I mention in my Mains Electrical section that ambient lighting projects are quite popular at the moment, especially with LED lighting offering colourful low power, low heat options allowing you to mood-light a room without it burning through your electricity bill.

On that page I have a small photo of a wall frieze which has sparked some interest and, as this is something that is actually in my own home, I thought I'd pass on more details about it.



It's actually a carved MDF panel which I sourced online from the MDF 3D Wall Panels section of Hawk and Trowel Plastering Centre's website. My panel is the 'Natural' finish, although other options are available. There are other companies offering similar products such as The 3D Wall Panel Company, however I found their carriage charges to be prohibitively high. Hawk and Trowel offered free delivery on my order, although it did take over two weeks to arrive.

The panel measures 2440 x 1220 x 18mm and was perfect for the wall space I had to fill in my hallway. It came sanded and primed so was ready for me to mount and paint. I affixed it to the wall using countersunk screws which were then filled over before painting for a clean finish with no visible screwheads. A magnet can be used to locate the screws should it ever need to come back down... which won't be any time soon.

The exciting part of the job (for me) was to build a lightbox from two pieces of smooth white Contiboard with three LED downlights on a switchable spur from the overhead hall lighting. LEDs provide a good directional light which casts light and shadows onto the surface of the panel for a striking effect which people seemingly *have* to touch when they see it!


Another length of Contiboard was used for a shelf on the underside to help frame the board and provide a completed look to the panel.

Although it may be argued that ambient lighting is a waste of energy as it is decorative rather than functional, I find a good looking project like this is often used instead of other lighting options and actually saves energy. We have a dark hallway with no natural lighting, so normally the overhead lights at 28W or a table lamp at 40W would be left on as the family passes through during the course of any given evening. With this installation, it tends to be the three LED downlights that are left on as they provide enough light for simply passing through while consuming just 6W in total.

If you have in mind your own project that would benefit from some pretty lighting shenanigans then please get into contact for a chat!