Many people ask what is classic cove lighting and how are they best used.
Using indirect lighting in residential and commercial settings has been a favorite technique employed by lighting designers and architects for many years. It has long been recognized that such indirect illumination is more aesthetically pleasing to the eye than glaring direct light. Its applications include wall mounted decorative fixtures that project light up and down, with the light bulbs concealed behind a variety of attractively designed architectural elements or specialty fixtures. With the advent of fluorescent tube light fixtures, using a linear series of these lights near the ceiling, concealed behind a decorative panel and reflecting light off the ceiling came into vogue. This was recognized as another useful means of illuminating an area without using exposed light sources.
Indirect ceiling lighting has now earned a solid position in the world of interior lighting design. As such, architects routinely design shallow troughs at the ceiling line of many rooms for the purpose of including lighting for both functional room lighting as well as for added aesthetic appeal. The practice has become so prevalent that it is now commonly referred to as Cove Lighting.
Yet the use of fluorescent light fixtures for Cove Lighting is not without drawbacks. As discrete fixtures that are lined up in series, there is normally an unavoidable space between each fixture in the series. While the light from an individual tube light is quite uniform, the spaces between fixtures can often be seen as gaps or discontinuities. This becomes a visual distraction and can negate the otherwise pleasing effect intended.
A major breakthrough occurred with the introduction of the incandescent Low Voltage Festoon light bulb and the ability to utilize these small light sources in specially designed linear arrays. Rather than a series of individual tubular light sources that could not provide uninterrupted light over long straight runs, the Festoon concept gave rise to custom fabrication of low profile tracks with a row of small sockets and associated bulbs at consistent spacing intervals. This consistency and close spacing has permitted successful results in even very confined spaces.
As one of the pioneers of the engineering and manufacturing of Cove Lighting by means of Festoon Bulbs, Phantom Lighting was born in the 1980’s. From the beginnings of constructing custom length fixtures to match the exact dimensions of the designed architectural spaces, Phantom continues this tradition even today. Architects and lighting designers routinely call upon Phantom’s years of experience and expertise to provide truly custom made Cove Lighting packages for their projects.
While most Coves are designed for straight linear applications, occasionally the contour of the room results in radius curves or shapes that are other than rectangular. Phantom Classic Cove Lighting is designed to accommodate such variations seamlessly and reliably.
The essential design of the Phantom Classic fixture has remained basically the same since its inception. Specialized trim profiles have been engineered for less common orientations, such as mounting on top of exposed transverse beams to illuminate cathedral ceilings, for example. However what has undergone marked change is the type of light bulbs available today. The original Incandescent bulbs have given way to longer life Xenon bulbs, thereby increasing expected life from 2,000 hours to 18,000 hours. And more recently, LED bulbs have been introduced as direct replacements for original bulbs without any change of hardware at all.
The LED bulbs now extend the expected life to an amazing 50,000 hours, representing a quantum leap in lamp life. And instead of consuming 5 or 10 watts per bulb, the LED’s only use 0.6 watts each, plus there is none of the added heat which is experienced with Xenon lights.
Thus, Phantom has retained the original design concept and now rightly calls this Classic Phantom. The product can be specified with either the LED bulbs or the older technology Xenon bulbs.
As Cove Lighting continues to evolve and LED light sources are becoming the norm, Phantom Lighting has set the pace for new innovations applying LED’s in more varied configurations to meet market demands. Newer products such as Phantom ELITE and Phantom ULTRA are examples of cost effective solutions for the increased requirement for maximum energy efficiency and compact design, while continuing to build products on a truly custom basis.