Saturday, January 24, 2009

Hey, clever readers - give to me your vast store of knowledge about lighting. Because it may be that what I want already exists, and my Google-fu has failed me.

What I want is a light box I can install in my wall. I don't mean to display images on, I mean to use as a light source. Let me explain what I think I'm going to do, and you tell me if you've seen anything like this...

In my lighting fantasy, Jerry The Super-Contractor cuts a rectangle out of the sheetrock of my wall. Size? Oh, just say roughly 24 inches tall by 18 across. That’s just off the top of my head, the size is flexible. Not much smaller than that, although bigger could be cool. Height? Oh, say starting from slightly above my eye level.

In the open space, we wire in sockets for several standard light bulbs. Wattage TBD, but something like three 60w bulbs, so around the 180w total. On a dimmer switch, naturally.

I’m fond of the warmth of incandescent bulbs but I suppose I might be talked into color-corrected, non-flickering fluorescents.

Over these bulbs, we place white fabric, of the type that is used for lampshades and photographer’s softboxes, so it’s designed to withstand heat. It would be intended to lay flat, flush to the wall, not protruding at all.

Obviously I need to be able to open this up and change the bulbs. So the fabric – the shade, essentially – would need to be on some sort of frame. Perhaps we might frame in the hole and then design the shade-frame to fit snugly into that hole. I’m open to ideas about that, as long as it works and looks cool.

In sum: I want a large soft light source to wash the area, and one that's recessed into the wall so that it's flat. I want to clear up the floor space of the various floor lamps I’ve got going on now. (Do not speak of overhead lights to me, overhead lights are evil.)

Can you visualize what I'm saying? I can make these if need be, but I have no desire to re-invent the wheel if that’s unnecessary. Has anyone seen anything like this already made and commercially available? I’ve looked and looked and seen nothing like this.

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