Best joinery lighting ideas

The most important thing you need to consider for joinery lighting is the details. When you install lights to a joinery and if you haven’t considered below items, then you might not be achieving the best effect you expecting.

Joinery lighting guide

First you need to decide what need to be highlight on your joinery. Either the items you going to display in joinery or your joinery itself as a architectural feature or both. If you need to highlight both, you need to consider different layers of lights . It can be with led strips only or with led strip and spot lights or led strips + downlight on the ceiling.

Once you finalize design for your joinery, then you want to illuminate it perfectly. You might have already gone through some reference images in internet to get inspire with lighting design ideas. But most of the cases when you choose location to install lights as per ref images, it might not look good as the ref images after installation. This happens when you are not giving more attention to the details. Please continue reading If you want to know what required to consider to avoid similar mistakes for your joinery lighting.

John Cullen Lighting is one of the top company’s in the world for luxury residential lighting and for joinery lighting. Some of amazing joinery inspiration images from John Cullen lighting are added for you reference below at the end of this post.

Below I have added few questions. You should have the answers for it before starting/choosing lighting ideas.

– what is the color of your joinery ? Is it dark or light color ?

– what is the material/finish for your joinery ? Is it Matt or glossy finish ?

– How you going to control lights in joinery ? Is it on/off on local switch or can it be dimmed ?

Choose brighter lights for dark finish and less bright lights for white or light color joinery. It’s also important to choose correct color temperature for the lights using. If your joinery is dark color then you need to choose more warm white color lights ( 3000k to 3500k color temp- CCT) and joinery is white or light color- then better to use warm color lights (2500k to 3000k CCT)

Matt finish is the suitable material for joinery. If it’s glossy finished joinery, there are chances to get reflection of lights from the surface which will cause glare. You need to make sure there won’t be any glare from lights on the joinery. I have shared some joinery details below to avoid glare.

Choose 5watts per meter strip lights or 1 watts spotlights when your lights are control with non dim – normal switch. If you have dimming controls for your joinery, use 9watts/m for strips and higher watts for spot lights. I suggest to use dimming for all of your joinery’s. This will give you the flexibility to set precise brightness and mood.

And don’t forget, there’s no rule that says you can’t combine both techniques in one space. How you use the shelves and what you want to display should dictate how you light them.

Types of most common aluminum profiles for LED lights used in joinery

Joinery Lighting Details - The Lighting Blog
LED strip light with diffuser + Aluminum profile option with dimensions

Joinery lighting option 1

Joinery Lighting Details - The Lighting Blog
Joinery backlighting option with Backlight
Joinery Lighting Details - The Lighting Blog
Joinery lighting
Joinery Lighting Details - The Lighting Blog
Joinery lighting
Joinery Lighting Details - The Lighting Blog

Option 1 – Back lighting

This option is my personal favorite and effective way to light joinery. We need to make sure the surface at wall should be matt finish to get this option effective. Led profile here is recessed inside floating shelf supported from sides.

In this option display items on the joinery are not highlighted. If you want to highlight, then need to add adjustable downlights in front of joinery or mini spotlights within the shelfs.

Joinery lighting option 2

Joinery Lighting Details - The Lighting Blog
Joinery backlighting option up and down with strips
Joinery Lighting Details - The Lighting Blog
Joinery Lighting Details - The Lighting Blog

Option 2 – Back lighting

In this option 2 line of strips used to get the effect of up and down light washing at the backside of joinery. This will also have similar effect to the option 1 above but this detail will give more wash of light to joinery wall. Make sure led profile not touching joinery wall. 5mm to 10mm offset gap from wall will help to get smooth gradient for light wash and also helps to reduce harsh light wash at the area closer to luminaire.

In this option display items on the joinery are not highlighted. If you want to highlight, then need to add adjustable downlights in front of joinery or mini spotlights within the shelfs.

Joinery lighting option 3

Joinery Lighting Details - The Lighting Blog
TLB special joinery detail -Split lighting

Option 3 – TLB Split lighting

This detail is designed by me (Owner of ‘The Lighting blog’ and lighting designer by profession). 1 single line of strip light from front can highlight both top and bottom part of shelf. This also have added advantage to highlight display items and the joinery itself. As shown in the details, the thickness of shelf at back are smaller than the front part where lights are installed which can help to avoid shadows at the back wall of joinery.

Option 4 – Front lighting – Down

Joinery Lighting Details - The Lighting Blog

Joinery lighting option 4

Joinery Lighting Details - The Lighting Blog
Joinery lighting
Joinery Lighting Details - The Lighting Blog
Joinery lighting
Joinery Lighting Details - The Lighting Blog
Joinery lighting

This is a standard option for joinery lighting. But it’s very easy and cheap to built. Only disadvantage will be the joinery looks bulky from the front as it have a 40mm thick at front. This lighting is suitable for library or similar usage.

Option 5 – Front lighting up

Joinery Lighting Details - The Lighting Blog

Joinery lighting option 5

This is a standard option for joinery lighting similar to option 4 – but light washing upward. Advantage for this option is it’s very easy and cheap to built. Disadvantage is the joinery looks bulky from the front as it have a 40mm thick at front.

Option 6 – Front lighting down without shadows

Joinery Lighting Details - The Lighting Blog

This is a standard option for joinery lighting similar to option 4 – but light washing downward. Advantage for this option is that, it wont create any shadows and it’s very easy and cheap to built.

Some of the common mistakes that usually seen when installing joinery lights are shown below.

Joinery Lighting Details - The Lighting Blog

You can see light dots visible slightly on the joinery. This happens because LED strips are installed without diffuser & profile. Ideally we need a uniform diffused lighting for joinery, so always try to use lighting with diffuser & profile. To avoid harsh spot at the sides of the joinery – trim down approx 20mm to 35mm from either end of the light if its close to any wall. We can avoid the shadows and the harsh light visible at the sides of joinery in an angle by using the detail from TLB split lighting details Option 3 from above.

Joinery Lighting Details - The Lighting Blog

If you want to avoid harsh angled light with shadows visible at the back and sides of above joinery, Use joinery lighting detail Option 6 from above.

Joinery Lighting Details - The Lighting Blog

To avoid harsh spot at the sides of the joinery – trim down approx. 20mm to 35mm from either end of the light if its close to any wall. Also try to add different layers of lights to create more drama to joinery.

Some Good Joinery lighting reference images from John Cullen Lighting
Joinery Lighting Details - The Lighting Blog
Joinery Lighting Details - The Lighting Blog
Joinery Lighting Details - The Lighting Blog
Joinery Lighting Details - The Lighting Blog
Joinery Lighting Details - The Lighting Blog
Joinery Lighting Details - The Lighting Blog

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5 thoughts on “Best joinery lighting ideas

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  1. So many new things I have learned reading this post about energy efficiency and energy-saving. Amazing post. Glad I found it. Thank you so much.

    Like

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