Most locations have their own unique lighting requirements. A cathedral, whether in a church, library, or college, provides a beautiful architectural value that anyone can appreciate for its overall beauty. Even though a cathedral is beautiful, it can be very difficult to properly light. Below we'll take a look at some suggestions for proper cathedral lighting to make the most of this location.
The most important factor that needs to be taken into consideration for successful cathedral lighting is to pay close attention to where the light is being cast. So, you want to look at where natural light falls through the windows throughout the day as well as where light would fall from artificial fixtures you are considering installing. The light fall needs to be able to highlight certain areas such as architectural areas to show of the beauty of the structure or walkways to help add visibility. So, the overall goal of overhead cathedral lighting should be to create ambiance rather than visibility. Cathedral lighting is intended to set the overall mood, or create a certain ambiance in the setting. A great way to achieve this is by experimenting with shadows. To create shadows, implement can be created with the mix of light to create a calming ambiance that is found in most cathedrals. Even though shadows can be created using natural light through the windows during the day, artificial lighting can also be installed in a way that creates these same pleasing shadows, without as much natural light for night time events or services. You can also create shadows with light fixtures without diffusers, while paying attention to where light falls.
Another factor that comes to proper cathedral lighting is using the right fixture type. Other ceilings are ideal for recessed or surface mount troffers, whereas a cathedral ceilings needs smaller light fixtures that are still capable of delivering proper illumination. There are a few options for this setting include spotlights, track lighting, and can lights, where applicable.
Cathedral typically feature have high ceilings, stained glass windows, or even artwork on the ceiling or adjacent walls. These elements will need to be considered when choosing what type of lighting fixtures would work best in this unique location. For example, certain light fixtures produce a lot of heat during operation, which can damage artwork, while also being highly inefficient. Since, cathedral ceilings are usually high, we recommend a light fixture that will last for a long time to eliminate the need of constant maintenance. The best solution is to opt for LED, since doesn't create heat loss and last up to four times longer than other lamps.