Shelf & Joinery Lighting

A great architectural lighting tool, shelf lighting can add an indirect softness and at the same time create a feature in the room. Think of shelves as a window in the room or even like a wall light.

  • front lighting of shelves

    1.Front lighting

    The simplest option is to front light your shelves with a Contour LED strip. This requires a simple down stand on the shelf. Sometimes they can be bare tape on a heat sink however using a visible or reflective metal extrusion may be the best solution. The choice depends on the detail and finishing of the shelf. This solution provides a very even light suitable for most objects.

  • Example of back lit shelving

    2.Back lighting

    A different concept would be to back light the shelf by using a Contour LED strip, either with a gap at the back of the shelf or a small upstand. This effect adds depth and is particularly successful when there is a combination of objects, particularly glass and books as the light shines through. This is very dramatic when lighting objects but works less well with books.

  • individual shelf lighting individual niches

    3.Individual shelf lighting

    Miniature spotlights can be used to create focused pools of light onto specific objects. This works to good effect when the shelves are divided into small sections with a single feature in each.

  • individual shelf lights in action


    The positioning depends on various factors such as; the reflective nature of the surfaces being lit, the colour of the surfaces, the object of the illumination. The lighting should be positioned so that it is always concealed from view and does not cause any unwanted shadows.

  • footlight shelf lighting in niches

    5.Get the look

    Contour HD24 or HD27 can be used for most shelf lighting applications. It works best when used in conjunction with an aluminium profile. For focused spots, a Luccini can be used which requires minimal recess depth or for a larger spread of light choose the Etta Eyelid.