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Display Lighting ExperimentsDisplay Lighting ExperimentsDiary

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sailormatlacsailormatlacIl y a 1 mois
I've recently reorganized two friends PVC collection, includind improving/adding lighting to their shelves and detolfs. I was really pleased with the result and decided to follow suit with my own collection.

About a years ago, I decided to take an unusual route to display most of my bulky collection: use IKEA Sektion kitchen cabinet with custom aluminium framed glass door. While I still have to wait for the doors, almost everything is in place. This is not a display option I would recommend to anybody not able to funnel a serious amount of work and money into implementing it. So fat, it has been an extremely uneconomical endeavour and thought I'm pleased with the results, I know I could have achieve almost the same appearance by simply selecting other products. However, since this room is also a small workshop of mine, I liked the idea to have lower cabinet with an oak counter top to provide work space and storage.

My initial idea for lighting was to install 3 sets of 6 LED projectors on the ceiling and directly light the collection. It did provide a lot of light for a decent price with ensuring the color rendition indice was quite high. Yes, it is viable and does a good job, however, the figures don't stand out in an artistic way, being flooded almost equally by a shower of light. Also, figures on the lower shelf have to be located carefully to not be fully under the shadow of the ones laying on the top shelves. Yes, it can be tricky and it requires carefully locating the figures so they don't overshadow others. As expected, there is a limit to what you can achieve. Also, not all cabinet are located at the same distance from the light rails, thus illumination can vary quite a lot. And worst, I fear when the glass doors will be in place, a lot of reflection will occur, making it quite hard to admire the figures in an optimal way. I must indeed change my approach.

https://static.myfigurecollection.net/upload/pictures/2020/06/28/2463993.jpeg

Picture 1: Shows the general disposition of the shelvess. Three walls have a similar treatment, creating an immersive ambiance. As you can see, the right most cabinet is somewhat in the dark and figures there aren't really standing out a lot. The corner cabinet on the left is quite deep and thus looks quite darker which doesn't fit very well with the rest of the exhibit. Also, the powerful projectors cast a lot of harsh shadows on the cabinet back panel, which kind of distract from the figures themselves. Finally, the figures hardly detach themselves of the backdrop. They are indeed all on the same level, which doesn't help to "read" the collection and understand the grouping. That said, we hardly can define the groups of figures (generally three figures per group) because the lighting doesn't discriminate.

While I consider this lighting extremely useful for working in the room or looking closely at figures, it doesn't have a cozy feel and honestly, I'd like to recreate something much closer to a museum look that dramatically put emphasis on the figures.

As a first experiment, I tried LED stripes a few weeks ago, but felt it looked bland and not dramatic enough. As if a fluorescent tube or Christmass tree had been tacked on the shelves!

Thus, I decided to experiment with cheap IKEA Ledberg pucks. While affordable, they provide quite a good amount of light and are easy to install. I also got some experience installing them at my friends request in their collection.

Three options have been tried so far: direct lighting from the top front, indirect backlighting from behind and a combination of both options. I'll try to give my first impressions here. Plese bear in mind I'm not equipped with an excellent camera and the pictures are thus somewhat grainy and don't render perfectly the real lighting effects you would see in real. However, I think they can still provide a few hints at what can be done.

As it

https://static.myfigurecollection.net/upload/pictures/2020/06/28/2463992.jpeg
https://static.myfigurecollection.net/upload/pictures/2020/06/28/2463997.jpeg

This is the actual lighting setup with it pros and cons.

Front top ligthing

https://static.myfigurecollection.net/upload/pictures/2020/06/28/2463989.jpeg
https://static.myfigurecollection.net/upload/pictures/2020/06/28/2463995.jpeg

Not bad, but it does cast the same distracting shadows on the backdrop. On the positive side, illumination level is surprisingly good and figures do stand out better from the backdrop. Figures on the lower shelf receive far less light and are often in the shadow. This lighting also provides harsh contrast on figures, making it hard to see the color gradients or appreciate the sculpt. Megumi Kato is decently lighted and we can figure out the intricate details on her stomach. Eriri Spencer is OK, but Kasumigaoka on the left is mainly in the shadow due to her large brim hat. Can hardly see her face and torso.

Low indirect backligthing

https://static.myfigurecollection.net/upload/pictures/2020/06/28/2463991.jpeg
https://static.myfigurecollection.net/upload/pictures/2020/06/28/2463996.jpeg

This type of lighting creates quite a dramatic effect by completely lighting the cabinet interiors, even the deep corner one. While the pictures are far too saturated, it gives you an idea how this indirect lighting creates an interesting illuminated box against which the figures detach themselves. On the other hand, it creates weird hard shadows on the cabinet top and illuminated the underside of the figure bases, which can't be considered not a desirable effect.

On closer examination, a lot of indirect lighting helps to illuminate details we couldn't figure out before. Yes, the figures are darker than before, but at the same time, the "chinese silhouette" effect isn't bad at all from an artistic standpoint. The softer indirect light better shape Megumi's torso and the same can be said of Kasumigaoka. She's still in the dark, but she looks more 3D than before. As for Eriri, we can observe the same... less illumination, but we can better figure out some details on her body.

Combined lighting

https://static.myfigurecollection.net/upload/pictures/2020/06/28/2463989.jpeg
https://static.myfigurecollection.net/upload/pictures/2020/06/28/2463994.jpeg

On this try, I combined both method of lighting, direct and indirect to see if they could compensate each other weaknesses and bring together their advantages. The results are quite interesting, but I must admit the camera didn't render it as good as it should have been.

On the positive side, figures are better defined under such a lighting arrangement. As we often do in photography, we try to have direct and indirect light from several sources to soften the shadows and better render the sculptural aspect of an object. I think this combination works well in that regard. The illumination level is good, the direct lighting makes the figures stand out while the indirect lighting provide an illuminated box that scatters light and enhances details and kills harsh shadows. Figures on the middle shelf also stand out better.

Conclusion

IKEA Ledberg, with their low CRI due to being 2700K warm LEDs, don't provide the best lighting to appreciate fully a paint job or intricate details, however, the provide for a cozier and more dramatic look.

Given installing them on top of the cabinets is an easy task, it should be considered as an extremely viable option. It does the job.

Indirect lighting is also interesting. It is a very old trick often used in the arts and sure it does make figures pops. It brings me back to my original goal, many years ago, to replicate the illuminated box effect that could be seen in Perfume's One Room Disco MV many years ago.
https://i.makeagif.com/media/3-25-2014/eNdtbp.gif

On the other hand, installing backlighting is far more trickier. If too close from the backdrop, it creates a very saturated spot of light that is unsightly. Hidden the source lights is also a major issue and will require custom baffles to control it. The LED pucks themselves also may come in conflict with the figures, making it hard to install them correctly. Also, hiding the wires and cords could quickly become a pain in the proverbial place.

So, for this reason, I'm still on the fence thought I'll go forward with the top lighting. I certainly wish to continue experimenting with the back lighting since I see a lot of potential there. What are your thoughts?
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Commentaires19

axejIl y a 1 mois#80031617any thoughts on urshult for that museum look?

They would work with open cabinets, but the moment you have a glass door, you'll end up with a lot of glare. I'm also not sure the illumination would be very even accross the display. I think they have their purpose, but for highlighting a specific object.
Il y a 1 mois
any thoughts on urshult for that museum look?
Il y a 1 mois
sailormatlacIl y a 1 mois#79941914I installed the LEDBERG into the cabinet and foun out, as expected, it was far too dim. I also explored the idea to add LED strips as discussed. But finally, I settled on ordering the LED pucks you previously linked. I'm curious to see the result, but given you picture, it should be fine. I've yet to decide what will happen with the lower shelves. But I consider it a work in progress. I'll probably use the LEDBERGs as accent lights at the bottom of the cabinets, as I already experimented and which I found cool in itself. Thanks for providing your input. It was really helpful.
Sounds like I'm owed a commission or something :D

Hopefully you'll find them as useful as I did and share the results.
Il y a 1 mois
arparsoIl y a 1 mois#79692329The LED pucks I linked to on Amazon? I purchased the warm-white version. Maybe the photo makes it look a bit more neutral than it actually is.
I believe the LEDBERGs have a color temperature of 2700K and the warm-white pucks I bought are 3000K, according to the description.


I installed the LEDBERG into the cabinet and foun out, as expected, it was far too dim. I also explored the idea to add LED strips as discussed. But finally, I settled on ordering the LED pucks you previously linked. I'm curious to see the result, but given you picture, it should be fine. I've yet to decide what will happen with the lower shelves. But I consider it a work in progress. I'll probably use the LEDBERGs as accent lights at the bottom of the cabinets, as I already experimented and which I found cool in itself. Thanks for providing your input. It was really helpful.
Il y a 1 mois
Oblivion590Il y a 1 mois#79692540I also find that angles around 30-45 degrees are best for LED strips. However, rather than using any permanent adhesive, I simply use poster-mounting putty to approximate the desired angle. The putty seldom loses tension, but I have seen it happen a few times, so it becomes important that the wires come from the top of each shelf where possible. I have moved a few times since beginning to collect figures, so having something that I can tear down and reassemble has been valuable.
I previously purchased the IKEA Dioder (white) lines when I used Detolf cases, so I still use them. The color consistency on Dioder is quite poor between different manufacturing lots, and the power supplies emit a terrible hum, so even though I enjoy my result, I don't recommend them very highly.
I have switched to using a showcase with mirrored back panels, which distribute a lot more of the light, and allow the viewer to see the reverse of the figures as well. I illuminate along most of the top edges as well as the sides. There are a couple of downsides to be concerned of: first, the LED spotlights need a low angle to avoid blinding the viewer, and second, you cannot avoid including yourself in photographs! Even an all-glass (unmirrored) case like the Detolf will exhibit similar issues to a lesser extent.
My old photo below demonstrates the approximate effect. Nowadays, the two showcases are in reverse orientation and have been filled up more completely, but the lighting solution is equivalent.
(NSFW figures included)
Voir le spoilerCacher le spoilerhttps://static.myfigurecollection.net/upload/pictures/2018/07/15/2019096.jpeg
IKEA's Ledberg pucks are diffuse enough to spotlight individual figures, but they usually produce too much shadow on their own to serve as primary illumination. I agree that combining them with LED strips is for the best.


Thanks for sharing your experience. I've been looking for aluminium profiles specially made to mount LED strips on glass shelves. Looks quite professional, but it comes with a price. I've been playing with the idea of using aluminium profiles from the home improvement store to try something. It is important to me the LEDS must not be seen from a normal viewing angle.

You've got a point with mirror back panels. It's the reason why I used white cabinet, knowing they would help diffuse the light all around the figures.

Yes, IKEA LEDs aren't very consistent from batch to batch. I've got a few older Dioder pucks. They do the job, but they could have been better.
Il y a 1 mois
I was trying to display some of my figures and I came up with the following conclusions.

1 as long there is a glass at the side or back or mirror they will be some distortion.
2 wood cabinet is better than deltof due to better sealing and less light reflection .
3 light from side is the best option but should be on both sides .
I’d you display your figures with their some figures boxes in the back ground I guess will be the best option and way to display .
Il y a 1 mois
sailormatlacIl y a 1 mois#79692415Looking great. I agree LED strips at 45° do improve lighting, particularly if mounted perpendicularly as you did. Must have been quite an endeavour, but the result shows! Thanks for sharing.
By the way, are you acrylic risers custom made or you purchased them as is? I'm looking for similar ones but have a hard time finding the ones that would fit my need.

Thanks! Wasn't really much extra effort to install the LED strips at 45° in the Detolfs. Here's an early pic from when they were still being assembled :
https://i.ibb.co/6vSV8vH/20180716-001503.jpg

Risers are custom-made acrylic designed specifically for Detolfs :
https://static.myfigurecollection.net/upload/pictures/2020/04/23/2427093.jpeg
Il y a 1 mois
I also find that angles around 30-45 degrees are best for LED strips. However, rather than using any permanent adhesive, I simply use poster-mounting putty to approximate the desired angle. The putty seldom loses tension, but I have seen it happen a few times, so it becomes important that the wires come from the top of each shelf where possible. I have moved a few times since beginning to collect figures, so having something that I can tear down and reassemble has been valuable.

I previously purchased the IKEA Dioder (white) lines when I used Detolf cases, so I still use them. The color consistency on Dioder is quite poor between different manufacturing lots, and the power supplies emit a terrible hum, so even though I enjoy my result, I don't recommend them very highly.

I have switched to using a showcase with mirrored back panels, which distribute a lot more of the light, and allow the viewer to see the reverse of the figures as well. I illuminate along most of the top edges as well as the sides. There are a couple of downsides to be concerned of: first, the LED spotlights need a low angle to avoid blinding the viewer, and second, you cannot avoid including yourself in photographs! Even an all-glass (unmirrored) case like the Detolf will exhibit similar issues to a lesser extent.

My old photo below demonstrates the approximate effect. Nowadays, the two showcases are in reverse orientation and have been filled up more completely, but the lighting solution is equivalent.
(NSFW figures included)
Voir le spoilerCacher le spoilerhttps://static.myfigurecollection.net/upload/pictures/2018/07/15/2019096.jpeg

IKEA's Ledberg pucks are diffuse enough to spotlight individual figures, but they usually produce too much shadow on their own to serve as primary illumination. I agree that combining them with LED strips is for the best.
https://static.myfigurecollection.net/upload/pictures/2016/03/17/thumbnails/1502993.jpeghttps://static.myfigurecollection.net/upload/pictures/2016/03/21/thumbnails/1505634.jpeg
Il y a 1 mois
I think there are some good ideas already suggested but there are also battery operated puck lights that you can get. The ones I got are easy to install, dimmable, and having 2 per shelf gives enough lights to my displays. [url=www.amazon.com/...][/url] Anyway, I have some display cases with the LED lights and others with the battery operated puck lights and, while they are both good options in my opinion, the ease of installing and lack of wires makes battery operated puck lights worth considering. Here are some pictures with them. In my situation, I have a good amount of ambient light in the room during the day.Voir le spoilerCacher le spoilerhttps://static.myfigurecollection.net/upload/pictures/2020/03/17/2407777.jpeghttps://static.myfigurecollection.net/upload/pictures/2020/03/17/2407776.jpeghttps://static.myfigurecollection.net/upload/pictures/2020/04/21/2426194.jpeg
Il y a 1 mois
WhoBeDaPlayaIl y a 1 mois#79692407Mounting LED strips at 45° (instead of straight up/down/sideways) significantly improves lighting uniformity. Applied to my Detolfs :
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Looking great. I agree LED strips at 45° do improve lighting, particularly if mounted perpendicularly as you did. Must have been quite an endeavour, but the result shows! Thanks for sharing.

By the way, are you acrylic risers custom made or you purchased them as is? I'm looking for similar ones but have a hard time finding the ones that would fit my need.
Il y a 1 mois
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