Building a shadow box wall can be done many different ways.  This guide will share step by step instructions to building the wall from scratch, and embedding the shadow boxes in the structure of the wall for a clean, unobtrusive finish.  If you are modifying an existing wall, supplemental instructions will be included along the way.

Before getting started, here is a list of materials needed for this project:


Drywall screws, joint tape, and joint compound -

 10 ft. piece Wood Trim - $8-17

Total Cost:   $130   (Modifying an existing wall can be done for as little as $69)

In a recent post, we discussed how occupancy sensor switches can be combined with low voltage lighting in a harmonious union of energy efficiency.  Even without the occupancy sensor, low voltage lighting systems are very energy efficient.  It is important to recognize the benefits of using low voltage lighting where practical, and how building codes are starting to adopt energy efficiency initiatives that require low voltage lighting.

Often, low voltage circuits come with dimming switches to decrease energy consumption when full illumination is not required.  They also often include built-in timers with auto on and off functions; this is especially useful for outdoor landscaping lighting and low voltage security lighting.  These applications often demand electricity for longer periods of time compared to indoor artificial light.  For this reason, energy efficiency is important.  The built-in automatic timer will also add to the convenience of the lighting system.

Motion-activated path lights combine the technology of an occupancy sensor with high output, low consumption LED lights.  Path lights can be hardwired with a low voltage power source or battery powered for flexible design and ease of installation.  In each case, occupancy sensing or motion-activated path lights are convenient way to add useful lighting to a space while saving

Path lights are specifically designed to light up dark corridors or stairwells which rarely see natural light, even in the daytime.  Rather than wiring extra light fixtures to light these areas and inconvenience with you with light switches which we tend to leave on when not needed, occupancy sensing pathlights will turn themselves on or off when needed and not needed.  This is not only a luxury but also a safety feature to add to your home or backyard. Consider how many times you find yourself shuffling around in a dark hallway looking for a light switch.  With motion-activating path lights there is no need to dangerously walk around un-lit stairwells anymore.

Motion-activating path lights also add a modern and futuristic look that is sure to blend in with and spice up even the most conventional decor.  Here are several examples of where you can use occupancy sensing path lights to add convenience, safety, and luxury to your living spaces.

1.  Stairwell or Hallway- Of course, this is the most popular use for occupancy sensing pathlights.  Path lights will turn on one by one as an occupant ascends or descends your dark hallway.  This safety feature looks luxurious and is sure to add flare to an otherwise boring space.

2. Outdoor stairs-  Outdoor pathways often include stairs to adjust elevation changes in the terrain.  These stairs are often trip hazards in areas that are not always lit.  Trust motion-activated path lights on each riser to detect an occupant when he or she is six feet away and light up the stairs.

3.  Under Cabinet Lighting- Install motion activated path lights in your kitchen to light up shaded work spaces under your upper wall cabinets.  This alternative to traditional LED under cabinet lighting can save even more energy and look even cooler as it lights up only the counter top space that you are using.

4.  Gallery lighting- Add an extra dimension to the artwork in your home.  As occupants walk by to observe hanging artwork a motion activated path light mounted over your painting or series of paintings is sure to draw them in and bring your artwork to life.

5.  Closet spotlights- Closets in older homes and even some newer homes are rarely wired for lighting.  And if they are, occupants are constantly leaving the closet  light on!  Never leave the closet light on again with occupancy sensing  path lights over each section of clothing.  This will make getting up and picking out your clothes fun and easier than ever.
 It is often difficult to effectively light a kitchen.  Traditional methods of lighting use recessed lights, or hanging fixtures.  These
methods require more power consumption and light output to illuminate countertop workspace.  Many times you can't help but block the light as you are working and upper wall cabinets tend to shade a generous portion of your countertop.  There is a very simple solution to this inconvenience that seems to annoy us as we work in the kitchen.  The solution is this:  Place the light source in front of you and under the cabinets!  Under cabinet lighting can come in a variety sources.  There are three types of low voltage lighting that range in complexity, price, and function.  Each type is a sleek, energy efficient method of lighting the countertop space in your kitchen using LED's.  

Battery Operated LED Spotlights

 The most budget friendly method of lighting under cabinet work space is battery operated LED spot lights.  These individual lights come in packs of pod lights or in track light assemblies and can me mounted directly underneath your cabinet and spaced out as desired.  A benefit to this option is that they can be installed cleanly and simply without wiring.  

Battery operated under cabinet lighting can either be switched on or off at the source or many times are capable of turning on or off automatically.  The Slyvania Golden Dragon kit can be switch to an automatic mode controlled by
motion sensor.  Using the energy efficient occupancy sensor switch function you will never have to remember to turn the lights off!  Other products such as the Lumen LED High Output Spotlights come with a remote control that eliminates the need to reach under the cabinet to find the switch.  

If you are concerned about changing batteries all of the time,  the energy efficiency of LED high output lights is unparalleled compared to traditional incandescent, fluorescent, or halogen light bulbs.  This technological advantage combined with features such as occupancy sensor switches is sure to keep your battery changes to a minimum, and more money in your

LED Strip Lights

Thin LED strip lights are possibly the most sleek and efficient under cabinet lighting source available.  More than convenience this option provides a modern and high-end look to any kitchen.  The low voltage transformer plugs into a conventional 12V outlet and provides balanced power to the lighted strips.  LED's burn at a very low temperature and consume very little energy making them a safe lighting application to mount right up against your wood cabinets. 

A main advantage of LED strip lights is that they offer a seamless stream of light underneath a large span of cabinets unlike spotlight or tracklights.  When retrofitting an existing kitchen, a sleek installation may involve a little bit of demolition, but once installed the LED's will provide bright, efficient lighting for years that require no batteries or maintenance.

 LED thin strip lights also come with energy efficient capabilities of dimming and automatic switch settings similar to battery operated options.

LED Rope/Ribbon Lighting

LED rope or ribbon lighting provides a similar look and functionality of LED strip lighting.  One advantage is that the rope can bend and form longer continuous runs of light.  A disadvantage at times is that structural composition underneath cabinets may interrupt a clean installation with rope or ribbon.  When calculated per length of cabinet, rope lighting can be more
expensive but necessary and essential to some custom kitchen designs.  

Overall, these three types of under cabinet lighting deliver the same exeptional LED light source to an otherwise desperate place in your kitchen.  In addition to energy efficiency and convenience, they offer an essential design aspect to any modern kitchen. 


    September 2012
    August 2012
    July 2012
    June 2012
    May 2012
    April 2012
    March 2012
    February 2012


    Energy Efficient Lighting
    Led Light Bulbs
    Led Rope Lights
    Led Spotlights
    Led Strip Lighting
    Led Under Cabinet Lighting
    Occupancy Sensor Switch
    Wall Switch Occupancy Sensor