Floor washing is an effect which, as the name suggests, skims light across a floor or steps to illuminate the floor.
In kitchens, corridors or bathrooms, floor washing adds an extra layer of light at low level. It skims lights across the floor both showing off the floor covering and guiding you through the space. If linked to a presence detector (PIR), they can be set to operate automatically upon detection of movement ideal for corridors or bathrooms.
Adding low level lighting on a staircase is the perfect alternative to positioning downlights in a sloping ceiling above or into inaccessible locations. They will also take up far less room than a decorative wall light so if the staircase is narrow this can be a benefit. Can be particularly useful on basement stairs with little or no natural light.
With contemporary open staircases, adding linear lighting underneath each tread provides a striking effect. Careful details are required to make this work.
Exterior pathways and steps can be illuminated using wall or floor recessed lighting. This can be an important safety feature but also as a visual effect to draw the eye between different tiers of the garden and to bring focus to beautiful stone paving.
There are two main effects which can be achieved. One option is to highlight the texture of the floor finish using a light that skims across. This should be set very low in the wall or into the floor itself. The second option is to position the light higher on the wall which will achieve a softer, wider lighting effect.