Thursday, March 26, 2009

Options to Consider When Selecting Bookcase Lighting

Whether you want to illuminate a bookcase so that you are able to read the titles in order to find a particular book or you want to illuminate beautiful collections you have on display, or to add extra light to a particular area of a room, there are several options to consider when selecting your book case lighting. Option one is the external mounted fixtures. Option two is using rope lighting along the frame of the bookcase or under the bookcase shelves. Option three is to use recessed canned lights or puck lighting above each shelf. Additonally, depending on the fixture you choose, you have various options as to how each is mounted. Some can mount into the bookcase itself, others in the wall above the bookcase. Some have a decorative mount that is visible while the mount in others is hidden. You will also want to pay attention to the distance the fixture projects out from the bookcase once mounted. The further out it projects, the more shelves it will illuminate. However, there is an aesthetic balance between the size of the bookcase and the size and projection distance of the light fixture. One more choice to make is the of material and finish, which is simply a personal preference.

What I like about the external mounted fixture in the photo below, unlike the fixture in the next photo, is the width of the light fixture illuminates the entire width of the shelf. Note this fixture is mounted into the top of the bookcase with the mount hidden from sight.

Looking carefully the at the photo below, you will see the bookcase light fixture matches the art light. This does not have to be the case though they need to compliment each other. Also, the width of the light fixture above the bookcase is a bit narrow realated to the width of the bookcase.

You will see matching fixtures for the bookcase and for the art in the photo below. Note the bookcase fixtures are mounted above the bookcase. (photo from Beautiful Homes Fall 2008)

In the photo above it appears the fixutres are mounted into the top of the bookcase with the mount completely hidden from sight. (photo from Trends, date unknown)

Above is another style of a bookcase lighting fixture. The arm on these fixtures curves and it appears the angle of the light can be adjusted. The mount is visible but tasteful.
The fixtures used in the photo above have a more decorative appeal with a decorative mount. Hopefully, both the arm of the fixture and the light itself adjusts up and down.

Yet another decorative type fixture is shown in the photo above. There seems to be an elbow in the arm of this fixture which will allow you to adjust the angle in which the light shines. Most likely the light fixture itself is adjustable, too.

The bookcase in the photo above appears to have used rope lighting placed just inside the outer stiles of the bookcase which gives a soft glow.

In the photo at right are small recessed canned lights mounted in the top of the bookcase as well as used to light the art on both sides of the bookcase.

I took these two photos in a home I visited that was under construction. The lighting fixtures were so sleek and blended into the bookcase. I did not see these illuminated so I am not sure how much light they projected. I just noticed the date on the photograph is 3-16-98. I cannot believe I took these over ten years ago!

(The source of many of the photos used in this blog is unknown. If this is your photo, please contact me and I will add source or remove.)


Hannah's Nana said...

I read your blog daily. With a new home under construction I am always looking for ideas to tweak what we already have planned. I love all your ideas. Thank you for sharing! I usually lurk but I wanted you to know I appreciate your blog. You should get a counter so you know how many people visit. I think the numbers would surprise you. Thanks again, Andrea

Susan Lang @ Designing Your Dream Home said...

Hannah, thanks for taking the time to comment. You have inspired me! If you will email me, perhaps I can give you some extra tips. ...susan

Renee Finberg said...

wow, very nice site.