Corner cabinet lighting can present some unique challenges to the carpenter and the designer. On an aesthetic level, one has to precisely match the color temperature of the light to the contents on display to most appropriately showcase their color and form. On a functional level, the designer must select corner cabinet lights that offer some means of controlling heat buildup within the cabinet interior, or install a light source that will produce less heat without sacrificing lighting levels or lighting quality.To better understand how the present generation of corner cabinet lights evolved in the first place, we need to take a look at back in history. In the very beginning, there were only incandescent lights. Corner cabinets were originally built with hand soldered incandescent lighting strips built into the displays themselves. Incandescent was and still is the closest match to natural sunlight, so early corner cabinet lighting solutions produced a luminance that was incredibly “golden” in tone and ideal for lighting fine antiques and rare collectibles. However, these lights produced considerable heat output that was further magnified by glass door enclosure. Also, incandescents only lasted for a short period of time.
Even to this day, incandescent bulbs of any kind suffer from the shortest lamp life on the market.To create a light source with longer lamp life, cabinet lighting manufacturers began to develop a new, hybrid form of incandescent light called xenon. They also developed dimmer controls that would allow display owners to raise and lower lighting levels at will. Xenon still had the slightly golden appearance of incandescent lights, only with a slightly lighter, whiter tone. It quickly became the new standard in custom cabinet furniture lighting, and the new technology of the dimmer control allowed for forward throw heat to be directly controlled for the first time. The only disadvantage to this, however, was that reducing heat meant reducing the level of light. For some very elaborate antique and collectible displays, this meant creating too much darkness for maximum aesthetic.
The ultimate solution to all of these concerns came with the most recent development in corner cabinet lighting– LED technology. LED allows us now to create much higher lighting levels with less heat. The patent pending Phantom LEDfestoon lamp, for example, is a 1.7 watt unit that emits the equivalent of 5 watt xenon bulb. However, the heat generated in the production of light is dissipated by a heat sink that draws heat away from the cabinet interior. Additional benefits of LED technology are the longest lamp life of any light source and a power consumption of only 20%-40% that of previous technologies.
Ranging in terms of the warmest to coolest, LED festoons are available in color temperatures 2800K, 2950K and 5000K. Of course, Phantom has a policy never to limit the choices of our clients for display cabinet lighting. Some decorators have already determined specific ambient qualities they wish to create that require xenon or incandescent strip lights. For such clients, we recommend the use of dimmer controls to control heat, and we also suggest that lights be turned off for periods of time. Also, our engineers strongly recommend that for lighting closed corner cabinets with glass doors, one should use xenon bulbs rated at 3 or 5 watts. Anything more than that will generate too much heat buildup to effectively control without sacrificing luminance and aesthetics.
Our home lighting manufacturing facility is located in Houston, Texas, which in turn distributes these specialty linear lights through a nationwide network of lighting supply channels, distributorships, and sales agents in cities such as Rhinelander, WI (RHI), Yakima, WA (YKM), Windsor Locks, CT (BDL), Mason City, IA (MCW), Sault Ste Marie, MI (CIU), Binghamton, NY (BGM), Lawton, OK (LAW), Pasco, WA (PSC), St Cloud, MN (STC), and Hyannis, MA (HYA). We also service clients internationally, with lighting manufacturer representatives working out of Canada, Mexico, Central America, and South America.
We invite you to contact us toll free 800-863-1184 to obtain more information on all of these options. Feel free to visit our mobile website, lighting blog, read our client testimonials or visit our online lighting showroom to discover which Phantom Lighting products will best adapt to your particular lighting needs. All of these resources 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.