We all know that lighting is one of the most crucial elements of any room. It can dramatically enhance the look of a room, and we all know how bad lighting can also detract from a space. Good lighting enhances the functionality of a room, which is vital for essential tasks, and creates the right mood for a space. But without a false ceiling, many struggle to work out how to light their home. Today we will look at surface-mounted LED lighting for homes without false ceilings and some eye-catching ways to brighten and illuminate your home.
What are Surface Mounted LED Lights?
Surface-mounted lights have been popular for decades, and the addition of LED bulbs has made them a staple of modern construction. These fixtures are extremely flexible, as they can be installed in almost any space without dramatically altering the ceiling. They are also available in an incredible range of shapes and sizes. So how are surface-mounted lights designed?
We begin with the fixture, which is the shell that holds the light. It is typically aluminium, brass, or steel. This is the portion that will be visible and affect the aesthetic look of your space. LED surface-mounted lights also feature heat sinks because even though they are lauded for being cool to the touch, they still produce heat that needs to be dissipated. These heat sinks are made from copper or aluminium, providing a path for heat to travel from the light source to outside elements.
The next part is the optics, which are similar to recessed lighting. Optics modify the light that is emitted and can allow the beam to be adjusted or soften the glare. Dimmers can be paired with surface-mounted products to allow you better control of the lighting in a space and help ensure lower energy use throughout the day.
Surface-mounted lights also often come with an IP rating. An IP rating is a double-digit number indicating a lighting fixture’s protection level. The first number indicates the protection from solid objects and dust, and the second number shows the protection level from moisture.
Finally, surface-mounted LED lights can have sensors that help optimise the lighting in your space as well as help reduce energy consumption. Daylight sensors, for example, reduce the maximum lamp output according to the available amount of natural light in a space. You can also have occupancy sensors that ensure lights are turned off after you leave a room and after a specified delay.
How Do They Work Without a False Ceiling?
The brilliance of surface-mounted LED lights is that they can be mounted on a flat surface, protruding away from the surface. It is the easiest and low-cost way to mount lighting fixtures in a space. The difference between recessed and surface-mounted lighting is that they don’t require an opening to mount. They are exposed directly to the room. This allows them to be fixed to a variety of surfaces, including walls, verandas, and even unusual garden fixtures. It is also why surface mounting is so popular in industrial spaces. It is ideal for mounting lighting fixtures on those little areas between the structural ceilings, ensuring they are integrated into the whole ceiling in spaces where recessed mounting is almost impossible to do.
Finally, they are also popular during remodelling and renovations because you don’t need to open up the ceiling to install them.
What are the Types of Surface Mounted LEDs?
As we said above, an incredible range of surface-mounted LED light fixtures is available, allowing you to customise your space easily. The following lights all have the same mounting technique and are included under the umbrella term of surface-mounted lighting.
Pendant Mounted LEDs
A pendant light is a lighting fixture that is suspended from the ceiling by a cord, rod, or chain. They are far less bulky and often much more affordable than other types of lighting, making them a popular choice, especially in kitchens.
Ceiling Mounted Lighting
These lights are categorised as flush-mounted or semi-flush mounts. A flush-mounted light essentially means there’s no gap between the ceiling and the fixture. A semi-flush light is similar, but there is a small gap between the ceiling and the fixture. This makes semi-flush lights similar to pendant lights, but they don’t hang as low. Both of these ceiling-mounted LED lights are great for ambient light and are fantastic for low ceilings as they don’t take up much space.
Wall Mounted Lighting
Also known as a sconce, wall-mounted lighting is affixed to a wall. It can be used to cast light upward and downward and diffuse lighting. They are most commonly used for exterior illumination.
Many LED surface-mounted lights come with amazing lighting distribution options. This allows you to really control and customise how the light in your home is distributed. These options include:
The beam angle allows you to control the direction of the lighting. This is ideal, especially in task spaces, as you can provide more direct lighting in a space. But it also allows you to diffuse the lighting in other spaces, like lounges and bedrooms, where you want a softer light. Essentially, a narrow beam angle allows you to create more direct lighting in a space, while a wider beam allows for a greater spread of light.
Reflectors and Louvers
These additions to surface-mounted LEDs allow you to further direct your lighting as well as soften the lighting. The reflectors can cast light up or down, further customising your beam angle and lighting. Louvers also work with beam angles, as they soften the lighting to create a more ambient lighting feel in a space.
When it comes to material, almost 80% of surface-mounted LED lights use aluminium. This is because they are light, durable and, best of all, paintable. This makes them perfect in modern construction, where they can be easily and quickly customised to suit a space. In higher-end spaces, you will often see stainless steel and brass.
Finally, no matter the type of surface-mounted lighting you choose, the most common finishes are: painted, metal-plated, and powder-coated.
How to Create Creative Lighting to Enhance Your LEDs and Home
Surface-mounted lights are ideal in most spaces, but they can be enhanced with the right lighting scheme in a home. Below are our suggestions to best optimise the lighting throughout your home!
1: Create Layers of Lighting
Relying on just one type of lighting in a space can be difficult, especially in open-plan and large spaces. Ideally, you should never have all your lighting coming from one source. This is why interior designers recommend layers of lighting. By having a wide variety of lighting in a space, you can easily turn different fixtures on or off to suit the natural lighting and how you are using the space. Consider your surface-mounted lighting, lighting to illuminate art and design elements, lights to create specific moods, and lights that can be used to provide light for specific activities.
2: Balance Your Lighting
You should always create a sense of balance in each room, not only with your furnishings and décor, but also with your lighting. There should be no space that is too dark or too bright. This is why we recommend creating layers of lighting; you can use lamps on the side of the furniture to ensure everyone experiences the same amount of lighting. It also means, for example, when watching TV, you have soft, ambient lighting, but when passing through the lounge room, you can turn on brighter, surface-mounted ceiling lights to navigate safely. Balancing your lighting also creates symmetry and balance in a space.
3: Dimmer Switches
Want to create the perfect mood in a space? Dimmer switches are ideal as a quick and easy way to customise the lighting in a space. And most LED surface-mounted lights either come with dimmers or are capable of having dimmers installed. This means you can create a soft, warm space in lounge rooms or bedrooms or create that perfect, romantic mood lighting in a dining room. And you can brighten the space so it is clear and vibrant if you are working late or having a family gathering. And you can even get light regulators that allow you to change the colour and warmth/coolness of the light to suit the space.
4: Create the Perfect Glow
LED strip lights are an amazing invention that allows you to truly customise a space and make your home feel more modern and expensive. LED strip lights can be used to create a hidden glow almost anywhere in your home. The most popular spaces are around the edge of ceilings or floors, the rim of windows, inside wardrobes, and around the bottom of cabinets.
However, in recent years, creators are finding more creative ways to use LED strip lights. They are adding them around computer desks for décor and to create an ambience when working or streaming. Others use them to illuminate their bookshelves, using a wide range of colours to best illuminate their books. Strip lights are a fantastic way to add a little of your personality to a space.
5: Illuminate Stairs
Stairs can be one of the most difficult parts of the home to illuminate and keep safe. Overhead lights can be too bright at night, meaning too many people neglect to turn on their lights. Which can lead to accidents. This is why we recommend either LED strip lighting or small LED lamps specifically designed to be fitted to the tread. These cast a beautiful glow that not only creates an amazing aesthetic look but is also incredibly functional.
Looking for surface-mounted LED lighting for your home? Or are you looking for lighting to layer throughout your home? Martec carries a wide range of LED lighting options to suit your home and your needs. Explore the range today, or contact us for more advice!