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How does the Phantom Contour optical framing projector compare to its competition? It is superior in many ways!

What is an optical framing projector?
When it comes to professional lighting art, nothing is more impressive or visually-effective than an optical framing projector. A hidden light source with a controlled beam of light precisely illuminates the canvas or sculpture and not the wall behind it. This technology has been around for many years and was first introduced by an optical scientist named Rudolph Wendel.

The History of the Wendel Projector
Mr. Wendel created the first optical framing projector, which thrilled art connoisseurs for years and was first used in the Louvre. For many years, Mr. Wendel’s creation was the gold standard for fine art lighting worldwide. Mr. Wendel’s optical projector has evolved over the years and moved from an incandescent pre-focus light source to a mini-can base halogen lamp. The halogen lamp produces a very white color of light that has good color rendering and is preferred by artists and collectors. Unfortunately, the halogen light source produces a tremendous amount of heat, which requires the housing for the equipment to be large and bulky. Optically, the Wendelighting® optical projector is still the same today as it was when it was created by Rudolph Wendel. With changes in the energy code, advances in light sources and optical design, the Wendelighting® optical projector is being left behind by the Phantom Contour Projector.


The Phantom Contour Projector

Today’s standard for fine art illumination is the LED Phantom Contour Projector. This high performance optical framing projector utilizes a very powerful and efficient 3000K LED light source. Fitted inside a unique optical chamber the light is magnified and distributed through a series of condensing lenses creating a very intense focused light source. This focused light is projected onto the art and then shaped to fit the exact contour of the object, regardless of the size, creating a lighted from with look. This is done with either an adjustable shuttering system, custom metal confinement plate, or pattern gobo to mask the light. It is even possible to illuminate more than one object individually from a single Phantom projector, by using the hand cut brass confinement plate masking method. In fact, the Phantom Contour Projector is so unique and so effective, it is was granted a US PATENT for innovation and design. The Phantom IC-Rated housings are half the size of the Wendelighting® optical projector housings and produce more light with less heat.

  • LED Lamp Technology: The Contour projector utilizes a proprietary LED light engine with a custom concentric parabolic reflector, aluminum heat sink, active DC cooling fan and CREE© XHP70 3000K LED chip producing 90+ CRI and average lamp life of 30,000+ hours.
  • Precision Optics: High-performance variable optics system consisting of two (2) 39mm focal lenses and two (2) 60mm condensing lenses designed for both long and short throws as well as off center mounting. The special Achromatic focal lenses produce crisp sharp lines without any chromatic abnormalities.
  • Multiple Masking Methods: There are three masking methods available for the LED Contour Projector: standard aluminum shutters for square or rectangular artworks, custom-cut brass templates for multiple or irregularly shaped artworks, and stainless steel gobos (Rosco© Type M) for patterned lighting effects.
  • User-Friendly Housing Options: Probably the biggest difference between the Contour projector and the Wendelighting® optical projector is the user friendly mounting methods and multiple masking methods. A variety of ETL Approved housings have been created to handle just about any ceiling situation or attic condition.

Use the following links to view our housing options: FFL Series – Float Finish Housing | NCL Series – New Construction Housing | RML Series – Remodeler HousingSML Series – Surface Mount Projector | TAL Series – Top Access Housing


  • Energy-Efficient Drivers: All Phantom projector models are powered by an auto-sensing 120-277V, 50/60Hz, 1750mA constant current electronic LED driver, Tri-Dimming (MLV forward phase, ELV reverse phase, 0-10V) and a non-dimming 12VDC fan power supply. Optional on-board 0-10V dimmer control available for setting output levels.
  • ETL Approved in the US and Canada: Conforms to UL STD 1598 Requirements; certified to CSA STD C22.2 NO.250.0
  • Easy to Install: Gone are the days of the technician flying in to meticulously install a picture framing lights. Now professional results can be achieved by anyone who can follow our detailed instructions. If you are illuminating a square or rectangular work of art, use the adjustable shutter system for a fantastic results. If lighting multiple objects, large objects or 3D objects is the task at hand, use our hand cut template method to achieve dramatic results. Our template cutting instructions will guide you through the process.

A review from a satisfied customer:
I manage a large lighting showroom in Houston. I have always been reluctant to specify or furnish framing projectors to my customers because they are expensive and usually nothing but trouble. My lighting representative showed me the Phantom Contour Projector and just how easy it was to install over Wendelighting® optical projector or Laymance optical projectors on a retro-fit job. My installer was quite pleased with how easy the rough-in process went, especially since no patching or painting was required with the RML series. We trimmed out the projectors yesterday and I could not be more pleased. The ease and simplicity of the adjustable shutters makes this one of the most affordable and effective framing projectors on the market. I also used the custom template to light not only two works individually, but three on one wall. I plan to make Phantom Contour Projectors my standard for lighting fine art.


If you’re interested in learning more about how a Phantom Contour Projector can transform the art on display in your home or business, please give us a call toll-free at 800-863-1184 or request a quote using our online form.

WENDELIGHTING® is a registered trademark of Jacksen International, LTD.
PHANTOM™ is a registered trademark of Phantom Lighting Systems, LLC.