Flexible Linear Lighting Options: A Checklist for Lighting Designers

What makes good lighting? Like many thing things, it depends—on what the environment is and what the desired effect is.

Because of varying challenges, lighting designers need flexibility from their lighting systems. The more flexible a lighting product, the more options the lighting designer has in creating the best possible atmosphere and mood for a space.

Highly versatile, linear LED lighting is great for highlighting architectural details in addition to meeting general lighting requirements and providing nice even lighting for many different kinds of space.

Linear Lighting: A Checklist for Lighting Designers:

Here are the flexible features that lighting designers look for in linear lighting solutions.

  • Pendant mounted: Suspended linear lighting systems are efficient and attractive lighting solutions for a variety of applications, including office, retail, and hospitality spaces. They are capable of delivering light directly into the space or indirect delivery for comfortable, glare-free lighting, or both options.
  • Custom lengths and standard sizes: For jobs that need to be done as quickly and cost-effectively as possible, having the option to use standard-sized lighting products with a high-end architectural look is the perfect solution. When there is a little more time or money for the project, made-to-measure lighting can make for truly spectacular results. Having both choices available gives the lighting designer more flexibility.
  • Beautiful light: Indirect light is the most comfortable light for human eyes and it makes for very comfortable spaces and by bouncing the lighting off the ceiling, it gives a space the feel of higher ceilings.
  • Compatible with other light systems: Sometimes, it’s handy to pair different linear lighting solutions together. For example, if one section of the space has closed ceilings that transition into open ceilings, transitioning the light from one to the next is important. Recessed families of linear products that carry the same aperture of pendent lighting can deliver very appealing designs. Compatibility between different families of lighting products allows for endless variations and design options.
  • Outstanding light quality: LEDs’s ability to render colors have dramatically improved in recent years and linear lighting systems should be able to provide first-rate light conditions with eye-popping color. This is especially key in retail situations, where it’s critical for merchandise to look as good as possible.
  • Remote LED drivers: LEDs need drivers, just as fluorescent lights need ballasts; however, the driver does not have to be in the fixture—it can be located in a convenient ceiling location, for example. For extreme versatility, pendent linear LED lighting can take advantage of remote drivers, allowing for fixtures with very slim profiles and the capacity to fit in very small spaces.
  • Modern-styled fixtures: The most attractive linear lighting usually incorporates aesthetic styling into the fixtures. Less is definitely more in this case and the more minimalist the fixture, the more modern the environment will look.
  • Available in different temperatures: Different projects call for creating different atmospheres. The warm coffee shop is different from a modern-styled computer store. Lighting designers need lighting that is available in different Kelvin temperatures to create different environments in different spaces.
  • Long operating life: Top notch LED lighting systems can provide 50,000-100,000 hours of perfect lighting quality with very little depreciation. This delivers substantial maintenance savings, especially in high-ceiling applications where lifts are needed to perform maintenance.
  • Energy efficient: Today’s LED lights are extremely energy efficient and offer end-users substantial power savings, as well as help to contribute towards any sustainability goals a customer may have.
  • Available quickly: To keep construction projects on track, lighting designers need lights to be ready quickly. They can’t afford to wait around for weeks for lights to arrive.

Top 5 Design Snafus with Linear Lighting

When done right, linear lighting can make for spaces that are both efficiently lit and beautifully lit. However, not all linear lighting products are created equal and poor products make for poor lighting outcomes.

When lighting designers choose the linear lighting products they need for a project, they need the best one possible. With that in mind, here are the top five linear lighting pitfalls to avoid:


  1. Outdated fluorescent lighting

The first issue that can crop up with linear lighting is whether it is LED or fluorescent. Fluorescent lights were appealing because they are cheap and deliver light in a non-directional manner, flooding the room with light. The initial expense of buying fluorescent lights is far from the true cost though. Fluorescent lights are outdated lighting technology that utilize dangerous mercury and they use three times the power—or more—than LEDs, adding up to significant energy costs over time. Additionally, fluorescent lights have a shorter lifespan (especially if they are frequently switched on and off) than LEDs, which can last for 50,000 hours or more, creating substantially more energy efficiency for much longer. Frequently replacing fluorescent bulbs and ballasts can get expensive and frustrating—especially with high-ceiling applications where lifts are necessary.

Besides the costs, the light quality for fluorescent lighting is poor—color quality shifts after just 100 hours. No one really likes working under fluorescent lighting as the color is awful. LEDs give better quality and more comfortable light for human eyes than fluorescents and LEDs can do it much more consistently.

  1. Ugly fixtures

Linear lighting fixtures—especially non-LED fixtures—can be very bulky and unattractive due to socket shadows and discoloration between lamps based on age and manufacture. Less is more, and the best linear lighting luminaires are free from glare. LED fixtures can be very thin to blend into architectural design or enhance it with excellent glare control. A razor-thin luminaire profile makes for a modern, professional-looking aesthetic and puts the spotlight on the things it’s lighting underneath, rather than drawing attention to itself. One way to accomplish a minimal form factor is to separate the driver from the fixture and install it remotely. Without the driver, the fixture can be very small, delivering a very clean aesthetic.

  1. Fixtures are not compatible with each other

With the emergence of new open ceiling designs, lighting may be required in recessed linear profiles in lower ceilings and pendent lighting in open spaces. Matching profiles and lighting performance is critical, which is why it’s best to choose linear lighting solutions that have the same aperture sizes and are compatible with other product families.

  1. Only available in standard lengths

Sometimes manufacturers only sell their products in standard preset sizes and configurations. This is efficient for the manufacturer, but sometimes a custom product is needed to make a space stand out from the general lighting designs found in so many buildings. LEDs are not limited to the length of a lamp size—they can run up to the eighth of an inch, allowing your lighting to run from wall to wall or up a wall to the ceiling. For maximum flexibility, work with a lighting manufacturer who can work with you to design and fabricate lights exactly how you need them for your project, rather than fitting your project around what’s convenient for them to mass produce.

  1. Only pairs with certain controls

Some lights are only compatible with certain controls, but the end-users may specify a particular control system they want, or they may need the controls to accomplish certain things, such as enabling their lights to be smart connected (Internet of Things) or collect data or change color tones. Choose linear lighting that is controls agnostic and can pair with any set of controls on the market for maximum flexibility.

Get a free consultation tailored to your product needs!

Amerlux Launches Linea 1.5″ Mini Indirect

New Linear LED Fixture Features Remote Driver to Add Design Flexibility

Amerlux, an award-winning design-and-manufacture lighting company, announced today its new linear lighting solution—Linea 1.5 Mini Indirect—which leverages a remote driver that can be installed in the ceiling up to 30 feet away to allow for greater design options.

The Linea 1.5 Mini Indirect, which delivers indirect lighting for great comfort and reduced glare, is manufactured in standard lengths, as well as made-to-measure lengths down to an 1/8″. The fixture also pairs nicely with another Amerlux linear solution, Grüv recessed, which can run in walls and ceilings. Linea’s aperture widths match Grüv’s recessed linear light offerings, so they can be seamlessly married together.

“Reinforcing our commitment to continuous innovation, the new Linea 1.5 Mini Indirect, as well as the rest of the family, not only brings elegance and beauty to a space, but delivers the right amount of lighting with the best energy and maintenance savings for rapid ROI,” said Frank Diassi, who is Amerlux’s founder and chairman. “Its lumen output does not begin to depreciate until after 50,000 hours of use versus 100 hours of use for fluorescent lamps.”

The new Linea 1.5Mini Indirect is part of a larger Linea product family:

The Linea family delivers a high output with up to 650 lumens per foot and 73 lumens per watt. Its standard integral electronic constant current 120V-to-277V drivers offers zero-to-10V dimming capabilities, pairing with any controls including Enlighted (IoT).

Pendant-mounted for spaces with or without ceilings, Linea provides linear run lengths for general lighting over desks, conference tables or individual standard lengths over a reception area. It provides warm and cool light in 2700K, 3000K, 3500 (industry standard) or 4000K.

Linea is offered in indirect, direct and direct/indirect with lens or louver, which is available in micro-perf or solid styles.

Linea products, which come with a five-year warranty, offer such a long lifespan that maintenance costs are significantly reduced. In addition, the fixture is extremely energy efficient, providing power cost savings.

Standard Linea can ship in 10 days or less from the time they are ordered to quickly advance any new construction or retrofit project.

For more information about the company, call Amerlux at 973.850.4342.

Get More Like This in Your Inbox!