Use Fixed Shelf Lighting For Brightening Custom Cabinets

Carpenters and designers are often challenged when it comes to locating a fixed shelf lighting source that will conceal itself as much as possible and also provide a means of concealing the wiring from public view. Retrofitting new cabinet light fixtures to existing cabinets can be even more of a challenge if the unit has been built with glass shelves, or shelves that lack horizontal reveals along their front edges.

In such instances, carpenters and designers can achieve optimal results when they use custom fixed library shelf lighting fixtures individually sized to individual shelves and vertical styles. Flexibility in transformer placement and wiring configurations are also essential to mounting these fixtures in as near a perfect fit as possible.

Phantom fixed shelf lighting fixtures are intended to give carpenters and designers the ability to custom design the interior illumination of their cabinets to the same degree they custom design the cabinets themselves. These in cabinet light fixtures are custom manufactured with a variety of trims and can be mounted either horizontally or vertically. This allows for a much wider range of cabinet lighting options, because most fixed shelf units and almost all units that require retrofit lighting are very often constructed with a higher level of customized cuts, builds, and stylized designs than we typically see in standard adjustable shelf cabinets.

There are a number of ways Phantom fixed shelf lighting can be adapted to any type of cabinet that has a solid back plane. For example, if a cabinet has no reveals on the fronts of the shelves, there are two ways we can conceal our lights in such a space. One way would be to add a reveal to the front of each shelf that would conceal the display lighting fixtures behind its façade. Or, depending on the color of the wood, we can finish the painted trim to match the shelf to make the fixture appear as the equivalent of a reveal.

However, some carpenters may prefer to avoid making alterations to the shelves. In these instances, we would recommend using vertically-mounted light strips that are concealed along the interior of the styles. Again, there are multiple ways we can customize fixed shelf lighting to match the dimensions and features of the specific cabinet. If a continuous vertical strip is to be run from top to bottom, we can notch the trims on the linear light fixtures to fit around the shelves. If there is no available space between the shelves and the vertical style, then we can use segmented fixtures spaced between individual shelves.

Fixed shelf lighting can be even more challenging when the cabinet is built with hinged doors without vertical styles. Concealing light fixtures in this type of cabinet requires mounting a continuous vertical segment to the door frame itself. This will, of course, expose the glare shield when the door is open, but it will conceal the entirety of the fixture itself once the door is closed. We have many glare shield trim colors to choose from for these situations.

In cases where the cabinet is over 30” wide, and the application is best suited for vertical mounting, we have a center mount trim that attaches to the door itself. This is useful when lighting cabinets and bookcases displaying solid objects such as china, vases, sculptures or books which may block the light and produce shadows. A center mount trim requires special wiring provisions to allow slack in the wiring to accommodate the door movement.

Hinges are a challenge for fixed shelf cabinet lighting installations. Newer European hinges, although effective, can be quite large and pose obstructions when installing a continuous strip. Under this condition, we typically custom space the lamps around the hinges and notch the glare shield to maintain a finished look.

Phantom Lighting offers many custom wiring techniques to accommodate even the most difficult hinges. These techniques are custom to both the individual cabinet and the trim of the fixture. The transformers we use to power fixed shelf lighting fixtures are also smaller than competing models. This makes it easier to conceal the power source either on top of, below, or to the rear of the cabinet.

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