Willin

To vent or not. Advice needed.

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I am close to final assembly of this cherry display case, which has two interior lights.  Two inch pucks, each with a single 5w xenon bulb, running at 12 volts.

 

The pucks mount into holes in a dropped false top, and there is about two inches of enclosed dead space above the false top and the 7/8-inch top.

 

Should this space be vented with some holes drilled through the back?  Would vents really do anything?

 

I turned on the xray view when taking screenshots of my Sketchup model so you can see where the lighting goes, and get a sense of the enclosed space above the lighting.

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Xenon, YES! Try to allow for some make up air to enter from below. I would walk very carefully around these hot bulbs in an enclosure.

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It would be a lot cooler if you could get LED pucks, I'm sure you've designed around the ones you've got however.  But venting wouldn't be necessary with the LEDs.

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I'll add my 2 cents.  LEDs for sure.  They're cooler, use about 1/5 the power & last almost forever.  Be aware of what color temperature you get.  Around 3000K will put out a warm light that looks much like halogen.  4000 - 5000K is a nice crisp white light.  Much above 5000K gets looking blue, which would not be a good look.

 

It's a matter of personal preference, but I think the 3000K range would look best in a wooden display case light that.  Although if what you have in the case is silver, diamonds, or decorative crystal then the 4000 - 5000K will really make them pop.  A good lighting store should have displays that will make your choice easier.

 

The LED market is rife with really cheap, low quality product (think most ebay stuff).  Stick with the good name brands & don't be afraid to spend a few bucks.  A piece of fine furniture like that deserves it.

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Cree brand LED emitters are some of the best ones available. Cree doesn't always make the fixture but the actual LED chip.

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FYI, I get pretty tunneled about answering the question asked. Given the discussion and my experience with Xenon, I also sway toward LED in my preference.

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Yes, Cree are among the best along with Philips (Luxeon & Lumileds).  We have installed Senso Lighting products extensively for several years & they are very good (and expensive).  They are a fixture manufacturer but I don't know off hand who's chips they use.

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As everyone else stated, LED's are the way to go. Even if you vent for xenon, it'll still be hotter than LED's. The excess heat will dry out your wood, may cause warping and is a potential fire hazard down the road. 

 

I'm not an expert, just my two cents....

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