CD Designs Blog
When you are installing a pattern imprinted concrete design, there are many ways in which you can enhance the basic concrete exterior to really make the design soar. Water is a good option, especially in the garden. Different colours, textures and finishes can create endless possibilities. You can embed materials into the concrete. And there is a whole raft of accessories you could purchase to put alongside your fabulous work.
But what about lighting? standard lights, LEDs and fibre optics can change the mood and style of your installation in a myriad ways. Before you go jumping in however, you should get some solid experience – have a look at what others have done already, and experiment with different lighting effects. There are many factors to consider with lighting – different times of day will affect the look of your installation, and so will other sources of light coming from elsewhere in the area, or even from the sun. You also need to consider the vantage point that passers by are viewing your work from.
Of course, the only way to get where you want to be is to get stuck in. With that said, let’s consider a few ideas!
- You could consider embedding light in walls, patios or countertops. You do anything with this, from simple ambient lighting to bold colourful patterns. How about coupling different coloured LEDs with some simple electronics to create an alternating flashing or glowing pattern?
- How about using a flickering light to emulate a flame? This could give a really nice feel to an outside installation
- Use of motion sensors to turn on lights when people come in the room – combined with LEDs or fibre optics – can create great ambient lighting, or unobtrusive night lights for children depending on your needs.
- Since fibre options don’t actually generate light themselves (they conduct light from other sources), how about shining a bright light onto a surface with fibre options embedded into it, to create a unique pattern? One architect embedded fibre options in floor tiles, and then shined a light on it so that the pattern dynamically shifts as people walk by.
- As a last idea, you can create some great effects by shining a simple white light through different coloured glass, or through a sheet of metal with a design cut through it.
10th August 2011
Solar lights are already popular with many gardeners as a low energy way to light a garden or patio in the evening, whether as small lanterns pushed into the soil, or fairy lights strung around a seating area. The technology is becoming ever cheaper and the lights more durable and exotically designed.
An interesting new product in this line is the solar driveway marker, which would be an excellent feature alongside any pattern imprinted concrete driveway for extra night time visibility. The markers are a metre tall and stick in the ground. They are fully charged by the sun and emit a clear red glow for eight hours overnight.
Valuable dotted along concrete driveways as something pretty and attractive, these solar markers also have functional uses for houses without outdoor lighting, street lighting – or in areas prone to snow!
Offering a guide for drivers parking up on their pattern-imprinted concrete driveways, these solar lights offer the additional benefit of requiring no maintenance beyond placing them into the ground, running on only 12 volts and being fully weather proof. They don’t even need full sun in the day – regular light is enough to power them each night, and their LED bulbs emit a surprisingly powerful punch at night.
They’re definitely worth a try for any household keen to increase visibility on their driveway at night without spending a fortune – and they look pretty good too!
27th July 2011
Basements and cellars are fantastic places; as well as a generous amount of storage space, they can also give you an extra room or two, if you’re serious about making the most out of them. But for all their benefits, there’s a drawback: the lack of natural light.
If you’ve got a basement or cellar that extends further than the footprint of the ground floor of your property, there’s a solution to this problem. Pavement lights – grids of glass squares in iron or concrete frames – are a reasonably common sight on some of the UK’s streets, and they’re designed to allow natural light into underground spaces.
The frames were traditionally made of iron, but modern pavement light frames are made from concrete. Concrete’s strength makes pavement lights safer than ever, and reinforced pavement lights are available for areas which will experience heavy traffic. This makes pavement lights ideal for both commercial and domestic customers.
Pavement lights can be installed along with smoke outlet panels in order to increase the available ventilation to the underground space beneath in case of a fire. Smoke outlets can be overlaid with a surface that matches the area surrounding them.
Because of the nature of the pattern imprinted concrete driveway installation process, pavement lights and smoke outlet panels could easily be installed simultaneously with your driveway. It’s a chance to solve two problems at once; resurfacing your driveway area, and dealing with the perennial problem of lighting cellars and basements.
25th February 2010