The best time to consider potential glancing light issues is during your period home design phase, where we can consider ways to greatly reduce its impact.
Large windows are a popular feature of modern home designs in Melbourne and the preference for open plan living and working often results in ceilings and walls that extend through a number of different spaces. These features can lead to challenging lighting conditions for wall and ceilings surfaces.
When designing a project, our Melbourne home builder design team considers the effect of both natural and artificial light and how it will fall on the walls and ceilings throughout the day. In particular, we pay special attention to light entering the building in the mornings and evenings when the sun is lower in the sky and casts an elongated shadow that can highlight any surface variations in walls and ceilings.
Shading Your Windows
For windows that are positioned where glancing light can be an issue, the use of external shading or vertical louvres may help to mitigate any problems. Curtains or interior blinds are also helpful in this situation.
Window Placement and Orientation
Ideally, windows should not abut walls or ceilings and should be oriented away from the east and west. External reflective surfaces, such as pools or neighbouring buildings, that can reflect light into the space should also be considered as they can exacerbate the problem.
The choice and positioning of lighting plays an extremely important role in providing the optimal perception of evenness of the wall and ceiling surface. The worst results happen when an unshaded light source is located directly on a ceiling or wall where the light shines parallel to the surface. Cases where this situation may exist include:
- unshaded batten holder light fittings
- fluorescent lights mounted on the ceiling
- wall mounted up lights and downlights
The following lighting solutions will provide diffused light and reduce the appearance of surface variations:
- shaded batten holder light fittings
- ceiling mounted pendant lights
- recessed ceiling lights such as downlights and recessed fluorescents
- considering the use of more lights of lower intensity ensuring lit areas overlap, will improve ambiance and reduce the visible effects of glancing light
And, as a helpful hint, when installing ceiling mounted fluorescent lights our expert Melbourne home builders always recommend positioning the light fittings over the long edge joints.
We hope this guide has been helpful in understanding how glancing light can be minimised. Next week we’ll have a look at how plasterboard, painting and the levels of finish can assist in reducing the impact of glancing light.