The Importance of Vertical Lighting

When approaching a lighting design, whether it's for a residential or commercial space, it's crucial to consider the space as a whole. Here are some important aspects to keep in mind:

Light Direction

While many lighting designs focus on achieving the required levels of horizontal lighting, it's equally important to address vertical lighting. Horizontal lighting serves functional purposes, aiding in navigation and task completion, but vertical lighting adds emphasis and plays a crucial role in creating a visually pleasing and interesting illuminated environment.

Vertical lighting primarily enhances architectural features and dominant elements, contributing to the character of the visual environment.

Two techniques commonly used to achieve vertical illumination are "Wall Washing" and "Wall Grazing."

Wall Washing

Wall washing involves illuminating a wall from top to bottom in a smooth, graded wash of light. This technique effectively hides imperfections or blemishes on the wall by eliminating their shadows. It creates a bright and attention-drawing backdrop for people and furniture. Emphasizing the wall surface area also makes the room appear larger and more spacious.

Wall Grazing

Wall grazing is similar to wall washing in practice, but the lights are positioned closer to or on the wall surface. This results in a beam of light striking the wall at a narrower angle, which produces shadowing, revealing and accentuating the wall's texture. Careful selection of fixtures allows designers to fine-tune the angle of light to make the shadowing more or less pronounced. This technique turns the wall into a point of visual interest within the space.

In summary, considering both horizontal and vertical lighting, and utilizing techniques like wall washing and wall grazing, can significantly enhance the overall ambience and visual appeal of any space.