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11 Alcove Lighting Ideas

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Alcoves and niches play a large part in home design, particularly in bathrooms and kitchens.  They create interest by breaking up otherwise boring, straight walls and quite often add useful, extra shelf space.  You will often find them in period houses, where the chimney breast creates natural alcoves to either side. 


Naturally these areas will be shadier but with the correct lighting, alcoves can really come alive and even become the focal point of a room.  If you have beautiful objects, a well lit niche can give your home curated feel – just like a top class hotel or gallery.  To perfect a curated and artistic look, here are 11 alcove lighting ideas.

What Is An Alcove Light?

Let’s get back to basics – what is an alcove light?  Essentially it is any light that serves to feature your alcove and can be in the form of spotlights as downlighters and uplighters, striplighting, picture lighting and wall lights.  There can be opportunities to play with colour too.  Let’s take a look at some examples.

1. Downlighters

Shining pools of light downwards, these lights are a sleek and unobtrusive way to light up your alcove.  If you have shelves they can illuminate any decorative objects you want to show off.  You can buy them in a variety of finishes and colours.  An easy way to achieve this look is to use battery operated versions.

2. Uplighters

These spotlights give a dramatic, foot light effect in your alcove and can look great if you have a go at experimenting with different colours.  Use the same products as for downlighters but fit the other way up.

3. LED Striplighting

LED striplighting creates a perfect glow to your alcove.  You will need a lip to conceal it – usually at the front edge.  It can also work very well if you have a cupboard in your alcove, by lighting up the cavity above.  To enjoy a warm and cosy ambience, go for a warm light LED.

4. Shelving With Lights

Alcoves are a really good place to put up shelves whether for books or to display photographs.  By purchasing shelves with built in lights you already have a solution for how to light the alcove.

5. Wall Lights

Think about painting your alcove a striking colour and then adding a stylish wall light to create instant drama to your home.  Art deco style lights are perfect for this and bang on trend.

6. Picture Lights

An alcove is a perfect spot to show off a beautiful painting or striking artwork.  By using a picture light you can create your own mini-gallery.  There are lots of designs ranging from traditional to ultra modern, some incorporating smart technology.  Ensure you use the correct wattage to illuminate the whole picture for a perfect finish.

7. Candlelight

Want a touch of dramatic lighting in your home?  Using a wall sconce in an alcove creates wonderful, flickering shadows and a cosy, hygge atmosphere.  There are some incredible designs around from traditional to highly modern.  If using inside though beware of dripping wax.

8. Moroccan Lantern

Add a touch of the unusual, but exotic with a statement lantern.  They look wonderful at night especially if your alcove is painted a dark and moody shade redolent of the Medina.

9. Fake “Natural” Light

If you have an alcove in an area where there is no natural light how about faking it.  This clever back lit window can really cheer up the darkest of spaces

Bathroom Alcove Lighting

10. Illuminated Mirrors

If you have your bathroom basin  in an alcove, an illuminated mirror can be an excellent choice as it not only gives you great light to help with shaving or applying make-up, but creates a soothing ambience when taking a bath.

Niche Lighting

Niches are decorative spaces usually to enhance the design of a room.  They can be used anywhere but are particularly found in bathrooms where they are useful spaces to place toiletries, candles or plants.  Increasingly we see them in living rooms where they can be used to show off beautiful objects where, of course,  lighting can be used to great effect.

11. Smart Lighting

Why not make an impact using the latest in Smart lighting.  By using colour changing bulbs you can create changing atmospheres  by placing one in each niche.

If you are inspired by the above , it only takes a bit of imagination and know-how to change that dark gloomy space into a thing of beauty.

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