Library Lighting – Everything You Need to Know About It

Library Lighting

Illuminate your Library with Phantom’s Display Lighting Systems

Outfitting a single bookcase or a whole library with LED light strips is a simple way to infuse new life into a set of books and a space for reading and relaxing. For many people, books are some of the most prized possessions they own, and the space they do their reading is nearly sacred.

However, books have a habit of blending in instead of standing out, and they really deserve more – especially if they are rare or classic texts that a homeowner wants to proudly show off. Fortunately, Phantom’s line of linear strip lighting systems can make that possible.

There are several reasons why LED lighting systems are the premiere choice for bookcase and library illumination –

  • Your books will be safe – Paper is sensitive to high intensity illumination, discoloring in the presence of heat and UV radiation. This is particularly troublesome when displaying classic and rare texts, and it often leaves homeowners at a crossroads. Should you risk aging the text faster and place it under illumination, or should you just keep the text safe in the dark, where no one will see it? Fortunately, LED fixtures have eliminated the need to answer this dilemma because they are completely safe to use around paper and canvas.
  • Your books will stand out – LED fixtures can be configured in one of several color temperatures, and the best choice will depend on what kind of texts a homeowner intends to display. For example, classic and older texts are usually bound with covers that are black, dark green or dark brown in color, and these interact best with warmer, incandescent tones. For comics and texts with brighter, bold covers, natural white fixtures will interact with the subject best, as they will render the covers’ color most accurately.
  • Your furniture will not be damaged – Our recessed linear lighting systems can of course be installed in any built-in library shelving system, but are also perfect for antique furniture because they do not require any modification to the structure.
  • Your shelves can still be adjusted – Library shelves must be easy to adjust, because different groupings of books may feature different spine lengths that require shelving heights to be adjusted accordingly. Effectively lighting such an environment requires a shelf lighting strip that will compliment the aesthetics of the bookshelf and facilitate the ability to move the shelves. This is all made possible by Phantom’s unique brass contact pad circuit system.
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Because our lighting solutions feature a low-profile design that operates on an adjustable, wireless platform, the aesthetic results our fixtures can produce are far superior to competing, generic cabinet lighting fixtures. The fixtures are small enough to be concealed behind shelf reveals, providing a hidden light source that emanates light downward and backward over book spines.

They are also completely dimmable, allowing collectors to raise lighting levels to search for books, and then reduce illumination when low-level, decorative lighting is desired.

Phantom library lighting products are all about hiding the light source and installation techniques vary by wiring methods. Rather than take a stock fixture and modify it to fit your cabinet or shelving unit, we manufacture a custom fixture that is made especially for your job.

So if you want to illuminate a bookcase, cabinet, breakfront, armoire, or adjustable shelving unit, Phantom Lighting is right for you!

Frequently Asked Questions about Lighting a Library

Does library lighting require special equipment and techniques?
Absolutely. Even the way you install cabinet lighting matters in lighting. The classic aura of antiquity and eloquence that a library establishes calls for exceptional attention to be paid to the quality, nature, and level of the light itself. It also requires special fixtures and installation techniques to be truly effective.

What types of fixtures provide the best lighting for libraries?
Linear strips provide the best sources of library cabinet lighting system because they can be so easily concealed. However, not just any linear strip will do. The strip has to be thin enough and small enough to fit under the shelf and not protrude visibly into the line of site.

Standard fixtures are too bulky. Phantom Lighting manufactures custom strips to accommodate the need for a more compact, completely concealable source of lighting in bookcases and libraries. These in cabinet lighting fixtures are made specifically to fit the dimensions of particular shelves and are so low-profile in design they actually fit to the under surface as if they were part of the shelves themselves.

If your strip lights are that thin and compact, how do you power them?
That is an excellent question. There are two ways to deliver power to Phantom’s linear lighting strips. One way is to build them into a new library bookcase and use the buss bars in the case to send low-voltage power to the contact pads.

In older libraries, however, this may not be possible because the bookcases do not have metal bus bars. In this case, small wires can be run through the spaces between the sides of the case and the edges of the shelves, then connected to the contact pads accordingly. As you will see in our gallery of images, what results is an apparently sourceless form of library lighting that appears to make the books themselves glow with light.

Can we leave these lights on all night?
Yes. These are low-voltage lights that generate no heat if fitted with new, 2800K LED festoon lamps. They are also dimmable, so varying levels of ambient lighting appropriate to time of evening and general lighting conditions around one’s privately library can be appropriately set. Another significant advantage to using today’s newest LED light bulb technology is that it to date has produces the safest form of luminance known to science. There is absolutely no ultraviolet light or infrared heat produced by an LED light. This means that even rare books are safe from degradation and overheating even with the lights left on 24/7

Is this affordable?
LED uses only 20% of the power as incandescent lighting to begin with. When combined with a dimmer control, power savings are even greater. The quality of today’s LED cabinet lights is so superb that you cannot distinguish them from incandescent or high-end xenon lamps. Their power-saving functionality, combined with the superior presentation they afford, makes Phantom fixtures some of the most elegant choices for lighting found anywhere in the world.

If you’re ready to enhance your home library with an alluring glow from library lighting and bring your book collection into its best light, give the experts at Phantom a call toll-free at 800-863-1184 or request a quote using our online form to get started. 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.