I’d like to hear some opinions about my approach to room/layout lighting.
In my concept drawing, below, you’ll see that there will be an aisle with benchwork “shelves” on either side in this first phase of my layout. It may be a very long time before the layout grows beyond this space. Whatever I do for lighting in this part of the layout should be consistent with the way the future sections of the layout are illuminated.
Here’s my quandary. My layout is being built in an open basement room. Regardless of how large it does or doesn’t become, it will always be in a space that is shared for other uses. I think that the more conventional approach to layout lighting (lighting directly over the layout behind a valance) works well in a layout room, but I’m not sure it will work in a shared space. Also, I like the clean look of a suspended ceiling with drop-in lighting.
Below is a photo that was taken along the newly framed wall looking into the narrow part of the room where I will start the layout. As you can see, there are a number of utilities that complicate the ceiling a bit. I plan to install a suspended ceiling at a height of about 7 feet in that narrow space, which allows for a few inches of clearance under that duct. Out in the main room, the ceiling will be almost a foot higher, with a bulkhead providing a clean transition.
In the above photo, you can see the benchwork for the International Paper plant on the right. Notice that the duct is directly over the benchwork on that side of the aisle, which forecloses on any opportunity to put drop-in lighting over International Paper.
My plan is to install a continuous row of drop-in florescent lighting directly over the aisle (the lighting you see in the photo will be removed). I recognize that this flies in the face of conventional wisdom, vis-à-vis layout lighting. Does anyone have experience-based wisdom to share?