Display Case #2

With the assistance of Petey the Dog, I helped my friend convert his Ikea wall unit into another variation of this lighted display system. The photos below show many more details of the conversion process...

This version uses two lights in a deeper valance to light a lower case. We did it this way because it was impractical to mount exterior lights on the shorter cases. It's also a great solution for lighting the lower sections on a tall unit. I'll probably do this to the middle section of my single case when I need the room.

Petey the Dog - Our faithful assistant.

No, that's not a reflection - this version has two lights and a deeper valance.

Use the mounting ring to trace your cut-outs in pencil

Circular pencil line marking location for cut-out

When trimming the depth of the valance/shelf, use masking tape to protect the laminate from being chewed up by the saw. Mark your pencil ine on the tape.

Here we just cut 1/4 inch off the back of the shelf to make our valance, because we wanted one of our lights as close to the front of the case as possible.

Start your cut-out by drilling into the top surface of the shelf just inside the pencil lines. Try not to go through the other side, but don't worry if you do--it won't show.

The hole you make with the jigsaw doesn't have to be perfect (our's isn't) because once this is mounted upside down inside the case with the lights in place you'll never notice.

Once cut, the hole can be pryed out easily with a screwdriver

Note the cardboard honeycomb inside -- this is easily removed by hand.

After cleaning sawdust out of the holes, you can mount the lights with the included screws.

The second light is done the same way. We chose to put it about 4" from the back of the case.

Next, just screw the valance into place, and put the covers on the lights. When attaching the valance, be sure to put the back mirror in place first, so the back of the valance is flush with the mirror in the back of the case. Wiring is all that's left, and you won't believe how easy it is. All you need is a small flathead screwdriver. Complete instructions can be found on the Custom Display Case page.
Be sure to use a slide dimmer in this application, as you're using about double the recommended wattage for this size case, considering the shelf arrangement.
Another solution is using 10 Watt bulbs instead of 20 watt (also available from Pegasus). However, you'll want the flexibility to dim them anyway, and besides the 20's will last four times as long at half power. Just be careful not to turn them all the way up for any length of time because they will heat up (they're too bright at full power anyway).