Thought those of you who collect Swarovski crystals (or any kinds of crystals) might want to hear about this. Today, a friend asked me why those crystals just look so good in the showrooms but never in his home. Bingo! He came to the right person.
Now, I see many instances where collectors just throw the crystals into glass cabinets with a few halogen spotlights shining from the top. You know what? That doesn't work. At all. You just won't create that 'glowing' effect. The reason is simple enough: high power fiber optic lights are used in the showrooms. The light spreads out via many tiny light spots in one display, showcasing the design in vivid detail. But it also comes in a bulky transformer box & generates tonnes of heat. Therefore it requires a big-enough space with adequate ventilation. And more importantly, the lighting set costs thousands of dollars! No joke.
Recently, for one of our Home Rejuvenation projects, I thought of designing a slim looking display unit to showcase the owner's Swarovski crystal collection. The main objective is to achieve that same 'sparkling' look in the showrooms. So, given that the aforementioned lighting options - halogen and fiber optics - are out, I had to look elsewhere and experiment with something else. Something without a bulky transformer in the way.
The solution turns out to be LED (Light Emitting Diodes) light, which many lighting suppliers carry. It does not generate much heat and each peanut-sized bulb is only about 3 watts (that's something I didn't expect!). I customized the LED bulb into a strip of about 30cm long & 2 cm wide (slimmer than a typical 30cm ruler). Each bulb was arranged and angled at approximately 30º. Coupled with black-colored fabric padding in the background to absorb any excess light, the crystals now sit glittering like those in the showrooms.