Display Cabinets with Lights for Retail or Commercial use

shop display cases with lights

Lighting Options for Display Fixtures

display cabinets with lights

Do display cabinets with lights really make that much difference in how contents are viewed? The answer is yes. The biggest factor in choosing display cabinets with lights over models without built-in illumination is most often the natural lighting of the eventual location of the showcase. Objects as varied as the latest jewelry collection from a world-class designer, a set of football and baseball trophies from the glory days of school, a priceless antique tea set from the Jin Dynasty or a full run of Spawn figurines all require a certain amount of illumination for optimal viewing. However, there is a world of difference between a personal cache of private memorabilia and a selection of merchandise offered for sale or public view. Whether used for retail, business or home exhibition, commercial grade glass display cabinets with lights (also known as lighted display cases) run the gamut from small countertop showcases to freestanding curio cabinets. The most common lighting fixtures are subtle inset top-lights and spotlights running along built-in tracks in the sides of the case.

What are the different lighting options available when buying lighted display cases?
  • Display cabinets with LED lights are becoming increasingly popular. Short for "Light-Emitting Diodes," this style illumination is long-lasting, energy efficient and provides clear, bright light. Because LEDs emit very little heat, they are an excellent choice for use around temperature sensitive or delicate materials or merchandise. This illumination option will last approximately 100 times longer than a standard incandescent glass bulb.
  • Lighted glass display cases with halogen lighting are less expensive than LEDs and more energy efficient than traditional fluorescent illumination. The bright, warm illumination given off by these bulbs makes them ideal for use as spotlights or for mimicking natural light inside a fixture, and unlike fluorescent or CFL bulbs, they are compatible with dimmer-style switches.
  • Many traditional style cabinets with lights are compatible with fluorescent or newer CFL lighting which give off a clean, cool light that is in many ways ideal for illuminating retail merchandise for maximum visibility. The brightness of this type of lighting has always been a popular choice for larger curio cabinets with large collections of collectibles or memorabilia in high traffic public areas. However, fluorescent fixtures do take a small amount of time to "warm up" rather than being instantly on and are not compatible with dimmer switches.

Tempered glass lighted display cases offer both safety and visibility in any environment. No matter what the location, the point of any showcase is to allow every item contained in it to be easily seen in detail. Top lights, depending on the construction, can swivel for directed lighting or be fixed for ambient lighting. Side lights can function as "spot" lighting or provide general illumination throughout the fixture, depending on their direction and brightness.

Deciding what style of lighting is best depends in many ways on not simply the construction and design but also the contents of the showcase or curio cabinet. Textiles or fabrics are less reflective than metal or glass objects and therefore less likely to create glare under bright, direct lighting. Objects that require 360° views need consistent illumination throughout the case, especially when placed on lower shelves. Collections with "standout" items may benefit from the use of spotlights to direct attention, while larger groupings of retail merchandise or collectibles may benefit from more ambient lighting.

When choosing showcases or curio cabinets with lights, it is important to look at all factors in order to select the perfect match for any display need. Illumination, contents, purpose, even the location of the fixture and the finish color are all important elements that should be taken into account.

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