It seems, slender, linear luminaires are all the rage today. The tiny profile and baseline aesthetics allow them to slip, almost unannounced, into a design. Channel extrusions have allowed this grown in popularity. Filled with LED Tape, they can now be configured into custom lengths, specifically formatted to the space. They are taking their place over kitchen islands, dining room tables, bedrooms and great rooms. Because of their simplicity, customizability and ease of use, expect these lighting options to stay around for a while.
The simplicity of a 1” wide by 2” or 3” height can be intoxicating, but what if you want more? The fact that it is so easy to customize, might promote the idea of using these pieces in more interesting ways. Sure, a line of light, 36” above the island, a foot shorter than the island length will be stunning, but could something more creative be considered? When asking about a unique option, my answer is always, “Yes!”
Consider multiples. Think about varying lengths, plan altered hanging elevations. There are countless ways employ these pieces. Here are a few inspiration starters.
The idea of using two or three chandeliers over a dining room table is not new. Now apply that same logic and design sense to linear pieces. Perhaps they are positioned 45° or 60° to the surface of the table top. What about three lengths, forming a triangle over a rounded table? Four lengths can accentuate the perimeter of a table or island, one length on each side. Start with thinking about, “more than one.”
Each length can easily be different. A hacksaw and a blade that cleanly cuts aluminum will do the trick. Extrusion manufacturers sell end caps that can be assembled to whatever length you decide.
These extrusions are installed with the use of aircraft cable. This cable is easily adjusted, so hanging the piece at an angle is simple. One cable just needs to be shorter and an angle is created. Combine the angle hung akimbo to the ends of the table/countertop for a more exaggerated variant.
Aluminum extrusions are available in a wide variety of shapes. We might be inclined to stick with a single profile, assuming the simple look will allow the lighting to disappear into the background. That is certainly an option. Variation can, however work well. Think about a common width and three different extrusion height, or a common height with varying width. This also invites the inclusion of additional strips of LED Tape. Like everything else in design, when done with intent, the results can be exciting.
Different Lumen Levels
There are different extrusion sizes and each size can accommodate different quantities of LED Tape. Different amounts of light could be installed, delivering varying levels of illuminance. Perhaps the center light is brighter (has more strips of LED Tape) than those at its side. The supplemental light can serve as a more ambient illumination, thereby adding to the room’s aesthetic.
It’s Easy to Be Creative
Extrusions are just straight lines. If a straight line design can be imagined, it can be realized in light. When working with lighting, remember, they are simply another aspect of design. Treating them as such will open up a whole new palette of creativity.