We’re lucky to have worked on many barn lighting projects all over the UK. Whether these are glorious old structures or more contemporary steel frame conversions they can really benefit from a sympathetic, bespoke lighting design.
We apply the same design principles that we would for other houses but there are often additional challenges in the form of immense vaulted ceilings or conversely, incredibly low ceilings in places. Older barns may also be listed which brings another set of design considerations and constraints.
Planning your lighting early is even more important
Barns can be tricky spaces to light. The structures themselves can be quite unforgiving in terms of cable routing and concealing control gear. Listed building restrictions may require innovative lighting solutions and buy-in from the wider project team. All this means it’s more important to plan early, test ideas and solutions and minimise change through the project.
Use fittings capable of dealing with the demands of the spaces
The huge vaulted ceilings in some barns challenge preconceptions about what is needed in a “domestic” light fitting. Appropriate light output, glare control, discretion, clever fixing methods, colour, colour rendering and dimming are always important, but particularly so in unusual and complex spaces.
Be creative with fixing locations
Early planning enables a cohesive approach, incorporating – as appropriate – the floor, walls, joinery etc. This requires meticulous attention to detail and creative use of a broad range of innovative light fittings, but the results can be spectacular.
Ground recessed uplights throw light upwards and the improved output of LED means that the floor is a great way to light features in barns. Conversely there are locations that are really difficult to light but call out to be lit. We’ve developed custom mounting options to allow us to use small, barely noticeable fittings to deliver just the right accent light to particular features.
Lighting control is hugely useful in large inter-connected spaces
A lighting control system massively simplifies using interesting lighting across large, multi-functional, multi-zone spaces. Simple lighting keypads control all the lights across the barn, lighting each zone as needed and making lighting scenes easy to call up. Unlike conventional switching, lighting control means you have the same level of control and dimming from any keypad location.
Lighting control systems can also control electric blinds & curtain tracks
Barn conversions frequently feature large windows, which can be challenging for manual control of blinds or curtains. Lutron’s electric blinds and curtain tracks are a joy to use, and can be pre-programmed to open/close at particular times of day, or to simulate occupancy.
Related barn lighting posts
18 Oct 2018
Warm and cosy barn lighting – a new photo case study
We’ve been working on this lovely barn conversion since early 2016. Our clients had found us on Houzz and approached us to design a lighting scheme for the barn. 18 months on and this is our latest finished project to be photographed. Warm and cosy barn lighting;…
27 May 2015
Barn lighting – a case study
We’ve recently photographed a gorgeous 15th Century barn with an adjoining new build. We’ve published a photographic case study here but it’s worth going into a bit more detail about some of the challenges and solutions. Barns can be tricky spaces to light and this project threw up a number of…
28 Aug 2013
Lighting an ancient barn: part I – testing the dining room concept
We have recently been commissioned to light a huge, ancient barn in Hampshire. One of the more unusual features of the renovation is the treatment of the dining area. Our clients are putting in a 5m “sail” over the dining table to bring some intimacy to the vast…
24 May 2014
Lighting an ancient barn: part II – a closer look at the roof
Our barn lighting project in Hampshire is moving forward and we’ve been able to take advantage of the work that’s being done on the roof. One of the obvious challenges with lighting these spectacular old barns is the height. Ceiling heights of 6m+ are not uncommon and so the chance…
06 Mar 2015
Lighting an ancient barn: part III – final tweaks and photography
It’s always a big buzz for us to do a photo shoot on a finished project. It means the lighting has been installed and fine tuned, the lighting control system has been commissioned and our clients are looking forward to some peace and quiet again after their house-build or renovation. Yesterday…