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Adjustable Cabinet Lighting is in a League of its Own!

Phantom Lighting is known as a pioneer in the lighting industry, but when it comes to adjustable cabinet lighting, we literally invented the concept. Our founder and owner, Tom Kretzschmar, received a US Patent for his proprietary adjustable cabinet lighting design, which has since been installed in homes and businesses across the world. In this article, we’ll discuss how the Phantom adjustable cabinet series works and the unparalleled benefits it can add to the displays in your home, office, or retail space.


The Adjustable Concealed (AC) Series

Designed to be installed during cabinet construction when drilled holes and round pins are used to support the individual adjustable shelves.

Spec sheets – AC Classic | AC Elite | AC Ultra

The Adjustable Exposed (AE) Series

Designed to be installed in existing cabinetry where metal standards are exposed and individual shelves are supported by metal shelf support clips.

Spec sheets – AE Classic | AE Elite | AE Ultra

How Phantom’s Adjustable Cabinet Lighting Works:

Most shelf illumination is built with exposed wiring and presents an eyesore. These fixtures cannot be manipulated once installed without the help of a professional electrician, which means that even something as simple as raising or lowering a shelf becomes a huge inconvenience once these fixtures are installed. Phantom’s adjustable cabinet lights are so flexible because they are not installed using exposed wiring. It’s this wiring that normally makes it impossible to shift the fixtures around, and it comes standard in the vast majority of display fixtures.

Phantom’s LED systems instead use buss bars and brass components to channel the current from the concealed driver, without the need for exposed wiring. The unique buss bar power distribution allows the shelf supports to be adjusted without interfering with the light fixture wiring method. The buss bars are powered by a transformer, so the contact pads can rest on the shelf supports to conduct electricity to the Phantom light fixture. If the shelf supports need to be manipulated, a professional is not required to rearrange wiring or shelving because all the components are integrated into the shelf and display cabinet.

Each adjustable cabinet lighting installation requires only one pair of bus bars per section, and each linear strip light requires only one corresponding CDA kit per shelf. These components, along with a small, low-voltage transformer that is easy to conceal, are all that is necessary to create a completely hidden light, wireless light source that will illuminate everything from rare books and antique china to sentimental curios and fine bottles of wine.

The Benefits of Adjustable Cabinet Lighting

For homes – There are countless benefits to enhancing the cabinetry in your home with any of Phantom’s linear strip lighting products, but our adjustable series offer the most customization. Most homeowners don’t change the layout of their shelving very often, but having the option to do so without the need for rewiring is much better than having to hire an electrician whenever they want to redecorate.

  • Kitchens, butler’s pantries, and cocktail bars: if your home has cabinetry in the kitchen, cocktail bar, or butler’s pantry (with or without glass-front doors), adjustable cabinet lights will create an inviting glow while illuminating your dishes and products. Kitchen appliances and serving dishes vary greatly in size, particularly in height, so should you ever decide to change out the items you have on display, it’s easy to move your shelves around without sacrificing your lighting design.
  • Libraries and home offices: adjustable cabinet lighting is great for home offices and libraries because it offers a simple way to infuse new life into a set of books and a space for reading and relaxing. Click here to read more about the benefits of cabinet lighting in home libraries.
  • Living rooms and dens: homeowners generally display their favorite or most cherished decorative objects in rooms where their families and guests spend the most time, like the living room or den. Adjustable cabinet lighting offers the increased aesthetics of display lighting, while allowing for the ability to change the layout of shelves to accommodate changing decor. This is particularly helpful for displaying collections of framed photos, as they often vary greatly in height as they grow alongside families.

For businesses – Cabinetry in businesses is usually found in private offices, building lobbies, and board or conference rooms. The addition of adjustable cabinet lighting enhances the mood of any room and highlights decorative objects, awards, and marketing materials that a business might have on display, drawing clients in with museum-quality aesthetics.

For retail spaces – The benefits of adjustable cabinet lighting in retail applications are unmatched by other display lighting options. Not only does great lighting have the power to influence customers, but retail displays are constantly changing and our products allow you and your employees to change the shelving layout without the need for rewiring. Click here to learn more about why you should consider Phantom’s adjustable display lighting for your retail space.

The Adjustable Concealed (AC) Series Installation Process

The Phantom Adjustable Concealed (AC) series is very complex, but not impossible to understand – we created detailed instructions on the components and mounting specifications. Please click here to view an in-depth guide to understanding and installing the AC Series.

There are a few steps that must be taken by the carpenter, builder, electrician, or contractor as the cabinet is being constructed and assembled:

  1. The process begins with the carpenter routing out a 1/4” x 5/8” channel on each exterior wall of the cabinet sections to accept the metal buss bars. It is important to make sure the buss bars line up with the mounting holes in the side of the cabinet. (See AC Series cut sheets: AC Elite | AC Ultra)
  2. Secure buss bar in place using mounting screw provided in package. Repeat this for each cabinet section.
  3. As the carpenter begins to assemble the various sections your electrician should then install low voltage home run wiring from the transformer location to the individual metal buss bars in each cabinet section. He or she must also provide a separate low voltage wire from the transformer to the light strip behind the header at the top of each cabinet section. We recommend access to these electrical connections for future maintenance.
  4. After the cabinet and shelves are painted, install the Phantom brass right angle mounting brackets at the front of each cabinet section using the provided brass screws. Use standard right angle pins (provided by carpenter) for the back shelf supports.
  5. Attach the lights strips on bottom of each shelf as well as the light strip behind the top header. Attached contact pads on each shelf and place the shelves in the cabinet. Connect the top strip behind the header. Install the shelves in the cabinet.
  6. Like magic, safe low voltage power will flow from the buss bars through the mounting bracket, then complete circuit through the contact pads connected to the lighting strips on each shelf.

The entire process takes only a few hours to complete, and results in an exciting visual display that appears to be lit by a hidden light strips emanating from the shelving itself. The results are spectacular!

If you have any questions about our adjustable cabinet lighting systems or to get started on a lighting design plan for your display cabinetry, contact Phantom toll-free at 800-863-1184 or request a quote using our online form. Or if you prefer, sign up for our monthly newsletter and we will keep you up-to-date on new product launches, resources, and more.

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