient lighting and perfume the air at the same time. A proper balance of soft light, task lighting, ambient lighting, and even fun lighting like neon signs or special bar lights can add a comfortable and inviting to a restaurant that makes customers stay longer and spend more with every visit.

Accent lighting is used to highlight certain items or areas in a restaurant. For example if you have artwork that you are displaying on the walls, small spotlights that point up and onto the art pieces are used as accent lighting. Sculptures, flower arrangements, or special decor pieces would require accent lighting to highlight the piece in their full glory.

The Different Types of Restaurant Lighting Fixtures

photo: Stuck In Customs

From candle lighting, to pendant and chandelier lighting, using different types of light fixtures in a restaurant creates a range of light effects – avoiding a monotone, bland ambiance.

Restaurant lighting fixtures come in a variety of sizes, styles, colors and fabrications. Whether you run an Italian restaurant that calls for pole lighting and classic candle sconces on the wall or an old-fashioned soda shop that need pendant lights over the soda fountain, you can find what you are looking for in any restaurant supply catalog. Look online or contact your local restaurant supply representative to talk about the lighting options available to you. Hire a designer to help you make smart choices about lighting and placement of lights that will enhance your atmosphere and increase your chances of success. Spending a few dollars in the planning phase of your restaurant on expert advice for lighting and other design considerations can make a big difference in the overall look and feel of your restaurant and save you time, money and hassle of having to redo things. Visit your local lighting showroom as well. Your local lighting showroom will have numerous ideas and inspiration for your restaurant lighting plans. Consult with the local experts to see what they recommend and how they can help you create the look and feel you want in your space.

Restaurants provide the backdrop for so many family and individual celebrations they are a common destination for get together and events. Make sure your restaurant is top of mind when people are planning or hosting a celebration dinner or party by creating a warm and inviting space with the restaurant lighting design you chose. Make sure spaces are well lit but not glaringly bright, the parking lot has lighting after dark, bathrooms have lights over mirrors and stalls and are well lit and the kitchen should be bright, photo: Stuck In Customs cheery and illuminated so customers see the sparkling gleam the kitchen crew works hard to maintain. Creating a delicious menu, hiring professional staff, securing a prime location and incorporating restaurant lighting ideas that keep customers and their comfort in mind can help make sure your restaurant succeeds and gives you the financial security to live the lifestyle you want and deserve.

Restaurant lighting ideas that work incorporate all aspects of the dining experience, from the moment the customer walks in the door to the moment they leave,  from lighting in entrance ways and parking lots, enhances the customers comfort and safety. Making sure your lighting is ample, soft, and bright enough to read and eat comfortably. Consult with a restaurant design professional to create a restaurant lighting design that works for you.