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How to light a bookshelf

Published : 07/25/2018 14:03:51
Categories : Professional level

How to light a bookshelf

Have you ever seen a bookshelf, library or even cabinets illuminated? They provide an elegant and modern touch to your decoration, as well as highlighting the exhibits. If you want to know how you can get this type of lighting, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Shelves and LED strips

Among the different options presented to illuminate shelves, the most widely used are the LED strips. As we already know, within the world of LED strips there are two clearly differentiated options depending on the supply voltage. The first category is those that need a transformer for its operation, they are the 12/24 VDC LED strips (DC). The second category is those that can be connected directly to the electricity grid, 220 VAC LED strips(AC) and do not need any additional element (apart from the rectifier), to make it work.

Aspects to take into account before the installation

Before choosing the type of LED strip that we are going to install, we must take into account the measurements of the furniture that we want to illuminate since this can give us clues as to which is the best option. In most installations, the LED strip that is usually used is 12/24 VDC due to its versatility, since it allows us to make more precise installations. The biggest drawback of this type of strips is that we need a transformer.

The transformer will vary in size depending on the meters of the strip and the type that we connect. If the measurements of the furniture match the cutting of the 220 VAC strips, we can opt for this choice instead. Therefore, as we mentioned before, before choosing the type of strip, it is essential to make measurements of the furniture to know the advantages and disadvantages that we will face once we get going with the installation. 

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Recommended shades

As for the different shades that can be chosen, the most appropriate options are natural/neutral white(4000 - 4500 K) or cold white(6000 - 6500 K). The first one will be chosen when we want the colours of the highlighted objects not to be affected. As for the second tonality, it is usually used when we want to highlight the objects above all else and we want them to stand out. 

There is also another option for the more daring that is to choose RGB LED strips and manage the colours using a controller with remote control. The first option can be applied to shops and businesses, while the latter option (RGB) can be applied to leisure businesses and nightclubs. A very clear example of this is in wine bars or bottle racks where they usually give a more colourful and dynamic touch.

Shelves and LED battens

Another totally different option that is usually used for shelf lighting is LED battens or luminaires. This type of products usually has already established measures ranging from 300 mm to 1500 mm. This type of luminaires is connected directly to the electrical network because we do not need any additional accessories for them to work.

The biggest drawback of this type of products are the measures since these have to be adapted to the measures of the shelves, something that sometimes cannot be achieved. As in the case of LED strips, the recommended shades are naturally white (more oriented to clothing and accessories businesses) or cold white (aimed at highlighting one or more products above the rest).

What should we keep in mind?

It should be noted that most shelves are made of wood. This is a very important factor to consider if we opt for the installation of LED strips. It is well known that the installation of LED strips must be made on metal parts, either aluminium or other material that helps heat dissipation and does not affect the lifespan of the strips.

In addition, it is necessary to take into account the protection index of the LED strips. For the installation of LED strips on shelves, protection indexes such as IP20, IP25 or IP33 are recommended. Therefore, these types of strips are usually installed in aluminium profiles that help us dissipate the heat generated and blur the light provided by the LED strips. 

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