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Great art lighting can seem like magic, but the effects are produced through a specific science.

It’s generally frowned upon for magicians to reveal how their tricks work, but the experts at Phantom know that customers and designers prefer to understand a product before they purchase it! The Phantom LED Optical Framing Projector masks the light to the contours of the art itself instead of simply casting light in the general direction of the piece. This eliminates light spillage, or overflow onto the walls around the art, making the piece appear as though it is lit from within. In the evening hours, your art will jump off the walls! It may look like magic to your guests, but Phantom Lighting has engineered our product specifically to produce this effect for your art lighting needs.

art lighting


Before, Without Art Lighting

After, With a Phantom Contour Projector


How Phantom Contour Projectors achieve such great art lighting results:

LED Light Source

  • LED art projector lighting beats halogen in every respect. High-performance LEDs last around 30,000 hours, compared to halogen’s 3,000 to 4,000. LEDs emit little heat and close to zero infrared or ultraviolet radiation, which means they are safe to use with any subject. That’s something that halogen cannot match. LEDs are also much more durable, energy efficient and controllable than halogen.
  • High performance LEDs can now compete with halogen technology in color rendering and output intensity. The Cree XHP70, for instance, can output more than 4,000 lumens, which is greater than all other commercial LED fixtures. It’s also comparable to halogen. Higher performance LEDs are also nearing halogen in terms of color rendering, with some LED lights scoring 90+ on the color rendering index.
  • Art museums and galleries may keep their lights on from morning to night, and if they aren’t efficient, it will cost the venue. LED fixtures are anywhere from twice to 10 times as efficient, depending on the exact lights involved. While LED fixtures are more expensive upfront, their lower operating costs ensure venues achieve an ROI on their system within a handful of years. Even after the fixtures pay themselves off, it may be several more years before replacements are necessary.

Masking Methods

  • Adjustable aluminum shutters: Phantom’s adjustable shutters are designed for use with paintings, photographs, illustrations and any other subject that is square or rectangular. The shutters can be moved around to screen out any light that doesn’t contact the subject, and they can be adjusted quickly to accommodate a variety of subject sizes and shapes.
  • Hand-cut brass templates: For subjects that are irregular in shape, a custom-cut template makes the most sense. Sculptures, models and art installations are best served by a custom cut brass template, because it is designed to fit the subject’s curves and edges perfectly.
  • Patterned gobos: If advanced lighting patterns are needed, such as in theatrical lighting projects, a stainless steel gobo can provide the pattern.

Housing Options

  • Remodeler Housing, which can be installed into existing ceilings without the need to patch and paint. It can even be installed between floors without having to patch or paint. This remodel housing, designed for old work projects, is a Phantom exclusive.
  • Float Finish Housing is intended for a zero sight-line installation, which means it is built without a visible cover plate. The Float Finish model, then, is the least visible art lighting system on the market, and ideal for homeowners that want something inconspicuous.
  • New Construction Housing is, unsurprisingly, designed for new construction and is perfect for high-end residential art lighting. It is installed prior to sheetrock ceiling placement and is mounted to trusses or joists. The New Construction model is finished with a white cover plate to minimize visibility.
  • Top Access Housing is designed for homes where there is no bottom access to the projector. The access panel is instead available from the attic, and only a small aperture is required to fire the projector’s beam through, similar to a Wendel installation technique.
  • Surface Mount projector is designed for areas where a recessed model is not feasible or desired. Available in natural aluminum, white or black, the surface mount projector is perfect for blending into any decor.

Social Channels – Art lighting News & Information

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If we can help with your art lighting project or answer any questions about our series of LED contour projectors, give us a call toll-free at 800-863-1184 or request a quote using our online form.

Phantom Lighting