Cove lighting offers a variety of effects when implemented well
As lighting designers, we understand the transformative power of light and its ability to create ambiance and enhance the aesthetic appeal of any space. Cove lighting is a popular technique that can elevate the visual impact of a room by providing indirect illumination from concealed sources. It not only adds a touch of distinction and sophistication, but also offers a variety of lighting effects to suit different moods and purposes.
The construction of the cove itself plays a vital role in achieving the desired lighting effect. It is our responsibility as lighting designers to provide input to the architect on the construction of the cove. When cove lighting is done incorrectly, it is noticed as soon as you walk into the space. I have illuminated countless coves and the designs vary with the different ceiling types. Dome ceilings, barrel vault ceilings, and pitched ceilings all require a different design approach than flat ceilings. The design considerations of the cove include location, depth, and width. You can’t begin designing the cove until you know what you want the light to do—glow, wash, project, etc.—and have selected the luminaire that will achieve the desired result.
One often overlooked aspect that significantly influences the appearance of cove lighting is the choice of wall and ceiling paint finishes. For most cove lighting applications, a matte paint finish works best. The number one rule for cove lighting is to conceal the light source. Too often, finishes are selected that are too reflective, resulting in source reflection above the cove and on the ceiling. Matte finishes can help provide a softer and more subtle glow or even wash the ceiling depending on the design concept. I have had occasions throughout my career where the interior designer’s finish selection was not “cove friendly”. In these instances, greater attention is given to the construction of the cove to conceal the source. Selecting cove luminaires that offer accessories to shield the light source is also a good idea.
Fixture selection is a critical factor in achieving optimal cove lighting. LED light sources offer tremendous versatility in size, lumen output, and color making them ideal for most applications. The question becomes: which fixture is the best choice from the hundreds of manufacturers that offer cove lighting products? This is where having an experienced lighting designer is crucial. As part of a collaborating design team, the lighting designer will make the correct fixture selection for the desired lighting effect.
Finally, lighting controls are essential for fine-tuning the cove lighting system. The proper control system will allow for adjusting light intensity, creating different moods, and highlighting architectural features. Advanced control systems, such as programmable scenes and color-changing capabilities, provide even greater flexibility and customization options.
In conclusion, properly designed cove lighting can transform spaces and add a touch of elegance. By carefully considering factors such as wall and ceiling paint finish, LED fixture selection for desired lighting effect, cove construction, and lighting controls, lighting designers can achieve stunning and impactful results.
About DHS Lighting Design: We are an architectural lighting design firm with over 25 years in the commercial and high-end residential space. We use the transformative power of light to influence the function, mood, and productivity of interior and exterior spaces. Our clients are developers, architects, interior designers, and owners. Please contact us at 615.596.3001 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyright © 2019 DHS Lighting Design - All Rights Reserved.