To make a welcoming and elegant environment, the choice of lights is essential: here are all the tips and tricks on how to illuminate the shelves.

In modern homes, lighting is acquiring increasing importance, according to some even on a par with colors and furnishing accessories. In addition to aesthetics, practicality must also be evaluated, that is to say not to leave any corner in the dark to make the most of the whole house, without shadows.

Each room has different characteristics and therefore different needs in terms of light, it is therefore important to carefully choose the type of lighting for each environment, especially for the shelves. In general, we recommend soft lights for the rooms dedicated to rest, stronger and more decisive for the living area.

Many contemporary interior designers take advantage of shelves to create more sophisticated environments and propose something different from the usual. In case you like this idea, the first thing to evaluate to choose the correct lighting for the shelves is what effect you want to recreate. Let’s see it together.



By technical solution for shelves, we mean a real lighting system, with cables and wires: recessed or wall spotlights, small wall lights, tracks and adjustable bars.

It is a complex installation, which requires the work of a professional. The system in question will remain visible, unless suitably hidden in the wall, behind the shelves. With the internal wiring on the walls you will not have bulky wire systems and the whole lighting system will be cleaner and more functional. If possible, always avoid those unsightly channels, which almost never fit the furniture.

A solution of this type will allow you to better orient the light: both the individual spotlights and those on the tracks are modular and therefore integrate well into the surrounding environment.

Atmospheric solutions, on the other hand, are easier to place. Decorative lamps, lanterns, candles: all furnishing accessories that guarantee diffused lighting and do not require installation.

The strips of LED lights deserve a separate mention, a sort of hybrid between the two possibilities just described, because they guarantee fixed lighting, but are assembled in an elementary way without the need for masonry work.


The led strips illuminate the shelves highlighting them. They allow you to focus attention on the shelf and its contents, decorating and illuminating at the same time.

The lighting can start from the back or front of the shelf, from above or below, depending on the desired effect and how you want to illuminate the objects placed on it.

Applying the self-adhesive led strips is very simple, just follow these few steps:

  1. Carefully measure the area where you are going to insert them. It does not need to be the full length of the shelf; evaluate yourself based on the style of the environment and your personal taste. In general, check that the alignment is perfectly horizontal, otherwise you may get a different effect than the one imagined.
  2. Glue the led strip paying attention to the pressure you apply. It must be constant, in order not to obtain a too heterogeneous result, but decisive, to make it adhere to the best.
  3. Insert the batteries and enjoy your masterpiece.

Easy right? Think that on the market there are also kits with RGB multicolored light, remote control included, which will allow you to choose the most suitable color for the evening each time.

If, on the other hand, you have chosen a current-powered LED strip, you will need to provide a veil or aluminum profiles that cover the final parts (the electrical cables) up to the power socket.


Once you have chosen the right type of lighting for your home, it will be necessary to avoid making the most common mistakes for shelves.

Consider that in the event that the surface of the shelf is shiny, there is a high risk of generating annoying reflections and therefore diffused light will be recommended. It is equally true that reflections can be used to create plays of light and more spectacular and impactful results.

Another recurring mistake is to buy lights with different temperatures, cold and hot: the final visual effect will be chaotic and will seem approximate.

Again, do not save on the quality of the lights: what today seems to you an economic purchase, will result in a higher bill and a worse environmental impact. Always go for energy-saving lights, which will allow you to reduce your annual electricity consumption by up to 75%.


A touch of design, practical and innovative. The only flaw? For some, their cost is not exactly low.

We are talking about the luminous shelves, available in opal plexiglas or frosted glass, with an integrated lighting device. In this case, it is not about accessory lights, but in most cases the main light source. Try to imagine them in the bedroom or living room, relaxation is guaranteed.



If you liked the article, leave a comment! Also, if you need a guide for the lighting of your shelves, send an email to valeriadesign@casaomnia.it!

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