Selecting The Best Fixture For Contemporary Art Lighting

Setting Up Contemporary Art Lighting With The Right FixtureWhen setting up contemporary art, the room’s lighting has to be taken into account. Homeowners often rely on a bold piece to act as a space’s centerpiece, but poor illumination will leave it looking dull and lifeless. The way the room is organized and how the piece looks will also dictate what fixtures will work best, though there are usually several options available to a homeowner.

Every homeowner needs to ask a few questions before they can settle on a fixture. Do the fixtures need to assume the same aesthetic as the subject? Many homeowners prefer stainless steel fixtures with contemporary art, as this lighting builds a cohesive look. Does the piece have a frame? If so, a fixture may be mounted to the piece itself. If not, can a fixture be mounted to the ceiling or wall? Rooms that feature brick or concrete will pose an impossible challenge for recessed fixtures, though surface mounts, like track fixtures, will likely work well.

If the subject is particularly large, this will also complicate the installation to some extent. For especially long or tall pieces, multiple fixtures may have to provide the illumination, and this requires a finer touch. Finally, what kind of look does the owner prefer? Do they want a large wash of illumination? Recessed down fixtures and track fixtures are effective in this situation. Would they rather confine the illumination to the face of the subject and build extra contrast? Then Phantom’s contour projectors should be the fixture of choice.

Selecting the right fixtures isn’t always easy, but careful planning will almost always ensure the perfect fit.

What Are The Concerns When Setting Up Modern Art Lighting?

What Are The Concerns When Adding Modern Art Lighting?Modern art lighting isn’t just about providing enough illumination to see the subject; it’s also about blending into the aesthetics of the artwork. There are a number of precious works from this period, some of them created by masters like Picasso and Matisse, and they deserve a fixture that is just as beautiful. But showing off priceless works can be tricky and requires a great deal of forethought to do correctly. This is why a homeowner should consider visiting museums, galleries and illumination designers to get ideas on how to pull it off.

Safety and output are two primary concerns when setting up modern art lighting. Most pieces from this period used oils, and these are highly sensitive to excess heat and ultraviolet radiation. Placing the fixture too close to the painting and using certain types of fixtures will damage the work and cause it to age faster than it should. This is fixable with proper fixture positioning and UV filters.

Illumination output and spread are essential components to proper display. However, the dimensions of the room, the height of the ceiling, the subject’s colors, style and ambient illumination can all alter how the lighting looks as it strikes the piece. In general, it is best to aim for a level of intensity that is three times greater than ambient illumination, but this usually takes some fine tuning to get right. That’s why it is best to consult with a lighting designer, as these experts can help develop a collection of fixtures that offer the right amount and color of illumination for any piece.

What Are The Advantages Of Using Fine Art Picture Lights?

Why Use Fine Art Picture Lights And Contour ProjectorsFine art deserves picture lights of the highest quality to showcase the artwork and not create a distraction. Many museums and galleries settle for fixtures mounted to the frame itself, track fixtures, or recessed fixtures. While these can be useful in particular situations, they won’t provide the same unique look that Phantom’s contour projectors are built to produce. Phantom’s projectors are built with proprietary technology using a unique lensing apparatus and are customizable for nearly any painting, photograph or sculpture.

What makes Phantom’s contour projectors for fine art different than traditional picture lights?

Most fixtures used for this purpose are not specifically made with a piece in mind. They generate too much heat, wash out colors and don’t do anything to add to the subject. Frame-mounted fixtures are particularly troublesome because they radiate much heat directly onto the subject. That will speed up the degeneration of oils in the piece and will cause the subject to age much faster. Track and recessed fixtures are safe to use, but they are difficult to set at an optimal aiming angle and typically create distracting shadows, as well.

Phantom’s contour projectors were made to avoid these problems. They are placed in the ceiling or to the ceiling’s surface and are installed to produce the perfect angle of illumination. The projectors were also designed to be easy to adjust so that anyone could do it without the help of an expert. That is ideal for galleries and museums that regularly switch out exhibits.

During operation, the projector produces a beam of illumination that is precisely shaped to the subject, which is why it is called a contour projector. There is no spill illumination created by the projector, so only the subject is ensnared by the projector’s beam of radiance. That gives the subject a different, lit from within look that is striking to people seeing it for the first time. Because the projector is concealed from view, the effect is even stronger and can give a piece a fresh look.

These projectors enhance fine art in a way picture lights cannot, and they are easily adjustable and compatible with a variety of pieces. They can either be set up with a set of adjustable shutters or a custom cut metal slide. Adjustable shutters are for square or rectangular subjects while metal slides are custom cut on site to masking the specific piece. Adjustable shutters are better for paintings and photographs while metal slides make sense for sculptures and other irregularly shaped installations.

A museum, gallery or home that needs just the right touch for their artwork can find it in Phantom’s proprietary projector technology. With their premium fixtures, durable design and customization options, these projectors can turn any piece into a worthy centerpiece.

Where Can Someone Purchase Optical Framing Projectors?

Art_4Phantom’s optical framing projectors are some of the best and most innovative fine art lighting fixtures on the market today. They have been designed for different applications and for usage in a diverse group of settings. They can be found in art galleries, museums, private residences, and businesses. They are a great form of art lighting and can enhance paintings, sculptures, and featured pieces. The light created from these projectors are designed specifically for fine art and will not deteriorate or degrade materials. They create the safest, most controlled light for displaying priceless pieces.

Contour lighting fixtures should be nearly invisible from view, so as not to detract from the space where they are installed, nor from the displayed pieces. Older projector fixtures were large, bulky pieces that stuck out like sore thumbs. Phantom’s fixtures were a first in the industry – the housing units were created to be low profile and concealed from sight. Their Remodel (RM) housing unit has the ability to be installed in shallow ceiling spaces between stories.

They operate with a low voltage halogen lamp that passes through several lenses and filters to create a focused beam of light. Currently, LED technology is not sophisticated enough to be utilized in contour lighting fixtures. The light created by the diodes will not have the ability to manage the different lenses and filters.

Phantom’s contour lighting fixtures accommodate different installations and applications while remaining low maintenance. Their simple shutter system is also adjustable and can crop light in specific ways. The brass confinement templates are available for custom objects, logos, or cut to focus on single or multiple objects, or even “outline” an irregular shaped sculpture. Phantom’s optical framing projectors excel at creating illumination that appears to come from within.

The Different Types Of Art Lighting Fixtures For Illumination

There are a variety of options when it comes to choosing art lighting fixtures. The display of work can do a lot to impact the way it is viewed. An incorrect choice can lead to a washed out look, colors actually fading, or glare. Over time, the colors will be leached if art is placed in the sun or if the illumination is pointing directly at it, rather than being angled. For these reasons it is important to take into consideration the medium that is being displayed. Is the piece two dimensional? A sculpture will have different requirements than a painting. Oil paintings are subject to glare when placed directly in illumination. Often, angling the lights can solve the issue of glare.

Many of the fixture options are designed to showcase the art, and the top three bulb types are fluorescent, incandescent, and halogen. Some bulbs, like halogens, burn hotter than others. This means that certain types of illumination will have to be positioned farther from the piece, so that the display materials are not harmed.

The type and framing of the artwork will also factor into which illumination choices will create the most appealing display. The width of a frame should be taken into consideration so that it does not cast shadows onto the image. Frames can be handy, and the fixtures can often be mounted directly on the frame.

The advantage of choosing art lighting fixtures is that they are designed to exhibit the pieces in the most flattering way. The true colors and form can be easily admired with the proper lighting.

Framing Projectors Are The Preferred Method Of Lighting Fine Art

One great masterpiece deserves another, and framing projectors are indisputably the number one choice for illuminating fine art. Unsurpassed in delivering a sharp contour of the artwork on display, these cutting-edge devices ensure that magnificent paintings, riveting abstracts, and captivating sculptures are presented in the most flattering light possible.

The Phantom Contour line of framing projectors is the premier product available on the market today. With state-of-the-art technology, the brand demonstrates numerous advantages in both performance and value. Owners of Phantom Contour products are, for example, in complete control of the angle, brightness and strength of illumination. This allows them to achieve customized and exceedingly flexible lighting for their prized possessions.

Low-watt halogen lamps ensure the hanging (or standing) treasures are protected from possibly harmful ultraviolet rays, while emanating a museum-quality beam of light that lends an unprecedented majesty to the artwork on display. Unobtrusive and well-hidden, these fixtures are normally recessed into the ceiling and visible only to those who actively search for the light source that creates the “lighted from within” effect.

Designed with user-friendliness in mind, these devices are remarkably easy to install for novice and expert alike. Professional assistance from an electrician is usually not needed, and Phantom lighting agents stand at the ready to guide consumers through the eight-step installation process if needed. Custom templates are provided for accurate measurements, and all needed accessories such as screws and clips are included in the package.

Phantom Contour products are fully customizable with dimmers, pattern gobos, offset housing, and adjustable shutters. In addition, the company was the first to introduce a “Remodel Housing” model that allows for between-floor installation without cuts to the ceiling.

How To Choose From The Various Options Of Artistic Lighting

Consumers have a number of options to choose from when it comes to artistic lighting, but not all sources of illumination are created equal. Choices range from natural sun and inexpensive picture lights to highest quality projectors, but at the end of the day, the finest art deserves nothing less than the finest illumination.

Natural sun is the least acceptable choice of artistic lighting, despite misconceptions to the contrary. The sun contains infrared and ultraviolet rays that can harm treasured works of art. At best, the sun tends to fade colors over time. At worst, it can crack paint, disintegrate textures, and make wooden picture frames brittle.

Fluorescent fixtures can also do more harm than good. While energy efficient, they contain the same ultraviolet rays as the sun, harboring the potential for significant damage and placing the integrity of paintings at risk. Like incandescent bulbs, fluorescents also produce poor color rendering, obscuring the beauty of a piece by suppressing the brilliance of the entire color spectrum.

Halogen lamps are generally considered a good solution for illuminating paintings, especially in combination with incandescent fixtures. The latter are generally considered safe to use on fragile pieces, but their high energy consumption can be a costly downside. In fact, the U.S. government is slowly phasing out incandescents, and replacement bulbs may become increasingly difficult to find.

To truly showcase the splendor of paintings or three-dimensional pieces, the Phantom line of Contour Projectors is an excellent choice. Known to create a unique lighted-from-within effect, Phantom Contour Projector fixtures are all but invisible to the naked eye, yet their fiber optic technology delivers the highest quality illumination with concise outlines and bursting colors.

Fine Art Lighting Is Unlike Other Forms of Illumination

Fine art lighting focuses on the subject rather than the light.Fine art lighting is not like any other form of illumination. It must represent beautiful works in all their glory without overwhelming the observer. If these fixtures are poorly installed or manufactured, they may wash out the vibrant colors in the subject or distract people with their intensity. For this reason, many venues rely on the projectors produced by Phantom. A ceiling mounted projector from Phantom keeps a low profile, requires little energy, and can be customized to fit any art piece.

Simple incandescent or fluorescent bulbs are not appropriate for fine art lighting. Both produce color temperatures that are either too warm or too cool, often distorting the inherent color in the piece. They cannot be placed in a way that best flatters the subject, reducing the impact the piece has on observers. LED and halogen projectors solve these problems with superior technology and smart designs.

LED and halogen projectors both require less energy than an incandescent or fluorescent fixture. As a result, they are less expensive to operate and pose less of a fire risk. This is important, because display projectors must be kept on for hours at a time. They also produce illumination that is very close to neutral white, which does not alter the color in the subject.

Phantom’s projectors are designed to maintain a low footprint when mounted in the ceiling, and a low profile when activated. They can even be installed in a ceiling that has very little attic space. Versatility is a major design concept for Phantom, so its projectors can illuminate horizontally or at an angle. They can also be calibrated to properly illuminate an object of any shape.

The result is an elimination of spill, or illumination that extends beyond the subject. This contoured fine art lighting, therefore, can give the subject a glow that looks like it is coming from within. This allows the focus to remain on the artwork rather than the light.

Contour Projector Frequently Asked Questions

RM Series Contour ProjectorWhy would I use the Contour Projector instead of a low voltage pinhole light?

The primary reason to use a framing projector is to shape the light exactly to the contour of the object of art without illuminating the wall or floor around it. This is done with one of two masking methods: Adjustable shutters or custom cut templates. The art takes on a three-dimensional, lighted from within look, which is spectacular in the right environment. Framing projectors are considered the most dramatic form of art illumination on the market today!

How does the Phantom Contour Projector compare with the Wendelighting® optical projector?

The two projectors are very similar in optical design except for the light source, housings and mounting techniques. Utilizing a 75-Watt MR16 lamp our custom lenses collect, condense and focus the light to levels exceeding the 150-Watt lamp used in the Wendelighting® optical projector. This has allowed us to reduce the size of the housings by 50% and design five different mounting methods to handle any installation condition. The remodel housing, a first in the industry, if perfect for applications where drywall repairs are not practical or desired.

Will the light from the Phantom Contour Projector fade my art?

No, almost all of the infrared heat is contained within the projector itself. Most of the ultraviolet light is filtered out as it goes through the lens. Special UV filters are available by request for sensitive pieces of art.

How difficult is Phantom Contour Projector to install?

It is really quite simple if you understand the concept and follow the provided instructions. Selecting the right housing and focal lenses is the most important part of the installation. Send us some drawings or a picture and we will be able to discuss your needs!

What kind of dimmer should I use to control the Phantom Contour Projector?

We recommend that you use a dimmer that is designed to control an electronic transformer. Some dimming systems such as Lutron Grafik Eye may require the use of an electronic interface. Consult the manufacturer or you local lighting professional for information regarding dimmer controls. We now offer Q-Tran magnetic transformers on all our projector models.

Where can I learn more about Phantom fine art lighting projectors?

Feel free to contact us toll free at 800-863-1184, visit our mobile website, lighting blog or virtual lighting showroom to discover which Phantom Lighting products and models will best adapt to your particular lighting needs.

Where can I request Phantom lighting information?

Subscribe to our RSS feed and get instantaneous results! You can also request literature on our main website, visit our mobile website, see us at Lightfair International or read through the many informative summaries and frequently asked questions located on our lighting blog. 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, interior designers and cabinet lighting builders on two major continents.

Where is Phantom Lighting manufacturerd?

Our lighting manufacturing facility is located in Houston, Texas. A network of nationwide distributorships and sales representatives fans out throughout all 50 states into cities like Scottsdale, Arizona, Seattle, Washington (SEA), Los Angeles, CA, (LAX) Boston, Massachusetts (BOS), Princeton, NJ (EWR), Philadelphia, PA, Dallas, Texas (DWF), Pasadena, California, Chicago, IL (ORD), Baltimore, MD (BWI), and Minneapolis, MN (MSP). We also service clients internationally, with lighting manufacturer representatives working out of Canada, Mexico, Central America, and South America.

About Phantom Lighting Systems

Questions Often Asked About Phantom Lighting Systems

About Phantom's Fine Art and Display LightingWe are often asked about Phantom Lighting Systems. It is  a pioneer, Houston-based art lighting company and low voltage lighting manufacturer established in 1981 to supply the lighting and design community. Phantom Contour Projector and Phantom strip lights feature lighting technology that is completely unique, 100% proprietary, and found nowhere else in the world of lighting.

Phantom’s revolutionary approach to fine art picture lighting and low voltage display, shelf, and under cabinet lighting has taken it from humble origins to the level of an international leader in lighting manufacturing on two continents. We offer two unique products: Phantom Contour Art Lighting Projectors and Phantom LED and Xenon Linear Strip Lighting.

Phantom Contour Art Lighting Projectors

Phantom art lighting museum projectors feature ideal optics and photometric capabilities ideally suited to fine art illumination. These low voltage lighting projectors feature halogen light fixtures and produce a very unique quality of luminance called “the lighted from within effect.” Phantom’s recessed picture lighting is easy to install and extremely versatile, because of their small, compact size and small ceiling aperture.

Another quality about Phantom Lighting’s Projector is that it incorporates a parabolic aluminized reflector 75MR16/FO halogen based lamp in its design compared to other projectors. These lamps were originally used for the fiber optic industry, where detailed light focusing is required. The typical rated life of this lamp is around 4000 hours, giving the enthusiast of exquisite paintings plenty of time to enjoy their precious piece, before having to replace the bulb. The surface mount projector is the ideal choice for lighting any type of fine art. This adjustable framing projector has a sleek design, which is unobtrusive and perfect for accenting brush stroke details, along with other vital elements of your paintings. The design of Phantom art projector lights will ensure that your frames are pampered, so they are not damaged.

Phantom Linear Strip Lighting

Another product often asked about at Phantom Lighting is the LED strip lighting which will replace soon-to-be antiquated lighting sources of fluorescent and halogen light bulbs. Phantom strip lights utilize LED lamps that employ semiconductor technology to generate illumination. This reduces the risk of fire hazards that result from overheated lighting equipment and cuts cost on energy consumption. Phantom LED strip lighting delivers value to both commercial and residential lighting arenas and is sweeping the technology world as the wave of the future.

Another popular product customers ask about at Phantom Lighting is its most popular application for xenon under cabinet lighting. This is due to xenon’s ability to render both cool and warm colors with equal depth and distinction. Incandescent lighting also has a high CRI (color rendering index) when it comes to lighting cool colors such as white or off white counter tops. However, for the deep blues and reds commonly seen in today’s marble and granite counter tops, a more robust source of lighting like that produced with xenon festoons is preferable. Both granite and marble are hard composite stones with multiple layers of vibrantly colored minerals embedded in their substance.

Xenon linear under cabinet lights produce enough light to clearly illuminate the many complex colors and patterns in the stone while at the same time adding something of a three-dimensional look to the counter top. By extending the “depth” of the surface, reflective glare is minimized, making for a more chic and refined appearance appropriate to today’s larger, more elaborate custom kitchen and bathroom décor.

Our home lighting manufacturing facility is located in Houston, Texas. A network of nationwide distributorships and sales representatives fans out throughout all 50 states into cities like Scottsdale, Arizona, Seattle, Washington (SEA), Los Angeles, CA, (LAX) Boston, Massachusetts (BOS), Princeton, NJ (EWR), Philadelphia, PA, Dallas, Texas (DWF), Pasadena, California, Chicago, IL (ORD), Baltimore, MD (BWI), and Minneapolis, MN (MSP). We also service clients internationally, with Phantom Lighting Sales representatives working out of Canada, Mexico, Central America, and South America.

If you have any questions about Phantom Lighting products, feel free to contact us toll free at 800-863-1184, visit our mobile website or online lighting showroom. Discover which Phantom Lighting products and models will best adapt to your particular lighting needs. Together, the professionals at Phantom Lighting will ensure that your next project is an astounding success!