A wine cellar, room or vault is more than just a space to store your collection, it is truly a reflection off you and your lifestyle. Lighting is all about creating ambiance, setting a mood and if done correctly...adding a little drama to an otherwise static environment. In addition, the right lighting is essential to protecting your wine from the harmful effects of the wrong type of light selected. The first rule to proper light selection..."do no harm".
Here are a few ways ways to bring light to your collection:
1. LED...the right light.
Incandescent or halogen lighting can give off to much heat when used close to wine. An unregulated heat source, like a halogen bulb, can prove very damaging to your collection. LED, on the other hand, is a great light source that produces little to no heat signature.
2. Ceiling Lighting
If your cellar has floor to ceiling racking, you may want to use recessed LED lighting or LED track or spot lighting to wash or highlight your racks and bottles. You can also put these lights on a dimmer switch to adjust the lighting for need or occasion.
3. Display + Accent Lighting
You can use display and accent lighting to highlight racks, bottles and architectural room details. Accent lighting adds an additional dimension to the room. Running light-strips, rope-light or light-tape to rack and shelf edges can give the storage area an even and balanced feel or you can highlight key areas or bottles you wish to showcase. Take advantage of over looked areas for subtle lighting effects from below or behind racks...this where you can let your creative touches shine.
A great lighting effect for any size wine cellar or room is back lighting your wine racks. Back lighting gives a modern feel to the room as your bottles are awash and silhouetted in filtered light.
My personal favorite form of lighting for a cellar or even a small room. if you have the ceiling height, is a chandelier. Like jewelry to a dress or the rims on a fine auto, a chandelier, either traditional or modern, is the finishing touch that will set the mood for your cellar.
Think of your cellar as a blank canvas for you to express your creativity and remember that how you store and present your collection is a reflection of you and your lifestyle.