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Lighting Applications

general lighting

Grid lighting for general cover

task lighting

LED task lights

Path Lighting

Uplighting plants also
illuminates the walkways


Uplighting can create a backdrop

feature 1

Illuminate foliage for a sculptural effect


Choose fittings with lenses to
control the light as required



uplight buildings with narrow beam angles
to pick out features or wide angles
to wash surfaces

floor lighting

backlight natural materials like marble
for a subtle lighting effect

emergency light

Battery powered emergency light fitting

There are many different lighting types for example General, Task, Path, Garden, Feature, Theatrical, Building, Floor and Emergency lighting.

General Lighting
The name given to a grid of lights in the (usually) ceiling of the room. Designed to cover the whole area, the beam angle of the lights as well as the ceiling height are taken into account when determining the grid or spacing.

More commonly used in commercial applications where the space is lit with general cover so that no matter where furniture or equipment is placed there will be sufficient light. 

Grid style lighting means a space can be configured and reconfigured without the need to alter the fixtures.General lighting is also found in domestic houses in larger rooms like garages or lounges.  Where specific lighting is required ie over a kitchen bench, task lighting is used.

Task lighting
Lights placed for specific purposes, rather than spaced in a grid as for general lighting, these lights are each used for a specific purpose i.e. lighting art, providing light to a reading position, lighting a workbench or kitchen bench.

When task lighting for a use such as a reading light over a chair, ensure that the fixture can be relocated or refocused when the chair is moved.

Path lighting
The creation of sequence of lights from one place to another, usually from a garage, down the hall to the kitchen, and including dim lighting in the halls to other key rooms. This is most commonly triggered by the alarm being unset or a 'welcome home' button on the wall in the garage or by the front door.

Path lighting could also be used in an outdoor setting, triggered off beams to lead a guest around the grounds, different lights triggering in sequence to direct the viewers eye to various plantings, art or design features.

Garden lighting
The lighting of trees, plantings, pathways, art or sculpture or water features to hilight a particular aspect or feature.General lighting in the form of floodlights has given way to tree uplighting as a method of area lighting, with path mounted LED lights replacing the more traditional bollard light.

Pools can also be lit with side emitting fibre from under the coping (edge) of the surface adjoining the pool. Underwater pool lights which are difficult to maintain and replace have given way to fibreoptic emitter heads that have their light source some distance away - above the water line! For more information on lighting visit

Feature lighting
The lighting of a piece of art or design element. In a domestic environment this could be highlighting a sculpture at the end of a hallway, or washing a stone wall to hilight the texture of the rocks.

It is possible to highlight one feature from several different positions i.e. from above, below and the sides. Using a lighting control system, highlight the piece from different angles slowly over a period of time so that each time the viewer observes the feature, they are seeing a slightly different aspect of it.

In much the same way it is possible to light a simple textured piece of wall or concrete with RGB LED light fittings and slowly alter the colour over time so that the feature always appears different. For more information on how to control RGB LED lights via PWM and DMX visit

Theatrical lighting
The lighting of actors, props and set pieces to convey the mood and movements from the stage to the audience. The fittings used in theatrical lighting are very different to those used in domestic lighting, built for maximum lux output for the size, with excellent controllability in terms of beam angle and shuttering.

Theatrical 'luminaries' are also constructed with a system for providing pan and tilt control and are usually black to blend into the roof or lighting grid.

While the fittings themselves are rarely used in a domestic environment, the methods can be used with great effect in the home, for example choose a fitting with an adjustable lens to highlight a piece of art on the wall in a striking way.

Collingwood make an excellent range of compact and robust LED fittings specifically for hilighting art visit to see examples of this in action.

Building lighting
The lighting of the structure from the outside to turn the structure itself into a feature. For example, uplighting the walls and columns on the front of the house so that from the road the building stands out in the dark. Guests arriving at the property are not driving towards a floodlight shining in their eyes, rather towards an inviting entranceway setting.

When washing a building that has interesting details for example columns or tall or regular windows etc, open white is a good choice because the building itself provides the interest. When washing a large plain building or wall, consider the use of colour to convey meaning. For example a large plain wall near an entrance way may be uplit with LED wall washers, the colour of the wall may change thru the entire spectrum of the rainbow over a period of say 20 minutes.

It is important that when using colour on a building not to change the colour too fast, nor have too many uncomplimentary colours unless the designer is specifically looking to convey a 1970's 'disco' effect!

Floor lighting
The lighting of the floor elements with recessed or internal light. For example backlighitng a marble slab with light to make it glow, or the 'led tile light' system with integral LEDs to make the floor tiles change colour.

There is a range of floor tile lights available from that can be connected to a pc and display patterns if you are looking for a striking effect in a shop, showroom, museum, club or games room.

Emergency lighting
More common in commercial spaces, emergency lighting is a system of light that has it's own (usually distributed) power supply. In a large house you may consider such lights if there is an internal space with no natural light that could be a hazard if the power were to fail - for example in a basement during a fire.



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