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Wall washer lights: why indirect lighting has a direct effect on ambience

Eye-catching at eye level – enhancing the light output in a room. What distinguishes wall washer lights from many “standard” wall lights is the direction in which the light is emitted. You will never be blinded by the light from wall washer lights, as it is directed towards the wall.

In our guide, we reveal how this altered light direction comes about, why wall washer lights look good and how they can be combined with modern technology and your favourite design.

Are there wall washer lights with LEDs?

modern wal washer light

The bulb in a wall washer light is usually concealed within the bowl (in whatever shape). It is the size of this bowl that decides whether the light bulb is an E27 or E14, a small G9 bulb or an R7s tube bulb.

But how do we get the benefits of LED technology for our beloved wall washer light? Easy! Retrofitting means that you can simply buy an appropriate LED bulb for the socket of your wall washer light. You can hereby save power, enjoy zero maintenance and optimum light quality. Please note the dimensions of the new light bulb – it ought to fit into the bowl and not protrude.

If you are about to buy a new LED wall washer light, you can find either type:

  • Wall washer lights with socket, which can be fitted with an efficient LED bulb
  • Wall washer lights with built-in LEDs

LED technology is instantly recognisable from the extraordinarily thin design which has an almost futuristic, or at the least minimalist look. When purchasing these products, you might think, “a traditional light bulb will never fit in here!” You’d be right. Pure designs are really only possible with compact LED technology and are not feasible with a “bulky” traditional style light bulb.

What advantages do wall washer lights and uplighters share?

Why are people so keen on uplighters? There are presumably many reasons for this: they can be used anywhere thanks to the plug and their simple operability. Yet their advantage is their light, since uplighters do not direct a dazzlingly light into the middle of the room. Instead, the light is emitted towards the ceiling. If the ceiling is not pitch-black, but a light colour (ideally white), the light will then be reflected into the room. This light has a soft and cosy effect and does not cause objects to cast shadows.

Wall washer lights have the same features. The only difference is that their light is directed towards the wall, rather than the ceiling. It is reflected there, casting an indirect light into the room, just like the bowl at the top of an uplighter does.

wall washer light

For the best possible light distribution with wall washer lights, ensure that the wall or ceiling is as light in colour as possible – otherwise, much of the light output will be “swallowed up”. Keep in mind, one individual wall washer light is not sufficient for lighting up a whole room. Therefore, they are almost always supplemented by other wall lights and ceiling lights, etc.

What are the useful areas of application for wall washer lights indoors?

You walk into the hallway and a terracotta wall washer light instantly catches your eye with its warm light, taking you back to your last holiday to the Mediterranean Sea. Clearly, it is not a substitute for another holiday, but it might get you in the mood. Or you enter the living room and a wall washer light with an exotic look reminds you that your adventure novel is waiting for you to enjoy this evening. That said, you need to go into the kitchen first, where you might see a simple, contemporary wall washer light made of plaster – a current trend and an atmospheric light source for any meal.

Wall washer lights are used everywhere, provide just the right ambience and are a good source of lighting. Even though their light output is probably not sufficient to light up an entire room, they enhance general lighting – providing a wonderful mood.

plaster wall washer light

boho wall washer light

mediterranean wall washer light

Still have some questions? For instance about installation, various styles, compatible light bulbs or the latest trends? We are happy to help! Contact our specialist on +353 1 699 2138 or via the contact form.

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