We switched to 12v MR-16 halogen lamps several years ago, and
noticed a significant drop in the ambient temperature of the gallery.
We have 16' ceilings, so we had to suspend the tracks on cables at
8'. We also positioned them over the front edge of the case, so they
focus back towards the jewelry, not down. There are many types of
lamps on the market, and we tried several. We settled on a
closed-back unit, with the lamp positioned to one side of the
transformer. The lamps with open backs gave off a lot of "stray"
light but did help keep some of the heat from burning the lamp. These
lamps are hot. Since they are on for over 70 hours per week, we
noticed that the plastic around the transformers deteriorated
quickly on the fixtures that were mounted directly below the
transformer. You can also get fixtures that have one transformer for
all the lamps on a track, which will give you a cleaner look.
Two years ago, we switched to a more specialized lamp made by
Solux. These are 10 degree narrow spots, 3500 degrees Kelvin. The
narrow spots give me a circle of light that is about 10" in diameter
at approximately 4" above the cases.. The more focused beam required
fewer lamps to give the same amount of illumination, and added drama
to the lighting. Like a museum show spotlights the work and not the
room. The 3500 degree K lamps also really bring out the color in gem
stones and are truer in color to natural sunlight. We use a lot of
subtle colors of gold in our work, and this really makes the colors
Add a couple of "regular" MR-16 bulbs to illuminate wall areas, and
some "designer" desk lamps for folks who want to inspect things
These lamps are more expensive, of course, and the lamps and
fixtures do burn out regularly. We keep extras on hand. Part of the
high cost of selling. For those on Orchid who do not have a retail
location, I can attest to the fact that these lamps will add a lot of
sparkle to your booth display and are very compact and easy to
33 N. Market St.
Frederick, MD 21701