Private libraries are common in custom homes, small offices, and even places like local chamber of commerce buildings where a touch of the Old World meets with the new. There is something classic about a book that never goes out of style. Lighting bookcases with rare books adds a sense of preeminence to their distinguished nature, and establishes the library as the central repository for all things refined and sensible. Because of this, lighting a library is not something that can be done with just any sort of equipment. The quality, level, and nature of the light are foundational to safe and aesthetically appropriate levels of luminance. Special linear strip lighting equipment and installation techniques are necessary in order to create the sophisticated outcome the book collector expects.
To begin with, the display lighting fixtures used for library lighting must be completely concealed from the line of sight. This creates the illusion of sourceless illumination that appears to radiate from the spines and bindings of the books themselves, hovering around the lettering of the titles. This level of concealment is only possible with exceptionally thin low voltage festoon lighting– such as those manufactured by Phantom Lighting, custom-cut to the exact dimensions of each library bookshelf and fitted to the underside of its surface. The fit is so precise that the strip lights function as a virtual part of the shelf itself, and betray no visible sign of their presence.
These library lighting strips are powered in equally unobtrusive ways. If Phantom is contacted by the bookcase manufacturer prior to construction of the library shelves, they can be built into the shelving and receive electrical current through vertical metal buss bars that run lengthwise up the vertical outsides of the cases. In older libraries where the cases do not have such buss bars, other linear light strip models can be installed by carefully running wires between the shelf and the case and connecting them to the contact pads on the underside of the shelf. In either instance, Phantom strip accent lights produce a gentle, ambient glow that emanates down onto the rows of book beneath each strip.
Not only is this light attractive, but it is also perfectly safe. Most of the linear strips we sell these days for library lighting are fitted with special LED 2700K lamps that radiate the same level of light as xenon lamps, but produce no ultraviolet or infrared light that can damage the print or covers of rare books. As we all know, UV light breaks down any organic substance, including paper made from wood and leather that originates from animal tissue. IR light is an unseen, though significantly dangerous, source of heat that will dry out binding and cause it to crack over periods of time. LED accent lights rated at 2700K and 3500K color temperatures emanate absolutely NO invisible radiation of this type, and burn cool on concealed, low-voltage transformers that require only 10% of the electricity needed to power older incandescent technologies.
This makes Phantom fixtures the most economical high-end sources of library lighting, especially when one also considers another important benefit that this technology offers. These cabinet lights are dimmable, and they can be adjusted to whatever level one desires to complement general room lighting conditions, or to draw attention toward bookcases as the central aesthetic in the room. The power-saving functionality, combined with the superior presentation, makes Phantom fixtures some of the most elegant choices for library lighting found anywhere in the world.
We have lighting agents in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Central America and South America who will answer any questions, provide literature and schematics, and arrange for local product demonstrations. Our team of experienced technicians is always willing to share their knowledge of fine art, display lighting and accent lighting tools.
Feel free to contact us toll free at 800-863-1184, visit our mobile website, lighting blog or online lighting showroom to discover which Phantom Lighting products and models will best adapt to your particular lighting needs.