Light fixture selection and integration is a key feature in any space. But how is it accomplished? Can I put lights in any ceiling? How are they installed? Where should I hang the fixtures from? All these questions and more require thoughtful planning and coordination. It’s no secret that lighting can make or break a space.
There’s really no limit to what kind of fixture you can use with a wood ceiling. Everything from a simple 6” can-light to an 8’ linear LED fixture or even a large round pendant can be utilized within your design. There are multiple approaches to consider regarding installation and execution which we outline here. 9Wood will work with you to make sure you’re getting the most cost-effective solution to fit your design intent.
Field cutting is the most common installation approach and is a common practice for ceiling subcontractors. This is accomplished by cutting panels and/or tiles in the field to accommodate the light fixtures selected by the design team. Manufacturers generally prefer this method as it limits the amount of coordination required between them and the field, since field verified measurements are usually required for penetrations done in the factory.
Factory Cut Penetrations
Factory cut penetration is the method, as mentioned above, that requires more coordination between the field and the manufacturer because it is more complex. It is, however, a viable, high quality option for your project. Keep in mind, while it does increase the material cost from the manufacturer, it saves on installation cost as the installing contractor is no longer making these cuts in the field. Insufficient time in the schedule is a potential concern as the manufacturer will require time-consuming field dimensions to ensure they are cutting these penetrations in the correct panel location. These locations will be shown on the shop drawings provided by the manufacturer to guarantee accurate coordination but often need to be coordinated with the as-built.
Fixture plates are a more direct and intentional way of creating space for lighting by creating unique tiles/plates for the fixtures. These are created in the factory and are unique to each project since they are made to work with the fixture of your choice. They are treated much like a trim, and attach directly to the suspended T-Bar grid, creating clear space and bringing attention to the fixture itself. This option does, however, add more material. This will increase the overall cost, so make sure budget is considered when exploring this solution.
There are many options at your disposal for integrating light fixtures to complete the space you’re designing. If you’re looking to fill a brand new space, you’ll want to coordinate a lighting package and map out the locations required by codes, such as egress. Lighting manufacturers also offer a variety of resources online, and most companies will have a sales representative that can help in fixture selection, foot-candle testing, egress maps and more.
Lastly, your wood ceiling manufacturer will be able to offer a wide array of technical details for the installation of the fixtures you select. 9Wood, for example, has wood ceiling experts who will assist with data sheets, installation guides, project-specific details and more to help with the planning and integration of lighting. This typically happens on the front end of a project while it’s still in the design phase. During the approvals process, our drafting team will create a set of shop drawings unique to your project. If you provide specifics on the lighting package you choose, these elements will be coordinated with the shop drawing detail section to verify the designer’s approval and to assist the subcontractor in a successful installation.
With all the possibilities, complexities and styles that go into lighting integration, it’s understandable that there will be many questions unique to each individual design. We encourage you to reach out to a Design Assist Specialist to work through your design intention. We’d love to help you in finding the perfect wood ceiling to compliment your creative design.
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