Lighting Curio Cabinets, Display Units & Bookshelves:
What is the most difficult aspect of lighting curio cabinets?
When lighting curio cabinets with mirrored back panes the biggest problem is reflective glare. This is an almost unavoidable disadvantage when lighting a display cabinet in front of a mirror of any type.
When lighting curio cabinets made from solid wood, the problem is shadows and uneven distribution of light. This is why some of these showcase cabinets have two or more light fixtures to light the objects from multiple angles. The disadvantage here, though, is that too many lights creates “fixture clutter” that diminishes presentation.
What about these lights that come pre-installed in some curio cabinets?
Honestly, they are not a bad way of lighting a curio cabinet, provided that it is a standing wall cabinet of larger than average size, and provided that the shelves are made of glass. Light passes downward through the shelves and reflects off the mirror, wrapping itself around the collection in the process. However, there will still be reflective glare from certain viewing angles such as couches and chairs near the display.
In a wall curio cabinet made from dark, solid wood, glass shelves will allow overhead light to pass all the way to the cabinet floor without the nuisance of reflective glare. However each object casts a shadow that requires either multiple fixtures top-mounted fixture or some sort of alternative, secondary source of lighting for the curio cabinet.
This is where Phantom under cabinet LED light fixtures can prove invaluable tools to truly impeccable presentation.
OK, so how do Phantom linear strip lights overcome these obstacles?
If the cabinet is made of wood, there is a great deal of creative freedom and flexibility you can apply to either supplementing in cabinet lights or using Phantom LED strips as the primary source of curio lighting. Cabinets made of wood will accommodate up to three major Phantom Strip Series, all of which are designed to remain concealed from viewing angles. Our Classic lighting products can be mounted to vertical, horizontal, and even curved surfaces.
Furthermore, in spite of the nuisance of reflective glare, Phantom HM series make for some of the best curio cabinet lights you can use for wall-mounted display cases. Whereas mirror panels in larger cabinets may actually show reflections of the linear lighting strips themselves to seated guests, wall mounted cabinets feature more narrow surface depth that actually helps create the optical illusion that the lighting strips are actually built into the top of the cabinet.
What bulb types are the best choices for curio cabinets?
Phantom is a lighting fixture manufacturer of quality strip lights with incandescent, xenon, or led bulbs, each of which offers unique advantages to the specific type of curio cabinet they light and the nature of the collectibles on display. Wooden curio cabinets with no interior mirrors need the brightest illumination possible, so we generally recommend xenon low voltage bulbs that are renowned for producing the whitest light. You can set the dimmer switch to a higher setting when guest are active throughout the home, then turn the lights down to leave them at lower levels once most people have gone to bed. LED replacement lamps will render xenon lamps obsolete as colors improve.