The Magic of Wine Cellar Lighting
The wine cellar lighting designed into a Custom Residential or Commercial Wine Cellar build is the “Magic” ingredient that makes a wine cellar something really special.
However, install the wrong type of lighting and the wine cellar will probably look flat and washed out. Worse still, some types of lighting can actually damage wine that is stored over a long period.
Wine Cellar Lighting Types to Avoid
Incandescent Lighting – To Be Avoided
Incandescent lighting will generate heat. The whole idea of a wine cellar is to stabilize temperature and minimize exposure to light. Avoid incandescent lighting in your wine cellar at all costs.
Halogen Lighting – To Be Avoided
Technically halogen lighting is a form of incandescent lighting. Usually, they will however generate more heat and be brighter white light. While these may be good to floodlight your backyard, they are probably the worst choice for a custom wine cellar. Avoiding halogen lighting in your wine cellar is a must.
Fluorescent Lighting – To Be Avoided
Fluorescent lighting often produces ultraviolet light. You definitely do not want to expose your wine collection to ultraviolet light. In addition, fluorescent lighting is usually very white and will not make for an attractive display. Save fluorescent to your garage or workshop.
Lighting Types Ideal for a Wine Cellar
Accented low heat emission LED lighting is now the standard for any wine cellar build. LED lights however come in many different tints, color tones, and intensities. Getting the right mix of hidden lights in just the right places in order to highlight and add depth to your wine cellar design is a bit of an art.
Beyond the “Types of Lighting” to the Art and Style of Lighting
Consider purpose-built display rows, where the racking is specifically designed to be highlighted with concealed lighting. Also for the more contemporary look, a popular trend is to design in backlighting hidden by acrylic panels. Both forms of lighting styles will make your wine cellar pop.
Consider also the lighting controls. Thoughtful lighting controls are often overlooked in a wine cellar design. As well as dimmable lighting, the ability to select different lighting configurations, ones that selectively highlight different parts of your wine cellar and can be changed from accent to more practical configurations add a lot of value to the look of your wine cellar. The last thing you want to do is have to use a flashlight to read the labels on some of your wine bottles.
Get all this right and your wine cellar will look like a piece of art. This is one of the reasons why it has become a common practice to convert one entire wall of a wine cellar into a glass display. When you have a piece of art in your home or restaurant you want to show it off.
Getting really fancy, consider adding voice controls to your wine cellar lighting design. Imagine entering your wine cellar with some friends discussing the selection for the evening and then saying “red’s” or “Chardonnays” or “German” and instantly the relevant wines become highlighted.
Most of the suggestions and styles above do not add significantly to the cost of building a custom wine cellar. They do however require up-front thought, design flair, and experience.