Simple Solutions for when Natural Light is in Short Supply
When areas of a commercial space have natural light in short supply, there are simple solutions to make it feel great.
Using lighting in layers, creating effects with mirrors and choosing the right colour scheme are all easy and cost effective techniques.
Why not try these?
LIGHTING – LAYER IT
Draw the eye in varying directions by using different “layers” of lighting.
Direct light upwards onto the ceiling or upper wall areas to give dimension and height to the space. It’s so easy to create a glow by recessing linear lighting around the perimeter of the room either at ceiling level or just below it. It produces a beautiful distribution of light which makes the space feel inviting and much larger. A warm white LED strip at around 2700K or 2800K will produce a halo of ‘sunlight ‘ around the room.
While still on ceilings, suspend panels of acrylic on hangers –coloured, patterned or even plain white to below ceiling level, then light above it. The effect not only glows light over the ceiling but passes it through the acrylic to produce a stunning colour, pattern or softness around the space.
Or add a larger, false dropped ceiling and conceal light above it to achieve much the same fantastic effect.
Turn your attention to the floor. Make use of LED spots, linear strips or uplights at floor or skirting level to send more light upwards.
Then don’t ignore backlighting a wall panel for impact. Use a panel of semi opaque acrylic or glass, light behind it from floor level and/or ceiling level for a stunning effect. Instantly, it will bring depth to the space. Feature the ‘back’ wall or a wall at the end of a corridor to do this. Company branding works well in this situation. All of a sudden, what was once a dead, dark space is now a big focus in the room.
Turn to underlighting to enhance things further. Underlighting is a way of placing a light source under cabinets, to highlight the edges of a space. When a room has no windows or real light source, then under-cabinet lights are not only functional for task lighting, but really help to lighten the edges of the room so that it appears bright and there are no dark spots.
MIRROR REFLECTIONS: BOUNCE THE LIGHT
Mirrors aren’t just for the home. They’re right at home in a commercial space! They’re great for capturing light and projecting it into corners which can be dark, and for creating illusions. Use them, oversized if possible, on walls to simulate the appeal of a window. A useful "trick" is to place a light source, for instance, a feature pendant light, in front of mirrors, to maximise the throw of light.
USE COLOUR WITH PUNCH:
You might think that the only option when natural light is in short supply, is to paint absolutely everything white.
There's nothing wrong with white, but at the very least, add some punch! Choose pops of a feature colour in blues, greens, teals and some reds inspired by nature.
What you're trying to do is to mimic the effects of natural sunlight.
This can also be done by using dark colours,
So refer to a colour palette from nature, echoing the moods of the outdoor environment. Forest colours, muddy darks, deep ocean colours give great effects.
Take a moment though, to test them out against the lighting to see how they'll go before setting out to paint.
Easy, simple solutions for creating a commercial space that's full of character and light, warmth and punch!