Why should I use LED lighting in my display case?
Retail store owners are always looking to optimize the visual appeal of the products they sell. Proper lighting plays a key role in making products desirable. Whether showcasing mineral specimens or other precious collectibles, LED lighting is seen as a tool used to boost sales and reduce energy costs. It’s no secret that LED lighting has revolutionized lighting for hundreds of applications worldwide.
Walmart is just one of many retailers that have fully bought in. “Switching to LEDs was a no-brainer,” said Charles Zimmerman, the company’s Vice President of International Design and Construction. “Now we’re using LEDs in display cases, parking lots and throughout the store, and now our LED lights are outliving our refrigerated display cases, providing zero maintenance.”
Of course, as many business owners already know, lighting is a slippery slope that can quickly escalate both upfront and ongoing costs. Customized lighting solutions can be expensive, but may come with limited flexibility to be reconfigured as your business grows. For these reasons, more businesses are using LED strip lights for merchandising and display case lighting. Let’s look at some of the key features that drive their usefulness in such applications.
Producing in excess of 100 lumens per watt, LED strip lights generate brilliant light while using very little power. This best-in-class efficiency means you can run your lights all day long without fear of driving up your energy costs. Also, check with local regulations – many homes and businesses receive tax benefits for using high efficiency LED lighting.
Jewelry industry magazine JCK reports that diamonds and platinum look best under lighting at a color temperature of around 6500k, while yellow gold is optimally viewed at around 3000k. What lighting system provides this sort of versatility, allowing all products to look their best? Because their individual diodes can be configured in nearly limitless ways, LED strip lights provide this solution. They are available in just about any color temperature, brightness, and shade, including multi-color RGB, and can even be attached to a dimmer and controlled via remote, extending versatility even further.
Selecting the correct “light color temperature” for mineral specimens is complicated by many factors including: nearby ambient light, minerals species being displayed, color of the interior of the display case, etc.
Many mineral specimens occur in “earth tone” colors which look good in warm (yellow) light. Gem species such as aquamarines and tourmalines often look better in cool (blue) light. The color temperature you choose to use will be based on many factors including how your eyes perceive color.
The light bars we sell are designed with alternating LED bulbs of 2 color temperatures 3000k/4000k or 3500k/5000k. These 2 combinations of color temperatures have proven to suit most collector’s needs.
It’s West has color temperature sample kits available to our customers so that you can experiment with illuminating your collectibles in 4 different color temperatures (3000k, 4000k, 5000k, 6000k). Contact us to arrange to borrow one of our sample kits.
CRI (Color Rendering Index) is a measure of how well a particular light source renders vivid, natural color. Lamps, light strips, tubes, or bulbs with an index of greater than 90 are generally considered High CRI light sources. A CRI of 90+ will make mineral specimens, gemstones, or any other product come alive with bright, natural color which means your products and display cases will look their best at any color temperature or brightness you choose.
Cool Operating Temperature
In high quality LED strip lights, the flexible PCB acts as a heat sink that draws heat away from the LED chips while they are in use. This allows the lights to remain cool during operation, meaning they will generate no excess heat. This is obviously critical for the food and floral industries, where LEDs are rapidly being employed in both display and refrigeration cases. Cool LED operating temperatures keep your precious collectibles from being damaged or broken by heat buildup within your display case. Halogen or regular incandescent light sources generate a tremendous amount of heat … consider the “heat build-up” within a child’s Easy Bake Oven toy!
Our high quality LED strip lights are rated for up to 50,000 hours of use, with no service or maintenance costs along the way. This means years of excellent lighting, and no need to change a burned out bulb or tube.
Retrofitting older display cases with LED Lightbars
Many older display cases and curio cases have a single fluorescent tube light or several halogen lights at the top of the case which is intended to provide illumination throughout the case … top to bottom. This is sadly inadequate to illuminate your collectibles.
Installing LED lightbars to underside of each shelf will augment the existing lights and provide EVEN illumination to objects on each shelf within the case. LED Lightbars are low-profile, low cost, and provide evenly-distributed, bright light across the entire display case.