Another benefit of xenon light for showroom use is that it does not emit ultraviolet (UV) radiation, which can fade photography and adversely affect material color holding properties. Of course, halogen bulbs can be covered with a UV-coated glass filter to achieve the same property.
For now, at least, the main drawback to xenon bulbs is their cost compared to halogen. Each selling source may differ slightly, but, generally, xenon bulbs cost as much as 35 percent more than comparable halogen bulbs. However, according to Tress, even though one must spend more initially, that cost is eventually offset since xenon bulbs last longer.
Perhaps more importantly, the nuisance factor of xenon is decreased because bulbs do not need to be replaced as often. When you're running a showroom, little conveniences such as this can mean a lot!
Howard Kuretzky of Kurtis Kitchens in Livonia, MI, agrees. "It seemed that, every day, we were changing the halogen bulbs in our displays. So, last year we changed all of our halogen under-cabinet lighting to xenon bulbs," he said. "They cost more, but they last four to five times longer."
According to Kuretzky, xenon lighting offers comparable quality without the hassles of halogen. The bulbs are easier to work with, and since they don't burn as hot, there's less chance for heat damage to displays or their contents, he said.
Because xenon is newer, it may be somewhat difficult to find, depending on your location. Since their introduction about five years ago, the bulbs have become modestly popular in the last two years. In time, prices for xenon lighting likely will decrease and the bulbs will become more readily available. Of course, as technology advances, new and better products are constantly being developed.
If you're tired of working around the color inaccuracies in your showroom and the never-ending cycle of bulb changing, it may be time to explore your options. Your lighting professional can provide more information about efficient lighting solutions for your showroom.