Melbourne home builders today benefit from many innovations that have increased the speed of construction and allow almost unlimited design freedom for their clients. One of the major steps forward has been the use of lightweight framing and plasterboard wall and ceiling linings which give builders the freedom to construct more open plan spaces and larger windows, allowing more natural light to enter period homes and work spaces.
When using lightweight plasterboard wall and ceiling linings, your new home builder, plasterer and painter work hard to achieve the appearance of a flat surface; however some surface variation is inevitable due to:
- natural variations in the framing
- the hand-finished nature of a plasterboard wall or ceiling
- subtle differences between the textures of plasterboard and the jointing compounds
In most lighting conditions, a plasterboard surface finished to Australian standards will appear flat. However, in critical lighting conditions, an effect referred to as ‘glancing light’ will highlight any surface variations. To help our Romeo Homes clients understand this better in relation to their federation style homes, we’ve put together a couple of blog posts that explain glancing light in more detail. This is the first article in that series.
What is Glancing Light?
Glancing light is a condition which exists when light hits the plasterboard surface at an acute angle and casts shadows that highlight any surface irregularities.
On plasterboard walls and ceilings this can make the surface look uneven and highlight the appearance of joints. Glancing light is most noticeable when there are:
- floor to ceiling windows
- windows directly adjacent to walls
- unshaded batten holder ceiling lights
- ceiling mounted fluorescent lights
- wall lights and downlights close to walls
- windows at the end of long corridors
- brightly lit rooms
- lights installed just below skillion/ raked ceilings
- reflections of light from water features
While glancing light does not affect your building’s structural integrity, it can be an annoyance for some federation home owners as it shows up unavoidable imperfections. In next week’s blog, we’ll look at ways we use the design process, shade and lighting to minimise the impact of glancing light.