When browsing for new commercial lighting, you may stumble across expressions like Architectural lighting and Up and downlights, and you may ask yourself;
What is uplight and downlight?
These two terms are quite simple in their application. Both terms explain the direction that the majority of the light spread is cast. For instance, uplight is light cast from a fixture that goes up to the ceiling, and downlight is light that spreads downward to the floor. The fixture type will determine whether it creates more of one or the other or an equal amount of both. An example of a fixture that only gives downlight is the RTS linear light series and the Custom linear light series. An example of primarily uplight fixtures can be found in wall sconces where the fixture's bottom is enclosed to avoid letting light escape. Of course, many fixtures, such as certain wall sconces and most recessed troffer units, will give a little bit of both directional light flows. But great examples of up and downlight fixtures are the XTR linear light series and the Quattro linear light series.
Why does it matter?
The matter of downlight and uplight does matter in any space. It should also be noted that each type is better for different reasons. For instance, downlight is ideal for task lighting such as over a workspace, desk, or in the kitchen. Downlight is also great for lighting intended for safety and security purposes such as exterior lighting for doors and walkways. In contrast, uplight is ideal for accent lighting such as wall sconces in hallways or bathrooms, as well as to highlight specific areas of interest in the space. In regards to an architectural up and down pendant light such as the XTR linear light series, it not only highlights a beautiful ceiling, it opens up the space.
A great way to use these two lighting aspects to your advantage is to create layered light. At Centerlight, we believe that every room should have a mix of both uplight and downlight to create a balanced effect throughout the space. Even commercial areas and rooms should have accent lighting (uplight or a mix of both), task lighting (downlight), and general lighting (usually downlight or a mix of both) to create a layered effect. This is because it makes the lighting easier on the eyes and creates a welcoming ambiance and a pleasing appearance.
When understanding the meaning behind uplight and downlight, as well as when and how to use them, it is actually a simple concept.
We hope that this helped inform your decision and help you create a beautiful, well-it area with ease and confidence!