Linear lines of light offer a powerful tool to emphasise the architectural lines of a space and enhance visual interest. Whilst their simplicity adds an understated element of depth and avant-garde minimalism to a project, they can also be designed in more artistic ways to offer accent lighting that accentuates key architectural features.
Like all lighting schemes, specification needs to be done at the earliest stages of the design process, so that the lights can be applied to compliment the design of the space as well for practical reasons such as access and maintenance.
Here, we look at linear lighting in application and discuss the key factors to consider during the design process of each.
- Ceilings and Coffers
Linear lights that are discreetly designed into drop ceilings and coffers can make striking architectural features as they provide clean, shadow-free light. If done well, the strips of light that run around the recessed ceiling cast an even and gentle light, which can provide general lighting or, if layered with downlights, can create a brighter atmosphere.
We recommend that you wire-in a dimming control system so that you can reflect a desired mood and add a sense of drama to the space when required. The Decoline range from Ecoled is compatible with dimming systems via mains/1-10/DALI/DMX.
When tucked into a niche around the ceiling, lines of light can make the most out of a minimalist space. Their subtely adds warmth and interest, whilst at the same time, draws your eye upwards and visually raises the height of a room.
What's more, if you have a restricted depth for installation, we manufacture ultra-slim options and offer a bespoke, cut to size service so that you can specify strip to your specific project requirements. This gives you limitless creativity with your linear design.
- Accentuate Natural Light
If blended with natural daylight, you can blur the lines between natural and artificial light. To do this well, we recommend that you specify a cooler colour temperature otherwise you may see a noticeable difference between the natural light tones and the artificial source, which could potentially diminish the refinement of your space.
Colour consistency is also crucial for a successful end result. At Ecoled we apply a 2-step Macadam Ellipses manufacturing process and work with only the best chip manufacturers, which means that we can guarantee both colour consistency and high colour rendering.
You can find out more about this process in our Technical Hub.
- Create a Feature Staircase
Staircases can be the focal point of a property, as they’re usually the first thing you see when you walk through the door. They offer a great opportunity to be creative and add intrigue to a space by integrating them with clever lighting schemes.
When linear lines of light are placed at the edges of cantilevered treads they can create the effect that the stairs are floating midair. Then when applied with glass, the light provides a glow that can spread through the space freely.
If you are searching for something more unique, consider lighting the stairs from the underside. It creates an illuminating effect and can emphasise the shape of the staircase, whilst not over-dazzling the eyes.
This effect is achieved by installing strip under each tread, so make sure that you specify a range that offers easy installation. Our LEDs for example, are available with easy-to-use fixing accessories and self-adhesive backing that provide you with the ability to be creative and install in even the most intricate of areas.
- Accent Lighting
Accent lighting is about picking out the features that matter to you and highlighting them. Linear lights can be fitted in the tightest of spaces making it possible to conceal them so that the focus is purely on the feature that is brought to life in the light.
But don’t just limit yourself to accentuating bold features; consider applying accent linear lighting to highlight work surfaces or mirrors.
Our tip for these types of applications would be to install the lights with a control system for both the output and colour temperature of the fittings. That way you can alter the mood whether you require brighter light for tasks such as cooking or getting ready in the morning and then adjust to a warmer colour temperature when relaxing in the evening or entertaining guests.
Lighting under cabinets, counters or kitchen islands can highlight the architectural lines of the unit and cast a flattering glow across the dining area. It can also make the unit the centrepiece of a room and accentuate interesting materials or finishes used, such as wood or brickwork.
We advise on specifying warmer lights to accentuate materials such as wood, blending a cooler light in spaces with white interiors. Our range is available in very cool white colour temperatures to very warm whites, allowing you to create your desired effect according to your individual project requirement.
- External Lighting
Linear lighting should not just be limited to inside your property. Externally lit spaces can create a welcoming mood on a dark night and add a fourth dimension to the architectural design of the property.
Externally, there is less need for direct light; we would therefore recommend lower levels of light that create an atmospheric glow and if you have steps or a pathway, strips of light can be cleverly designed to make them look as though they are floating, bringing an element of beauty and mystery to the area.
Most internal installations do not need any protection and IP20 is suitable, which means there is no coating over the chips. However, waterproofing is required for internal applications such as bathrooms, wet rooms and showers, or in any circumstance whereby the LED will be wiped down.One of the most fundamental elements of specifying external linear lights is ensuring that they are at least IP65 rated for protection against substances, such as water ingress and dust. These types of LEDs are coated in either Pyraline, Silicone & Polyurethane.
When it comes to specifying external strip for a project, it’s imperative to also consider the environment in which it will be installed, as most coatings that manufacturers supply are not UV stable. This means they will degrade within months of installing and the LED will be left with no protection.
We use coatings such as Resin or PVC for exterior projects, as these are UV stable and offer greater reliability.
They are manufactured to a high specification and can be coupled with our superconductive 10mm wide copper heat sinks, which means they are now one of the most reliable and colour consistent products on the market.
- Power Output
Whether you decide to use a 12V system or a 24V system in conjunction with LED flexible strip or Neon strip, this will not affect the light output (Lumens), wattage, or its dimming capability. If your project requires a lot of light then most high powered rigid LED boards run at 24V and above, which generally comes as a complete luminaire.
It all comes down to the individual project requirements. 12V systems offer a more cost effective solution for shorter lines of strip, but can be restrictive in terms of the limited distance between the driver and the strip itself (a power feed is required for every 5m length). 24V systems on the other hand are more effective for specifying longer, continuous runs from 1 power feed and the driver can be situated up to 40 metres away.
Ecoled’s Linear Range
Our Decostrip range comprises architectural-grade, flexible LED strip lights which are available in very warm white to cool white colour temperatures enabling users to create their desired effect.
The range is often used in conjunction with our Deco-Line products, which are designed to seamlessly integrate with their surroundings and come with protection, light diffusion and anti-glare options.
For ultimate flexibility, Ecoled can create bespoke and intricate shapes, which can be cut to size to fit any given project - whether that be through our easy-to-use, online light builder tool and technology hub or by speaking with one of our expert craftsmen – it is lighting with no limitations.
Click here to view the range.