How To Design Lighting In A Room Without Windows



Rooms without much natural light don’t have to be dull. Indeed, the absence of windows can mean that a more dynamic lighting design is made. If you are forced to do away with natural light, then it can lead to pleasingly strident results.

For many cellars and basements, there is little or no available natural light. Likewise corridors can suffer from a dearth of sunshine. If you have a room that needs brightening, then there are plenty of artificial light fittings that will do the job. The key to a good lighting design, however, is how you put the lights sources together in a coherent way.

Try to avoid lighting that will make one area of the room very bright, for instance. Even if another part of the room is adequately lit, it will seem dark by contrast with a more intensely lit area. The eye can be fooled by lighting that seems to lack uniformity. And don’t write off a space that has no windows and can therefore offer no pleasing vista. It is perfectly possible to design a windowless room so that it does not feel claustrophobic.

Use Natural Light From Other Sources.

Firstly, make use of any natural light you do have available. In a truly windowless room you still may be able to get sunlight into it from a light tube that refracts light into a room. Alternatively, a skylight may be an option.

If you have a basement, where neither of the two solutions present themselves, consider the stairwell as a potential means of getting light in. To begin, remove any wall that blocks light alongside the stairs. If you need to have one for safety, replace it with a transparent material like polycarbonate or glazing. Paint the walls and stairs white so that any natural light that hits them, from above, is reflected into the room below.

Light Colored Walls.

A good approach to take with a room that has no outlook is to keep the walls light colored. This does not mean that every surface has to be whitewashed. However, it is a good idea to paint your basement ceiling white. Off whites and light browns will work well in a cellar or a corridor and prevent the space from becoming oppressive.

Internal Glazing.

Windowless rooms can feel like you cannot escape them. This does not mean that everyone who occupies the room will feel a sense of claustrophobia, but it can affect some people more than others. To mitigate for these sorts of feelings use internal glazing as much as possible where the space needs to be divided up. Try not to install a wall if you can avoid it, but if you do add an internal window. Open plan spaces tend to cause less anxiety in the absence of windows.

Spot Lighting.

Spotlights are a great way of brightening a room without windows. In a wine cellar or a games room, use angle poise spots that you can use to direct on to the area you are interested in.

For rooms that you want to hang out in, such as dens, go for ceiling recessed spotlights that are placed at regular intervals. Evenly distributed spot lights create regular pools of luminescence that should overlap one another a little. This ensures that there are no perceived dark zones and feels more like natural daylight. Spots are great in alcoves and walls recesses to add some character to features, too.

False Windows.

If you think that a windowless room is just not for you, then create a false one aspect. By making a false wall, with an LED wash behind it, you can fool the eye into thinking there is natural light coming in. The look works wells with colored and tinted glazing, making it ideal for dens and basements with bar areas.

Picture sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12.


Published by in How To, Tips, and Advice, on April 26th, 2013

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