© 2019 by International Mountmakers Forum.

Designed by Sarah at Art/Tech/Space.  Proudly created with Wix.com   


Formerly the Mountmaking Forum Google Group

Welcome to the IMF Online Forum- The easiest way to connect with your fellow Mountmakers!

Archived topics are available to anyone- But we encourage you to create a Login, which allow you to post new topics, as well as receiving notification of new posts from other contributors.


To create a new Login- Just click the Log in/ Sign up prompt. You can use your existing Google or Facebook account or enter an email address and create a password- you're good to go!

To be alerted of any new Online Forum topics- Just click the Follow icon, located on the right side of each topic category and you will receive updates to new postings by email.


If there's anything we're missing, needs fixing or you'd like to contribute, just let us know through the Contact Us prompt!


We look forward to your participation!

May 13

Mountmaking Forum ›Display Case Lighting System


LINGERINGSHADE@aol.com 5/7/09

Hello all... Our most recent project involves wall mounted display cases to be located in a historical house (We have lots of these in Alabama)...There are no electrical outlets available and we need to light the interiors... I am thinking they are going to require a very small infrared built-in motion sensor/or an on/off switch that is connected to a battery.  A charger port will be incorporated into the wall case so the batteries can be recharged when needed... We will also need corresponding battery chargers ...The motion sensor will detector a visitor and will turn on the low voltage LED light strips...When the sensor does not detect any movement (or if a timer is available), then we want the lights to turn off...The light strips will be placed on the inside, both sides and top... Questions: Am I thinking correctly?  Anybody have any other ideas?  Also, where would I purchase such a system?  I really need help with locating a supplier... Thanks so much for all your help...You are a great resource!  Hope you all have a good day! Hallie Hallie Henley LINGERING SHADE, Inc. 2114 21st Avenue South Birmingham, AL 35223 (205) 871-6895 lingeringshade@aol.com



Steve Briscoe 5/7/09

Hi Hallie-  We are looking at similar problems in our new exhibits. The designers want trap doors that have interior lights that go on when opened, motion sensors for conservation reasons, etc. I'll be interested in what you come up with.  I've found help in the past with this kind of project at the local alarm company. They are good with small circuits and all the parts you're wanting are alarm type things. If you have a relationship with someone who does your security, ask them for a design. This is off the shelf stuff that can be brought together by a technician. They could probably make a wireless system that lights all the cases in the room when someone walks in. Kaching! LED lighting, at least the commercial stuff, requires 12 volt power (I think) which could be a larger battery scenario. I'd also ask your conservation people about the acceptability of batteries in a case (venting?). I wonder if you could use a 12 volt drill battery and then have the volunteer switch them out and charge them elsewhere. That might be more cost effective/easier than running extension cords around the house to each case. A source for the LED lights might be Outwater Architectural. They sent me a catalog with strip lights, puck lights, all sorts of LED stuff. The problem I was having was finding something dim enough or dimmable and the correct color temp. Most of the LEDs are bright white which looks unnatural. There are warm whites (3200K) that look more like gallery lighting.  http://www.outwatercatalogs.com/2008_Master/lg_display.cfm?page_number=568&catalog=080135 Anyway, I'm just talking since I haven't made anything yet. I need to do some tests. Let me know how it goes. Steve Briscoe Preparator, History Department Oakland Museum of California 1000 Oak Street Oakland, CA  94607 ph. 510.238.2244 <> fax 510-238-3044 www.museumca.org



Ralph Walter 7/6/09

Hi Hallie,

We are experimenting some with LED's and have played with a few types for different applications.  In one particular application we are using this one:  http://ledpower.com/images/LightBars_PDF/12/led_12_white.pdf in a 24 volt model, but it's also available in a 12 volt.  In another place, we used an extra LED array that our videographer obtained and adapted it to a Makita cordless drill battery.  The battery lights the array for several hours but that being said, the array contains dozens of LED's and is very bright, so the strip available from LED Power could theoretically go several times longer on the same battery.  We are fortunate to have a well equipped shop and can create all the adapters in-house.  You may be able to do the same without using a drill battery by just going to Radio Shack and getting battery holders for 8 AA rechargeable NiMH batteries and enough batteries to always have a fresh bunch ready.  I think the motion sensor is a great idea for saving battery power.  Good luck on your project.

Ralph Walter Exhibit Fabricator Experience Music Project/Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame Seattle, WA 98109 206-396-1985 empsfm.org



Jamie Hascall 7/6/09

Hi Hallie,

I'm sorry I didn't get a chance to reply to this subject the first time around.

I prefer a spot light style fixture when possible as opposed to a light bar type general lighting. The best LED fixture I have found is a 12v landscape light we get from a company called superbrightleds.com . http://superbrightleds.com/specs/spl.htm

It is a one watt Luxeon type LED with on-board electronics and a selection of two different lense spreads; 15 degree and 45 degree. It comes in a cool or warm white and the fixture is equipped with a lense retaining ring that can be easily screwed off and a piece of theatrical gel put in place to further adjust the color of the light. It's not perfect but it's pretty darn workable. They run about $35.00 apiece and the biggest hassle is that you have to remove the landscape spike to use it. We found that we could cut the retaining bolt at the base of the yoke and you then are able to install it with a single screw to get good aiming ability. They're not even bad looking. (I know I'm starting to sound like an advertisement, but I have no connection other than as a user). We found that the 15 degree lense generates a nasty yellowish ring, but the 45 degree has a decent pattern to it. They are also dimmable.

If you have any questions about these LEDs and their use, please feel free to contact me.

Jamie Hascall Chief Preparator Museums of New Mexico Santa Fe 505-476-5079



Steve Briscoe 7/6/09

Re: [mountmaking-forum] Re: Display Case Lighting System Hi all-

Do you find the color temperature of the light OK? Which do you use?   What kind of filters correct the bluish cool white or yellowish warm   white?

Thanks! Steve Briscoe Preparator, History Department Oakland Museum of California 1000 Oak Street Oakland, CA 94607 510-238-2244 510-238-3044 Fax www.museumca.org



Jamie Hascall 7/6/09

RE: [mountmaking-forum] Re: Display Case Lighting System Hi all,

I'm now sending this a second time as our State of NM anti-profanity filter nixed the first one. Please excuse the bizarre spelling I had to give to one of the gel names. ;~}  

Steve, The color temperature is colder than optimum. We were using the warm whites and generally adding a "B*$tard Amber" (actual name) or Roscosun 1/2 CTO gel to warm things up. You can get a theatrical gel swatch book by Roscolux at most theater suppliers. The sample size is perfect for trying out with the fixtures. In the last show we did, we used a mixture of different gels to tweak the look of the display. That said, this was a show of Gustav Baumann's marionettes and we wanted things a little more theatrical than true. Getting colors to read correctly will take a bit more work than I was putting in on that one.

Good luck. Jamie Hascall Chief Preparator Museums of New Mexico Santa Fe 505-476-5079

New Posts
  • I need to make custom mounts for rocks, #10/5kg and bigger, fast. What I need is a way to make a quick 'prototype' shape, that will mimic the rock, and that I can use to bend the steel to. The present rock is kinda diamond shape, 12”x 9” x 2” / 30x22x3cm thick, and of course need to balance on a corner, so the big flat face fronts. I am making a mount for it, but want to be able to do them ‘mass production style ‘ for lots of rocks, all different, sizes and balance points. I need to be at able to make custom yet fast  This is a commercial rock shop. No time to make ‘duplicate rocks’ They want steel mounts, it’s their preference. Any and all ideas will be appreciated!
  • Hello all. Over the years I've had occasional mounts that required steel over brass. Because I don't have any welding rigs and am only using acetylene for brazing, I've always just brazed the steel. I've noticed that it takes a lot more time for the joint to flow properly with steel. My question is, what's the limitations when brazing is no longer enough? Can stainless be brazed? I'm wondering if it's time to expand and get a welding set up. Any recommendations on welding equipment would be welcome as well! Yours, James
  • For those of us that have been working with institutions their whole careers but have always wanted to break out on their own to avoid...certain politics shall we say, or certain salary limitations. Do the mountmakers here that are independent have any sage advice to offer such a person? Like me for example? I've been doing the side gig thing for 13 some-odd years now so I already have a good reputation and client base but I know there will be surprises and challenges coming up really soon. My last day at the museum is September 6th, so it's time for action man to take action. I'd love to open up some dialog on these ventures as well as the current state of institutions (i.e. protests and unionizing at major institutions lately). Love to hear from you all. yours, James Spark and Anvil