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How to Light Your Orangery Extension

Darren Collins | 26th May 2016

Contrary to popular belief, orangery extensions with roof lanterns are not difficult spaces to light as long as you make provision for lighting during the construction process. Using a mixture of fittings to do different jobs can really help unify a space. Ambient lighting can be combined with task lighting to provide shadow-free working areas, while accent lighting adds interest and drama, and decorative lighting can inject personality and flair. Take a look at these examples to see how different lighting can be applied to your own project.

Example of downlighters placed around internal soffit of roof lantern


One of the most seductive features of an orangery extension is the opportunity to include recessed downlights within the soffits of the roof lantern perimeter. This provides ambient lighting also known as basic or background lighting. It’s important to group lights into smaller circuits to give you the flexibility of adjusting lighting levels for different areas or focal points. For example, a kitchen or dining area within an open plan space.

Example of table lamps used in an orangery extension

Table / Floor lamps

Available in all shapes and sizes, lamps can either stand alone or as part of a collection, and can really help tie together a style. They can be used to either soften and enhance the light from another light source or cast a moody glow in isolation or in tandem with other lamps. For convenience, why not consider adding the lamps to a 5amp lighting circuit operated via a dimmable switch? This will save time switching them on and off individually.

Roof lantern internal cornice to house LED lighting

LED lighting tape

The inclusion of an internal cornice fitted to the inside face of the upstand (the base on which the lanterns sits) provides the perfect opportunity to house rope lighting or LED lighting tape which creates a wonderful effect at night.

Example of uplighters placed on walls below roof lantern


Accent lighting in the form of discretely placed uplights can also create a very pleasing effect, helping to soften an environment. Why not use them to pick out those features that matter to you?

Example of pendant lighting hung from a roof lantern

Pendant lighting

With the downlights taking care of the ambient light, you may like to consider decorative fittings that won’t necessarily need a high output to their job. The underside of our roof lantern boss includes a profiled edge base plate designed to accept the fixing of a pendant light fitting. This is a great opportunity to add decorative lighting that can also act as a task light especially when above a dining room table. If you are hanging a pendant light above a table or kitchen island the general rule of thumb is that the light fixture should be hung 30-34 inches above it. For ceilings higher than 8 feet, add about three inches to the hanging height per foot.

Example of downlighters placed in an upstand of a roof lantern

Clever use of directional downlights used in an upstand of a roof lantern aperture.

Example of downlighters placed around internal soffit of roof lantern

This pendant light hung from a oak roof lantern boss directs light downward.

Example of downlighters placed around internal soffit of roof lantern

The combination of light sources helps your eye through this beautiful corridor.