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Thread: Display Lighting

  1. #11
    William Whitaker's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2002
    North Carolina, for now...

    Re: Display Lighting

    Thank you for the many very helpful suggestions and links. I am intrigued by the SoLux and must investigate it further. If I understand correctly, the heart of SoLux is the bulb which can then be used in any fixture for that given bulb configuration, e.g., PAR30 bulb in PAR30 fixture, the fixture can be sourced from anywhere as long as it meets the standards.

    Quote Originally Posted by jp View Post
    For my gallery setup, I put the tracks about 2-3' from the wall along the ceiling. Don't try to get it all from one track. If the angle is poor, you'll be making a shadow on your photo as you approach it. It could also create reflections from the light in the upper parts of big frames.

    This is the kind of info that I was hoping to get from the vendor, if not the manufacturer, i.e., how to effectively design a space with track lighting. Your comment to not "try to get it all from one track" I can sort of understand. And if illuminating adjacent walls, clearly it's going to require an "L" connector. But for facing walls as in my application, it seems that one track would be desirable.

    In my case the display walls are 10' tall and 7' apart. If a single track were used and assuming no offset adjustment for hardware, i.e., light source on plane with the surface and assuming images hung at 5' from the floor, then the light falls on the image with an angle of incidence of 35. The question, then, is what is the desirable angle of incidence of the illuminating light so as to avoid shadows, reflections, etc.? This is completely apart from the type of bulb used or the CRI or any other parameters.

    In my case above, I am assuming a single track running the center of the hallway to be used for illuminating images placed on both facing walls. It seems to me that that would be a reasonable solution. It might not be if the ceilings were lower or if I were to drop the lighting heads by use of stems. But given the dimensions I have to work with it seems a reasonable solution.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Boston, GA

    Re: Display Lighting

    Hi Will
    when I was setting up the small gallery space I have I called solux and they told me what I needed the angle ect
    give them the size of your space and they will tell you how to light it for best effect

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2011

    Re: Display Lighting

    Maybe I'm missing something, but when I just googled 'SoLux' what came up was halogen only, 12V MR16. This is an obsolete bulb and here in Canada they cannot even be sold. The reason is that they run very hot and the undersized pin connectors are fire hazards. If you do wish to use these and can't find tracks and fixtures, I have 20' of track and a whole bucket full of fixtures I would be happy to donate, because they're going in the trash soon otherwise. I refuse to install them either in my own house or anyone else's, but I would make an exception if you decided on SoLux.

    The CRI values SoLux claim are most likely exaggerated, and the color temperature will change (a lot) with dimming. Still, for many years jewellery stores all used halogen lighting for their display cases, because that's what makes shiny things 'pop'. It's only in the last couple of years that LED technology has caught up.

    Some notes on dimming: most LEDs will dim to perhaps 10% (power consumption, which will be maybe 40% perceived light output), then flicker and turn off. Dimming can be with conventional triac dimmers or 0-10V low voltage dimming which will require extra wiring, or you can go the expensive route and get WiFi or Bluetooth systems. Some of the newer bulbs will change color as they dim to mimic the 'natural' look that we're used to with incandescent dimming, ie they'll be 4K nominally but will change to 1,7K or something as they dim (go from white to yellow). The new, new products have adjustable color output, either wirelessly, on fixture, or through a dedicated control. Given the difficulty with additional wiring on track lights and the great expense of buying all Bluetooth bulbs, you will most likely need a bulb that dims with a conventional triac dimmer.

    If you wish to purchase through your local store, and wish to go LED, I suggest you inquire which brands they sell, then go on those manufacturer's websites (like Phillips) and choose the bulb most suited to your needs, prioritizing CRI. PAR20 or GU10 will be most likely used in whichever track light you choose, pick a fixture that is within your budget and has decent aesthetics before choosing your bulb.

  4. #14

    Join Date
    May 2004
    Montara, California

    Re: Display Lighting

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Watson View Post
    More details please. What PAR30 LED light did you find that you like? I've been looking for years for a decent PAR30 LED without success.
    Whatever Feit Lightening model Costco was carrying a few years ago. I do remember that they upgraded to CRI to the mid-90s just after I bought mine! But I then upgraded my entire house last year with a variety of build sizes (from Costco/Feit). Come to think of it I might have BR (wider, floods) at my workshop rather than the narrower-bean PARs. In any event no problems with any of them in terms of failure or buzzing or dimming (except the small ceiling fan-style bulbs that flicker ever so slightly on my one ceiling fan if dimmed. Looking for a replacement for those.

    No one has ever commented in any way on the color quality of the lights or commented on them at all in any way. I suppose that is a good thing!


  5. #15
    jp's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009

    Re: Display Lighting

    Will, I missed the part about the 10' high ceilings. That could work with one track. I am used to ceilings I can reach.

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