With a small area of modern apartments, it is simply indecent to use balconies and loggias as technical rooms and turn them into a junk warehouse. A couple of extra square meters can easily turn into a cozy office, recreation area, winter garden, or become a continuation of the next room – the main thing is to approach the organization of the space wisely. Whether the balcony is insulated, glazed or completely open, you will definitely need lighting on it. How to organize lighting on the balcony, and what nuances should be taken into account in some cases?
# 1. Choosing a connection point
In some houses, already at the time of their construction, lighting of balconies and loggias is provided, and even the simplest lamps can be installed. It is clear that they will have to be changed, but these are all trifles compared to the fact that most will have to organize the wiring on the balcony.
There are three main sources for connecting a balcony to electricity:
apartment shield. This is the most difficult option, because the wiring will have to be pulled through the entire apartment, and this is a laborious process, and it is only appropriate when repairs are taking place throughout the house. The advantage of this option is the ability to connect household appliances on the balcony, and if it is planned to make an office here or heat the room using electric heaters, then this method is the most suitable;
next room. The most reasonable option in most cases. You will need to find a junction box in the wall and draw a new line from it. But even here there are some tricks: if the cable cores have a small diameter or the wiring is old, then it may not withstand an additional source of electricity consumption;
socket in the next room. This option is very similar to the previous one and is called a daisy chain. This is the best way if the junction box is far from the balcony and you don’t want to pull the wiring across the room.
# 2. In what order should the work be done?
If all the work on conducting electricity to the balcony and lighting it is carried out independently, then a clear plan of action should be followed. It is approximately the same for all the options described above and is as follows:
- power outage in the apartment;
- calculation and preparation of the required amount of cable;
- wall markings for further chipping;
- creation of strobes from the connection point to future sockets, switches and luminaire installation locations. They are done using a chaser or chisel. Since the cable is wound onto the balcony through the wall, it will be necessary to make a hole in it with a puncher;
- place the cable in the grooves and fix it with alabaster every 20 cm, it grabs very quickly;
- connect the elements in one circuit;
- ring a multimeter and seal the strobes with a solution;
- connect to a circuit breaker at the input.
Do not forget that all lighting lines must be protected from moisture that may be present on the balcony, even if it is glazed. It is better to select copper wires with a cross section of 1.5 mm2 and connect them with terminals rather than twisting.
No. 3. Concealed or outdoor wiring?
It is quite aesthetically pleasing and simple to organize the lighting of a glazed and insulated balcony. The wiring cable can be routed between the insulation layer and the finish. If plywood or drywall is used as the latter, it is better to cut out places for switches and sockets in advance. Since the ceiling is also insulated on the balconies, it is convenient to connect spotlights and create a cozy interior. In any case, it is better to run the wires in a casing to minimize the consequences of unforeseen situations.
If the balcony is not glazed, and the walls and ceiling are a concrete or brick monolith, then they resort to wall chipping, which is often used for glazed insulated balconies. This is ideal, because after all the stages of finishing work, the wires will not be noticeable, and the interior will only benefit from this, but the process of preparing the strobes is quite laborious.
The second option is outdoor wiring. All work on its arrangement takes a minimum of time, and the cable is attached to special insulators. External sockets and switches are used, and the cable must be placed in a corrugated pipe to protect it from external influences. Today, on the construction market, you can find interesting decorative boxes to successfully hide the wiring and add a twist to the interior.
No. 4. What kind of lighting should be on the balcony?
The area of a standard balcony is small, so often one light source located on the ceiling or on the wall will suffice. If the space is large enough, then several functional areas with their own lighting can be provided.
The number of light sources also depends on how the balcony will be used. If there is a corner for reading or handicrafts, then in addition to the main light, it is imperative to organize local lighting, not to mention those cases if it is necessary to organize an office or a winter garden on the balcony.
If the space allows, you can also provide decorative lighting in the form of LED strip along the contour of the ceiling, highlight the floor, and with the help of a sconce, for example, pay attention to a picture or a vase. Do not forget about all kinds of garlands, lanterns, candles and other decorating elements.
No. 5. Which fixtures are suitable?
If the balcony is insulated, then the choice of lamps is not limited by anything. You can buy any chandeliers, sconces or floor lamps intended for use in an apartment, and the choice of such is so huge that it will not be difficult to find lamps suitable for the interior. Moreover, the lamps can be made as highlights of the interior.
All lamps can be divided into the following groups:
For open-type balconies, choose lamps designed for street lighting. Low temperatures, and in winter conditions on an uninsulated balcony do not differ much from outdoor ones, they are well tolerated by lamps designed for outdoor lighting. Their choice, although not as wide as for home conditions, is also quite decent.
No. 6. What kind of lamps can I use?
Any type of lamps from the existing ones can be used on the balcony, but everyone should analyze their disadvantages and advantages for himself. On sale you can find the following lamps:
incandescent lamps. Familiar to all of us from childhood, familiar and cheapest, so they still remain popular, despite the inefficiency. Power ranges from 15 to 300 W, the surface of the lamp can be transparent, matte or mirror. Service life of about 1000 hours;
fluorescent lamps are more durable, economical, but they also cost more. With the same power, the luminous flux of such a lamp is 7-8 times higher than that of an incandescent lamp, and the service life is about 8000 hours;
halogen lamps provide the same luminous flux as incandescent lamps, while consuming half the energy. They are in demand due to the huge variety. The lamp can be of any shape, light – directional or diffused, of different shades. They are often used to create interesting design solutions;
LED lamps are the most advanced at the moment. They are the most durable, economical and durable. Having bought such a lamp once, you won’t have to change it for a long time, because the service life is determined by 50,000 hours.
Although the balcony usually occupies a small area, the organization of the space must be approached wisely, and lighting is an important part of the entire interior. On long winter evenings on the balcony it will be cozy to read a book or drink tea, and you can create such a relaxing home environment largely thanks to the right lighting.