Your wine bottles don’t have to be the only ones enjoying the space you’ve created – wine cellars can be small, intimate areas perfect for entertaining family and friends. Whether you have a wine cellar because you’re an avid wine enthusiast or you just want to have an area designated specifically for your bottles, the lighting you choose is essential both for protecting your wine collection and providing the right ambiance. Building a new cellar or upgrading your current one? BlissLights has assembled this guide to creating the ideal environment for your wine display.
8 wine cellar lighting ideas
Part of being passionate about wine is learning how to properly care for your bottles. Yes, you should store wine on its side and keep it in cool temperatures, but proper lighting is important for its longevity as well. The wrong lighting, such as UV or fluorescent light, can be detrimental to the overall taste and impact the wine’s freshness.
The right lighting for your wine cellar doesn’t stop at protecting your collection: there’s a mood and tone that the right lighting sets while you spend time surveying and even tasting your collection in that room (if you have a cellar large enough!).
With these two considerations in mind, check out the below lighting ideas to turn your wine cellar into the ultimate storage space and hang spot.
1. Wall sconces
With wall sconces, you can bring an elegant design to your wine cellar without sacrificing any floor space. Wall sconces are perfect for adding dimension and frames to doors, shelves, and wine displays. They shine a soft glow to brighten up your wine cellar without emitting an intense light right onto your bottles. Sconces also bring tasteful, versatile decoration to your space.
2. Accent lighting
Most wine cellars use dim lighting to protect and uphold the taste of each bottle, so consider using accent lighting to give your chardonnays and merlots a little extra attention without changing your entire lighting scheme. Incorporate strip lights on your shelves to make them stand out, or install them in your bottom rack to create a glow. Layering your lighting with accent fixtures can help highlight the architecture in your cellar and spotlight your most enticing bottles.
3. Ceiling lights
Depending on how much space is available in your wine cellar, you may need shelves that extend from the floor all the way to the ceiling. Recessed LED lighting in your ceilings illuminates your cellar and your wine collection without installing a light fixture that gets in the way of seeing them. Unlike some other lights, ceiling lights won’t get in the way of your shelves, so you’ll have no trouble seeing labels, rearranging your wines, and quickly grabbing a bottle. Track lighting can also provide the perfect ceiling glow while giving you the option to rotate your lights in any direction.
You can use backlighting to give your wine cellar a dramatic appearance. LED backlighting can help set a romantic and calming mood by casting a silhouette around your wine bottles. Use this type of lighting to bring out the color of each wine by putting a panel light behind your bottles, or place your backlights behind walls and wine racks. You can even use it on your ceilings! With backlighting, you can turn your wine cellar into a sleek and modern space.
If you’re trying to replicate a majestic design for your wine cellar, chandeliers are an excellent place to start. These fixtures create a unique focal point for the room while also forging an upscale aesthetic. Be mindful of the space you have to work with – the chandelier should just shine a warm glow around your wine display instead of overpowering your entire room.
6. Hanging lights
Get creative with your wine cellar lighting by hanging pendant fixtures if you have enough space. These lights also add extra decor to compliment the fancy aesthetic of wines all lined up.
You can choose from a variety of pendant colors, designs, and sizes to set the mood for you and your guests. For a more rustic tone, go with bronze or glass hanging lights. If you prefer natural materials, find some wooden pendant lights to give everyone that fresh outdoor feel.
7. Galaxy light
Show off your prized wine collection while entertaining guests in your wine cellar. For those classic evening cocktail parties, use galaxy lights to give the illusion of a relaxing nebula sky. Guests will get to mingle and drink under sparkling stars and floating clouds. Here at BlissLights, our Sky Lite Galaxy Projector is perfect for quickly, easily transforming the darkened wine cellar atmosphere into a dazzling universe.
8. Laser bulbs
Sipping wine underneath the stars at a winery – what sounds more peaceful than that? You can emulate this special moment in your wine cellar with laser bulbs. Whether you’re hosting an intimate get-together with friends and family or having a romantic date night, laser bulbs can provide a realistic night sky full of twinkling stars. Our BlissBulb can do exactly this in your wine cellar, filling it with red, green, or blue laser stars.
Lights you should avoid in your wine cellar
Now that you’re ready to get to work and design the ultimate space for your wine, it’s important to know when lighting can damage your wine – believe it or not, lighting does have an impact! Avoid the following types of light when building your wine cellar:
- Natural light or daylight. Natural sunlight is one of the worst light sources for wine because the sun's ultraviolet rays accelerate wine’s aging process and cause it to spoil quickly. Additionally, the heat from the sun’s rays can change the taste and flavor of the wine, thus making it unpleasant to drink. Avoid “light-struck” wine by making sure there are no windows or other sources of UV light – including certain bulbs – in your wine cellar.
- Fluorescent light. Although fluorescent light is artificial, it still emits a large amount of UV light that can taint your wine collection. And as you now know, when wine is exposed to UV light, you risk souring the wine. Lighter-colored bottles are especially high risk for this chemical imbalance, so use extra caution with light-colored wines and clear glass bottles.
- Incandescent light. To ensure that your wine has a long shelf life, keep incandescent light out of your cellar. This light releases much more heat than LEDs, which keep temperatures low and thus better for your wine’s shelf life. And even if your wine is still good after being exposed to incandescent light, its flavor may differ from what you were expecting. It’s thus best to remove incandescent lights to steer clear of chemical changes.
- Halogen light. As with incandescent bulbs, halogen lights emit heat. Unlike incandescent bulbs, halogen light can increase temperatures by as much as 10 degrees. Because of this, the bottle can start to grow mildew from the condensation around the label. The harmful UV rays from this type of light can also damage your wine’s taste and shelf life.