Things To Consider When Lighting A Football Display Case

There are many different lighting solutions available for the person looking for that perfect football display case.

Lighted display cases are eye-catching, high-quality cases that can prominently illuminate your most meaningful gridiron keepsakes. These lights can brighten up the interior of any case with an alternating pattern or a steady beam.

A perfectly-illuminated display shelf is the perfect way to permanently store, preserve and showcase a football autographed by a favorite player. It’s also perfect for displaying trophies and other memorabilia relating to the old glory days.

In an either case, preserving that high-value football with the stars’ names on it or the highly-cherished pigskin with a sentimental attachment in a perfectly-lit display case will keep it from aging with the passage of time.

There are a few considerations that must be factored in when thinking about a lighting solution for the display case:

  • Will all inscriptions and logos on the ball be clearly visible?
  • Is the lighting distributed evenly?
  • Is the detail on the ball good from all views?
  • Can the light exposure hurt the material of the ball in any way?

Exactly how much natural light there is around the case will be valuable in determining what type of lighting option to go with. If the display will be in a spot without natural light, then a stronger illumination system will likely be needed. If the area is usually well-lit, then a lighting solution involving a lesser light source is probably best.

These are the most-used types of showcase lighting solutions for display cases:

  1. Microfluorescent – These fixtures are meant to give any display case lighting from the sides. They are linkable, easy to install, and will give your football display case a beautiful, bright interior glow.
  2. LED fixtures – LED lights strips are placed on the sides of the display case for total illumination. For a football display, they may even be the preferable option because they are a bit less intrusive and more low-profile a than microflourscent system. An LED light strip or light bar will provide that bright, evenly-distributed light source throughout the entire display case. They also give off very little heat, so they are temperature-sensitive and will help keep the color in the football from fading. LED fixtures can also be paired with dimmer switches, giving the homeowner complete control over the lighting intensity.
  3. Halogen – The glow from these types of lights make them perfect to use as spotlights, which may be the best lighting solution for an extremely large football display case. Halogen is best for duplicating natural light, but the bulbs get hot, so they need to be at a further distance to avoid damaging the items on display.
  4. Xenon – These lights are well-known for their color-rendering capacity. They generally produce a warm white light source and their-under cabinet (or display case) lights are cooler than halogen sources. They do that by using electrodes that charge gasses inside of a bulb instead of flowing to a filament tube that heats up and then glows for light. Xenon bulbs are also dimmable.

Style Plays an Important Role in Lighting Solutions

Besides the lighting, the football’s owner must decide exactly what style of display case they want. That in turn can then help them determine the best light source. Wood and clean, thick Acrylic are considered the top two types of designs. A lot of the cases have a sturdy, wooden bottom and a holder inside the interior to house the football right in the middle as the centerpiece item. Acrylic display cases are effective for allowing viewing from all sides.

Measuring both the interior and exterior of the case is important to ensure the football fits properly, along with any additional memorabilia for display. Knowing the width, height, and length of the inside and the outside of the display case will be needed to choose the proper light source.

Here are some of the most popular types of football display cases that may or may not include lighting:

  • Horizontal
  • Upright
  • Rectangle
  • Wall mounted
  • Octagon
  • Upright octagon
  • Wall mounted with 8-x-10 backdrop
  • Wall mounted upright
  • Wall mounted with engraving plate
  • Wall mounted with 5-x-7 backdrop and engraving plate

For the lighting to be effective, it must correspond with the different designs of the case. A lot of the cases already have lights built in, but they may not feature the ideal lighting option. A lot of lighting solutions are adjustable, making them ideal for nearly any case.

Display Case Size Helps Determine Ideal Lighting Options

The lighting solution options for a football display case can vary, which is why it is best to speak with a lighting designer. These professionals can determine the best option for each case and the items on display.

While the ideal lighting solution can vary depending on the size and shape of the case, the football, or other items, the professionals will be able to take every aspect of the display into consideration and provide the ideal effect.

For example, an upright trophy case so the ball can stand with the laces facing forward like it is on a kicking tee would call for the lights to be lined up vertically almost beside the football. For a rectangle box-type display case, where the ball is sitting, either in a holder or on an elevated perch, like it is on the ground waiting to be snapped, the lights would be put in horizontally for the ultimate visibility.

Some bigger display cases with wooden or thicker ceilings can also have the lights installed in them to provide top lighting. The beam shines directly down on whatever is below. This type of light would reflect differently off a tall trophy than a football. For these types of cases, there are additional options and considerations.

All serious football collectors know if they want their cherished ball to withstand the test of time, they must have a high-quality display case with the perfect type of illumination. Most footballs cannot be restored from issues due to fading, discoloration, or aging, so the only way to avoid having any of those problems is to display the football with lighting that won’t damage it.

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