Gooseneck Lighting Brings Grace and Precision
Gooseneck lighting is a simple, but effective approach to illuminating signs and other items of interest. Its name needs little explanation as the fixture is curved like a goose’s neck. The effect has a throwback, vintage feel to it, which is why gooseneck lighting is popular for restoring older buildings. It’s also a compelling choice for lighting signs and bringing a bit more aesthetic interest to a home or business.
Traditionally, gooseneck lighting has run on incandescent technology, but LED is now the preferred option in nearly every installation, and for good reason.
What is gooseneck lighting used for?
Gooseneck lighting is a niche product, designed for only a few applications. It is, however, perfect for those applications.
No other fixture looks like gooseneck lighting, and that’s a huge advantage. Its bold curves and dramatic shade makes for a vintage aesthetic that works in a contemporary setting. As such, gooseneck lighting is a strong choice for any business that relies on looking modern or interesting. These fixtures, then, are usually found in, on and around restaurants, bars and small shops. They are also a common choice for barn and warehouse restorations.
As gooseneck lighting produces a focused spot, it works best when illuminating something of importance, like signage or the building’s entrance. Inside, the fixtures can gently brighten up seating areas inside restaurants or be used as an accent light in a gallery or museum.
Choosing the Right Fixture Housing
Gooseneck lighting is unusual in that the fixture design itself is almost as important as the light inside of it. The ideal fixture is aesthetically interesting, reliable, efficient and easy to aim.
The first thing to consider is the shade and arm, both of which will be clearly visible. For this reason, form and function are both important. For many people, it may be harder to settle on form, as there is an incredible variety of gooseneck lighting designs. Shade designs include angle shades, railroad shades, barn shades, emblem shades and a whole lot more. Arm designs are built to match the shade, so they are usually packaged together. Whether vintage, industrial, modern or something else, there’s a perfect design available for any application.
Shade and arm design don’t just address aesthetics, though. Angle shades, for example, offer a more dramatic aiming path that is better suited for signage, as it is aimed further back. There isn’t much to the arm’s design, but the longer it is, the wider the lighting angle. Longer arms, then, produce a larger pool of light, which makes sense for oversized signage.
Selecting the right shade and arm is more art than science, and the decision will mostly come down to personal preference.
LED Lighting Makes the Most Sense for Gooseneck Fixtures
While personal preference will drive shade and arm selection, the decision on the right lighting technology is straightforward. LED technology is the clear choice for gooseneck fixtures, for several reasons. In fact, LED technology is the clear choice for many forms of commercial accent and decorative lighting, so it’s a proven option in this regard. Here’s why:
- LEDs are inherently directional – Every fixture produces a unique spread of light. Some technologies, like incandescent and HIDs, radiate in all directions. LEDs, though, are on the other end of the spectrum, in that they generate a focused beam in a tighter spot. There are numerous advantages to LED’s directional nature, but the most obvious one is that LEDs generate little spill illumination. Put another way, LED fixtures create sharp boundaries between light and dark, which is perfect for spot illuminating a tight area like a sign.
- LEDs last a long time – LED fixtures are unmatched in their longevity. Incandescent and halogen bulbs may last 1,000 hours, fluorescent up to 15,000 hours and HIDs up to 25,000 hours (although the HID may decline in performance well before then).LED technology far surpasses these numbers. The baseline for most LED lights is around 50,000 hours, though there are some LED fixtures that will provide more than 100,000 hours of performance. Further, LED lights decline at a slower rate than other technologies, which makes their effectiveness lifespan even longer, when compared to other fixtures.
Gooseneck lighting loses its charm as soon as the lights lose their power, and that’s a constant issue with HID and older lighting options. This is especially problematic when there are multiple gooseneck lights illuminating a single object. If one fixture suffers a dip in intensity, it will ruin the look. With LEDs superior lifespan, this is rarely an issue.
- LEDs are versatile – For decades, the main limitation with LED technology was that it could only output a small range of colors and color temperatures. Recent improvements in engineering, though, have solved this problem. Now, LEDs can output all over the color temperature spectrum. In most cases, warmer tones are preferred for gooseneck lighting, but if a property owner wants something neutral or a bit cooler, those are available too.
- LEDs can be readily controlled – LEDs do not utilize filaments or reactive gases to generate light. Instead, it is derived from modern superconductor technology, which is far easier to control. LED fixtures are built on top of solid-state circuitry, so they can be tied to occupancy controls, dimmers and timers with relative ease.Gooseneck lighting is left on for hours at a time, and while LEDs are the most energy efficient fixtures on the market, they can be made more efficient still with advanced controls. A motion sensor with dimmers, for example, will detect when someone is nearby and bring up the light’s intensity. Timers and photosensors can also improve the system’s efficiency by switching lights off when they aren’t needed.
Gooseneck lighting is a modest investment that can pay off big in visual impact. Nothing compares in terms of aesthetics, and when paired with LED technology, they will also provide years of reliable, sharp lighting.