Ideas for lighting bookcases

Written by krista brazeau
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Ideas for lighting bookcases
Backlighting adds character to any shelving system. (Beleuchtete Regale image by MIR from

Bookcases are not just for holding books. You may have yours filled with not only books, but also picture frames, vases and other various knick-knacks. Highlighting these items through bookshelf lighting is a great way to bring your special mementos into focus and add a little atmosphere to your home as well.

Strip Lights

Strip lights are perhaps the most common among bookshelf lighting options. You can tuck these small, lightweight and often low-voltage lighting systems into woodwork, hide them behind moulding or even build them into your shelving system to provide beautiful lighting while remaining virtually invisible. This system of lighting is also made to remain cool, to avoid fire hazards or damaging books.

Artwork Lights

An option that might seem a little offbeat but that can provide just the right amount of lighting is artwork lights. These fixtures are typically mounted over paintings and shine down with a soft glow to illuminate the art. Mounting these same types of lights, which come in a variety of styles and sizes, above a bookshelf can add atmosphere to any space in seconds.

Touch Lights

Touch lights are not only easy to operate, but they also can be mounted virtually anywhere and cost just pennies per year to run. Touch lights come in a variety of sizes, shapes and colours that can slip behind a few books for some ambient back lighting. For bookshelves that have more elaborate architecture, place touch lights over books and hide them behind decorative moulding.

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