Lighting minerals and gems can pose a unique challenge. Nothing shines like minerals and gems when they are properly illuminated, but with their propensity to sparkle and shine, it isn’t hard to ruin the display with the wrong lighting fixtures. The thing to remember is that every light will create a reflection, which can look nice if managed properly. However, it takes an expert eye to get it right, and high-quality fixtures to meter the light precisely.
No gem or mineral is the same – they take on hundreds, if not thousands, of shapes, sizes and colors. It’s this variety that makes for an interesting display, and it’s this variety that the fixtures need to take advantage of. Phantom’s Elite and Ultra LED lights are formatted perfectly for this purpose because they can be customized to emit brilliant, natural white light, which enhances the true color of the pieces in your collection. With their extremely compact design and variety of available mounting methods, Phantom’s LED strip lighting systems can be hidden within the display shelving. So, instead of overpowering the subjects with distracting, visible light sources, they simply give every subject a clean spot of bright, neutral illumination to work with. This renders the subject’s color perfectly and makes every piece look like part of a museum exhibit.
With Phantom’s adjustable fixture design, the Elite and Ultra series can be moved around with ease, allowing for regular rearrangement of display shelves and cabinetry without the need for rewiring. It’s just another mark of versatility from a set of fixtures that are defined by their flexibility.
Because gems and minerals interact strongly with light, each fixture will create a point of illumination on the subject’s surface. When executed properly, several fixtures can result in a dazzling, multifaceted display of light and color. The best way to achieve this effect is with fixtures that can be precisely aimed and focused. Fluorescent tubes, for example, emit diffused illumination that won’t create the tiny reflections a designer is aiming for. Instead, most experts rely on directional halogen fixtures, and in particular the MR-11 and MR-16 varieties. Both are built with internal reflectors that send illumination forward, and both offer several dispersion patterns, which will be extremely helpful when coming up with a tailored illumination pattern for each specimen.
However, as technology has advanced, LED lamps have taken over as the premiere source of display illumination. Phantom’s Classic series of LED festoon lamp display lighting is perfect for illuminating mineral and gem collections because the individual festoon lights react brilliantly with the facets and surfaces of the subjects. LED festoon lamps provide all of the same features as traditional halogen fixtures, but they last much longer and don’t emit forward-thrown heat. As you walk past the display, the lights will appear to shift across the various surfaces of the display subjects, giving your gems and minerals the sparkling appearance that you’d normally only encounter in a museum.
If you’re ready to transform your gem or mineral collection into a dazzling display of natural elegance, give Phantom Lighting a call toll-free at 800-863-1184 or request a quote using our online form.