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In-Floor Lighting: 10 Sparkling Ways to Highlight and Style!

Recessed ground lights, in-floor lights or in-ground lights; no matter what you wish to call them, they almost always end up being the showstoppers of any space they adorn. Highlighting architectural features, pathways and creating a smart focal point with dramatic brilliance, recessed ground lights turn even the most mundane room into a captivating and intriguing space. Most often used to illuminate landscape features, they seem as effective indoors as they do outside. And today we have lined up a few fabulous inspirations that showcase the beauty of in-floor lighting and how effective it can be when done with class and creativity.

Dazzling, Dreamy Outdoors

In-ground illumination is largely used outdoors to act as a ‘guiding light’ of sorts, to clearly define pathways and architectural features, and to highlight beautiful natural features. But this contemporary deck uses in-floor lights to fashion a refined ambiance that highlights the deck even while letting the city skyline view in the backdrop dominate. The gorgeous lights also seem to blend in with the glittering background, turning the small contemporary deck into an absolute showstopper!

In-floor LED lighting for the fabulous contemporary deck [Photography: Eran Turgeman]
In-floor LED lighting for the fabulous contemporary deck [Photography: Eran Turgeman]

In-ground, LED up-lights are becoming increasingly popular in the world of contemporary landscape design, and a large part of it is because of the theatrical play between shadows and light that they create. The sculptural Las Vegas home below is a perfect example of this, as in-ground lighting turns an already mesmerizing home into a contemporary architectural masterpiece after sunset. Not only does it light up the arid scenery, it also creates patterns and shadows that complement the steel and glass structure of the home.

Brilliantly lit contemporary landscape around sculptural Las Vegas home [Design: Assemblage Studio]
Brilliantly lit contemporary landscape around sculptural Las Vegas home [Design: Assemblage Studio]

While there is no shortage of images where you will see in-ground lights illuminating walkways, we especially love this particular corridor that creates a cool indoor-outdoor interplay. The recessed ground lighting here adds to the overall theme, highlights the textural beauty of the stone wall and its uniqueness in a contemporary space, and does so without seeming far too overwhelming.

Contemporary entry of stylish San Diego home with in-floor lighting [From: Ron Neal Lighting Design]
Contemporary entry of stylish San Diego home with in-floor lighting [From: Ron Neal Lighting Design]

Recessed ground lighting in the yard is often the ideal option for homeowners who want a relaxing, stylish and dreamy ambiance. The central courtyard below achieves all this but also goes on to use the lights themselves as an interesting feature. The illumination of the gray wall brings a certain refinement to the entire yard, even if the lights are not highlighting any unique natural feature or group of plants!

Perfect way to turn the courtyard or backyard into a stunning showstopper after sunset [Design: DDB Design Development & Building]
Perfect way to turn the courtyard or backyard into a stunning showstopper after sunset [Design: DDB Design Development & Building]

A Dramatic Dip!

Have you ever considered in-floor lighting for your bathroom? As unlikely as this might seem, we would not be surprised if this becomes a common feature in the years to come! For starters, the popularity of freestanding bathtubs means designs like the ones showcased below will only grow in number. Add to it the desire of homeowners to bring the spa-inspired luxury and ambiance home, and in-floor lights around the bathtub or for the steps leading to a Jacuzzi on a raised platform could well be the perfect aesthetic face-lift that your contemporary bathroom needs.

Contemporary bathroom in neutral hues with brilliant lighting around the bathtub [Design: Boscolo Interior Design]
Contemporary bathroom in neutral hues with brilliant lighting around the bathtub [Design: Boscolo Interior Design]
Smart lighting highlights the bathtub while giving the bathroom a spa-styled ambiance [Design: My Interior Stylist / Photo: Carole Poirot]
Smart lighting highlights the bathtub while giving the bathroom a spa-styled ambiance [Design: My Interior Stylist / Photo: Carole Poirot]

Functionally Aesthetic

In-floor lighting in itself might not have the biggest visual impact indoors unless you are using the lights in darker spaces such as the home theater. A good combination of recessed ceiling and ground lighting is a far more sensible option in the grand dining room, the living space, or in those long, winding corridors. A common mistake that most of us commit here is to use too many in-floor lights, which turns the lovely living room or the hallway into a less attractive ‘airline runway-style’ setting. Avoid this mistake by being more frugal with recessed ground lights and spacing them out sensibly.

Beautiful in-floor and recessed lighting used to create a cozy ambiance in the living room [Design: Pinnacle Architectural Studio]
Beautiful in-floor and recessed lighting used to create a cozy ambiance in the living room [Design: Pinnacle Architectural Studio]
Fabulous family room with stone walls and in-floor lighting [Design: Deep River Partners]
Fabulous family room with stone walls and in-floor lighting [Design: Deep River Partners]

LED in-floor lights are generally the most preferred versions of these lights, and they deliver the best visual impact and also cut down on the power bill. Available in a wide range of hues and coming with an array of lenses and reflectors, there is no shortage of options here. The many lighting effects and moods that these understated lights bring might just be what you need as you get your home ready for the gala holiday season ahead!

Stylish in-floor lighting for the cool basement playroom [From: Susan Fisher Photography]
Stylish in-floor lighting for the cool basement playroom [From: Susan Fisher Photography]
In-floor lighting in the hall provides perfect ambient illumination [Design: Eljin Construction / Dan Levin Photography]
In-floor lighting in the hall provides perfect ambient illumination [Design: Eljin Construction / Dan Levin Photography]

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What do you think?

  • Rosie’s Cottage

    Absolutely stunning! I honestly had never considered floor lighting before but these examples show it’s a wonderful way to highlight & make a focal point in a room. I love this! Off to pin and share, thank you! hugs x

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