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pic1 t28 August 2018

A beautiful rug is a work of art. Whether it's a classic Persian, a handwoven dhurrie or a more contemporary plaited denim and jute piece, rugs deserve to be illuminated in a way that ensures they are enjoyed and appreciated.

The right lighting works to enhance the colours in the rug while also making it look luxurious and welcoming, whereas poor lighting can have the opposite effect by creating shadows that can make the rug look cheap and dull.

Floor rugs need different lighting to wall tapestries, as they are experienced differently. Here are some simple steps for using lights to bring out the best in your floor rugs and wall tapestries.



Floor rugs are best illuminated with downlighters as these have excellent colour rendering properties and offer an even spread of light across an area. Opt for downlighters with a tilt so that the pool of light can be positioned to fall where you want it.

Generally, standard 50W low-voltage downlighters work perfectly in spaces where the ceiling is lower than three metres.

Low-voltage downlighters require a transformer, which makes their installation more expensive, but the benefits of this option are manifold:

- Up to three times more light output
- Better quality light
- Beam angles range between 24 and 60 degrees
- Various fittings and lamps available - colour, output, and beam angle/intensity can be customised
- The running cost of low-voltage downlighters will be recovered within a year, compared to that of mains voltage

Note that dark rugs tend to show up the dirt more easily when they are illuminated so keep them clean to ensure they look their best.


Wall rugs and tapestries play a very different role in a room to floor rugs, as their exclusive purpose is visual appeal.

To give a hanging rug the focus, be sure to light it from two sides. A single light source shining onto the rug will create shadows, resulting in distorted colouring.

When placing the lights on either side of the rug be sure to avoid washing the surrounding wall inlight as this will divert attention from the main attraction.

Lighting is the best way to elevate your rugs and wall tapestries from items of practicality to pieces worth admiration.

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