How to Deal With Concrete Ceilings
Our expert Randall Whitehead, IALD, explains what to do when you’ve got a surface you can’t break through.
We have moved into a fantastic high-rise condominium, but we have a problem: The ceilings are concrete and we just have one junction box in the main room. How do we do anything beyond track?
First of all, congratulations for being able to buy a home in these difficult times. I am currently subletting my kitchen to a family of four. You have a problem that many condo owners face. How can you create effective lighting when there is an impenetrable surface? The answer is to create a surface that is penetrable. This involves lowering the ceiling enough to allow for recessed fixtures. More than likely, it has already been done in the kitchen and bath to get fans, HVAC and some recessed fixtures into these areas. One of my favorite techniques is to just drop sections of ceiling with panels that appear to float away from the ceiling. Suspend these panels just far enough from the ceiling to allow for recessed remodel cans (around 6 inches). For an added layer of illumination, install a perimeter run of indirect light to bounce off the actual ceiling. The illusion is that the ceiling appears to be higher, not lower. The cost is much less than it would be to lower the whole ceiling. A variation on this approach is to create a series of box beams (hollow beams that are open at the top) or coffers and run them from wall to wall. These not only provide a wire-way, but also a location for recessed adjustable fixtures and pendant fixtures. In addition, these beams can float slightly away from the ceiling to provide some ambient light. This is especially good for rooms where there is no electricity in the ceiling, but the power can be run through the walls. In addition to these ceiling details, I would suggest adding wall sconces or torchieres for additional ambient illumination, plus table lamps and reading lights to create little islands of illumination.
Randall Whitehead, IALD
Lastest from ask randall
The best lighting for illuminating your face at a mirror is side lighting, also referred to as cross illumination. This would be a pair of fixtures... read full story
Even though I'm all about energy-efficient lighting and have replaced 98 percent of my incandescent light with alternative light sources, the one... read full story
Natural light is definitely ideal for applying makeup when you're being seen during the day. So when you are getting ready for work it's better get... read full story
Sponsored by Access Lighting, Engineered Lighting Products, Langlais Group Inc., LTF and Pure Lighting/Edge Lighting. Complimentary live webinar will take place at 2 p... read full story
Sponsored by Access Lighting, Engineered Lighting Products, Ferguson, GM Lighting and Maxim Lighting/ET2. This webinar has already taken place, but you can view an... read full story
Sponsored by Access Lighting, AFX Inc., Engineered Lighting Products, Langlais Group and Pure Lighting/Edge Lighting. This live webinar has already taken place, but... read full story