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Display Lighting

Hello all, I have a question…I’m relatively new to doing shows
and I need to figure out the appropriate lighting for a display.
I have a modular glass display 12"x24"x12" and I’d like to mount
some sort of clip on miniature spot light type thing to the top
front. Nothing too obtrusive, just functional, as it will be seen
in the case. I’m just not sure what type of bulb is best for
jewelry (silver) and where to look. I’m limited in time so I’d
like to find something local (I’m in Oakland, CA., next to San
Francisco). Thanks for any help!

Amy O’Connell

Amy-we use glass display and after trying all kinds of track,
florence tubes and etc., we have found a wonderful little flood
(25 watt) clip on light that works great! We use two to a small
display and sometimes 3 on our towers (24 x 22 3 levels high).
Inside shows will still be a problem because of the lights in the
buildings, but at least we can tell the difference in the gold
and the silver. With some of the lights this was impossible.
The only place that I have found that carries these light all the
time is Staples (Sells for $7-9 depending on area) They come in
green, black and purple (the light not the bulb) Office Depot
carries them on their back to school specials only. The only
problem we have found is you can only get replacements bulbs at a
place like Home Depot. Watch out though, GE replacement bulbs are
more than the original package which encludes 1 bulb. Phillips
makes a replacement bulb that sell for $2.50-$3.50 depending on
area. You can always use a 40 watt bulb in a pinch, but the
floods work better and the lights are only approved for 25 watt
floods. jb

J. Byers


After researching a variety of lighting systems, I decided on
halogen and went through a company called USA light and
electric. Their web site is They are
located in Patton, CA 1-800-854-8794. They have reasonable
prices and are knowledgeable regarding trade show needs. I
believe it took them two days to deliver…ground UPS to my
area. They carry a variety of products and also carry SoLux
lights and I believe that others in Orchid may have experience
with SoLux…they were not in my price range. I have track
lighting and am happy with what I purchased. Most shows give
you 500 watts of “free” electricity.

I would suggest that you use as much lighting as you can at the
shows…it does make a difference. I am new to shows as well
and still in my learning curve I am sure others who have been
doing shows for years will have some great suggestions for you.
My next show is in San Francisco at the Concourse at 8th &
Brannan Street-KPFA Holiday Crafts Fair on December 12th and
13th…visit me if you can I will be at space #94. If you have
any more questions, feel free to email me off Orchid.

Linda Crawford
Linda Crawford Designs, Willits, CA, USA

hi Amy I just lit my new display cases with under the counter
kitchen lights from Costco…$30.00 for a pack of three…halogen
bulbs are included… we stuck them on the top inside of the cases
with double sticky velcro… they work great…we wired them
together in series and plugged them into a breaker bar…I highly
reccomend halogen lights!! good luck, Jana

   " I have track lighting and am happy with what I purchased.
 Most shows give you 500 watts of "free" electricity. " 

We tried hologen lights-they were very hot and we found it more
difficult to tell gold from silver under them.

Also-where do you find shows that let you have “free” electric.
We have never done a show that we did not have to pay for
electric. jb

J. Byers

Amy, I recently went through this also. I ended up with halogen
track lights. They are low voltage and you can use them with a
converter or if no electric is available a car battery will work.
I have ran 7-20 watt lights for two days with one battery. I
found if you go to the light stores and check and see what “end
cuts” or scrapes they have left you can save some money.

good luck

Joe Kilpatrick
Expressions With Metal

JB, Guess what? I just found that out that some shows do "show"
the charge for electrical. I just received my contract for
Contemporary Crafts Market…they charge…I have been at other
shows that do not…I guess it is hit and miss. Now that I
think about it… I am sure the other shows that state "free"
incorporate the fee for electrical into the booth fee. Well, now
I am disillusioned. Oh well, it was a nice state of mind well
it lasted…

Linda Crawford
Linda Crawford Designs, Willits, CA, USA

G’day; I have observed that if one has faceted gems as
part of a display, the way to get them to flash and sparkle is to
have many small low wattage lights in shades which direct the
light to one place, rather than one or two bigger, much more
powerful lights. Each light will be reflected from each facet,
so the more light sources the more the reflected sparkles you’d
get. With a number of sources, the actual power of each
individual source gets added to the total illumination. Low
powered Quartz-halogen lamps are excellent at giving the big
sparkle effect. You can also run halogen lamps off a 12v
battery. Does any of that seem to make sense?
Cheers anyway.

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At sunny Nelson NZ