Collectors are, naturally, into showcasing their rocks and minerals, but a lot has to go into a single display. Lighting and geological specimens can make for a powerful combination, but only if the lighting is set up properly. In general, gems and other specimens work best under precisely metered illumination, which calls for directional fixtures instead of strip or tube fixtures. Diffused illumination is not the right approach for the most part, though there are a couple exceptions. Instead, collectors will need to look to a couple types of halogen fixtures to get the most from their display.
When light hits the specimen’s surface, it will create a single point that appears to sparkle. Lighting designers can use this to great effect by setting up multiple fixtures and aiming them from different angles. Getting several lights into a small space, though, and ensuring they have room to operate takes a knowledgeable hand. It also takes special lights that are ideal for showcasing rocks and minerals. In most cases, MR-11 and MR-16 halogens are the way to go, as they are designed to focus light forward. They can be placed inside a variety of fixture housings as well, such as recessed fixtures, track fixtures, and even optical projectors. This allows a designer to set up a display that is customized to the specimens, which will ensure a look that appears sophisticated and crafted.