Why is it necessary to use special lighting for books?
Generally speaking, only books made from very fine and sensitive materials, or rare books that are old or out of print, tend to be displayed in a fashion that requires illumination. Due to the sensitivity of leather, binding, and pages, book accent lighting must be free from all harmful wavelengths of light and also look aesthetically presentable.
What do you mean by “harmful wavelengths of light?”
The invisible extremes of the light spectrum—ultraviolet and infrared—both present unseen hazards to books and other fine materials. Ultraviolet light breaks down the cellular and molecular structure of any organic material, living or non-living. Infrared light generates heat that can dehydrate paper and leather, causing cracking and possible fire hazards.Should book lights then be UV and IR filtered?
Some are, but it is better to use LED lights that do not produce UV or IR rays to begin with. Unlike all other light sources (fluorescent, incandescent, and xenon) that ignite gases to create luminance, LEDs create light by passing a current through a solid substance called a diode. This diode in turn emits a monochromatic frequency of color that travels in a tight, narrow wavelength and avoids either extreme of the spectrum where harmful radiation is found.
I have heard that LEDs produce a poor quality of lighting compared to other lamps. Is this true?
No. LEDs such as Phantom Lighting’s 2800K LED festoon lamp emit a quality of light that is equivalent to xenon in the ability to render colors true to form. Phantom book lights also are designed with a unique, patented festoon that combines multiple LED bulbs to create a high output of lumens. Although these bulbs use a mere 1.7 watts of power (a fraction of that used by older technologies), they are able to shine just as brightly. LEDs also produce no heat, so they will not dry out covers or pages and pose no risk of fire hazard if left on for extended periods of time. See our festoon lamp comparison chart for more details.
With all this complicated science, how decorative are Phantom book lighting fixtures?
The purpose of the science is to maximize, not minimize, the decorative potential of our fixtures. Phantom’s motto is “see the light, not the fixture.” Our strip lights are very small and very thin, and they can be concealed under any book shelf in a wireless, unobtrusive configuration. Furthermore, they are completely dimmable, so a variety of lighting levels and moods can be achieved simply by adjusting the brightness of the lamps. The hidden position of the fixture, the absence of wiring that can create an eyesore, and the smaller, concealed low-voltage transformers enable you to light your bookcase or library in such a way as to make it appear to generate light magically from within the shelves.
What sizes do you sell your book lighting strips in?
We have basic model designs for new cabinet build outs and retrofit display cabinet lighting. However, we do not have pre-cut sizes like many online stores. Instead, we custom build each strip to the specific dimensions of the shelf to which it mounts. This makes the product literally become a part of the overall bookshelf or cabinet and further adds to the element of concealment. We work closely with designers and cabinet makers to make this process as seamless and efficient as possible, and to add value to their work with our proprietary showcase lighting technology.
We manufacture cabinet lighting fixtures in our Houston, Texas facility. A network of nationwide lighting supply sales representatives fans out throughout all 50 states into cities like Scottsdale, Arizona, Seattle, Washington (SEA), Los Angeles, CA (LAX) Boston, Massachusetts (BOS), Princeton, NJ (EWR), Philadelphia, PA (PHL), Dallas, Texas (DWF), Chicago, IL (ORD), Baltimore, MD (BWI), and Minneapolis, MN (MSP). We also service clients internationally, with lighting manufacturer representatives working out of Canada, Mexico, Central America, and South America.
We invite you to call a Phantom Agent toll free 800-863-1184 to obtain more information on all of these options. You can also request literature on our Phantom Lighting website, or read through the many informative summaries and FAQs located on our cabinet lighting blog. All of these resources, including our online virtual lighting showroom contain a wealth of information about our custom; low-voltage lighting products that are the dream come true of art lighting designers and cabinet lighting builders on two major continents.