What Are The Types Of Optical Framing Projectors Available?

Optical framing projectors, or fine art lighting, are lighting fixtures used to illuminate fine art, architectural accents and details, tapestries, and fine furnishings. They are mounted in the ceiling or on its surface (if recessed housing is not possible). Fine art lighting is found in private residences, museums, and art galleries – essentially, it can be used in any space or room that requires accent lighting. It is the preferred fixture for illuminating fine art because the beam enhances the natural properties of the object it is focused on. The illumination created sets the standard that people look for when buying fixtures for displaying their paintings, sculptures, and heirlooms.

Optical framing projectors work by bending and altering a light beam created by a low-voltage halogen bulb
. First, the beam is passed through a small opening that removes any divergent rays. It is then directed to the internal housing fixture. Next, two condenser lenses filter the light further, amassing and augmenting the beam. After it has been magnified, it is then passed through two focal lenses before finally exiting from the housing unit.

Phantom offers one optical framing projector and can be housed in one of these units
: Float Finish housing unit (FF), New Construction housing unit (NC), Remodel housing unit (RM), Top Access Design housing unit (TA), and Surface/Track Mount (SM) unit. The first four units are concealed within the ceiling; the SM series is for surfaces where mounting internally is not advisable or possible.

  • Float Finish housing units are recommended for applications where visible cover plates are unsuitable for a seamless ceiling finish. The float ring and cover plate is painted to match the ceiling, rendering it nearly invisible.
  • New Construction housing units are installed prior to sheetrocking the ceiling, where they are mounted to the joists. The cover plate is also painted to match the ceiling color, making it as close to invisible as possible.
  • Remodel housing units were a first in the lighting industry, created for installation between floors. The low profile design will not cause damage to ceilings and can be painted to match the ceiling finish. Its finish and look is very similar to the NC units.
  • Top Access Design is for the appearance of smooth ceiling finishes and is only accessed from above. This is great for wood or plaster ceilings.
  • Surface or Track Mount units are the most cost effective optical framing projectors on the market. They are easy to install and come in a black, white, or standard finish. It is highly versatile and straightforward to use.


The beauty of Phantom’s optical framing projectors are the options of two different masking methods
.  The metal slide is an option used to crop irregular shaped objects, multiple pieces of art work, or sculptures.  This requires hand cutting the template and is more labor intensive than the adjustable shutter method.  Adjustable shutters are ideal for simple rectangular or square paintings of art because they easily mask the light, then are set into place with allen screws to keep them from shifting over time. By offering two different methods, Phantom’s optical framing projector can be used to meet any unique lighting situation.