A Niche for Niche Lighting
Lovely. Elegant. Comely. Beauteous. Pretty. Pleasant. Pulchritudinous. Nice.
Those are some of the words you are bound to hear after you add a flattering layer of light to your room with inconspicuous niche lights. But before you spend time and money on lighting wall niches, you may have a few questions...
1. What The Heck Is Niche Lighting?
Niche light fixtures, aka alcove lights, have a very specific "niche" in lighting design. It's part accent lighting, part display lighting, part task lighting, and all about making the most of your space.
In case you are wondering, niches are those recessed architectural areas in walls that are often topped with partial domes, or feature built-in shelving.
If you only know one thing about lighting wall niches and alcoves, make it this: niche lights are low profile. When you opt for slim or flush mount lighting, you will highlight the contents without distracting from them.
2. Why Should I Light My Niches?
Way back in medieval times, people used them as a main source of light. The niche was first and foremost a spot to stash a candelabra for safe navigation around the castle.
Today, niches and alcoves certainly are not the main source of ambient light in our rooms, but they are still an important feature in our homes and buildings. They are where we showcase our favorite artwork, books, and mementos. TVs, DVD players, and game systems have even crept into the cubbyholes of our dens and living rooms.
Though niches do occupy prominent wall space, they also tend to be shadowy and can actually obscure your displays if not properly lit. Good alcove lighting will accent your favorite things AND help you keep them clean and organized. It will also add another layer of light to make your entire space feel more inviting.
The right niche and alcove lights can complement almost any sense of style, from ultra modern to positively medieval.
3. How Do I Choose The Right Niche Light?
You really have two main options - linear lighting or recessed lighting. Determining which one to pick depends on how you use your niches.
For smaller ones, used to feature individual objects like vases or sculptures, mini recessed lights and puck lights provide perfect pops of illumination.
Larger niches and alcoves featuring multiple items would benefit more from the light-washing properties of linear fixtures. LED strip lights provide nice, even illumination.
If you have built-in shelving, you might benefit from linear lights as well, or from battery powered lights when hardwiring is not an option.