Ben Benoit of Cellar Masters in Newbury Park, California, has created hundreds of ambitious designs over the past 20 years, including the glass-enclosed rooms featured in the book Living with Wine. But many of his ideas work just as well in more modest cellars. “I like basic technology, like the rope lighting (small bulbs inside plastic tubing) that is often used on the floors of movie theaters,” Benoit says. “It’s better to have more money left over to buy wine.”
© Ben Benoit
In this Las Vegas dining room, Benoit installed blue LED lights on two sides of the glass wine cabinet. In other cabinets, he sometimes lines shelves with rope lighting from Duralight. “It emits almost no heat, has a lifetime of about 20,000 hours and is inexpensive,” Benoit says. “Plus it works on a dimmer” (from $67 for 30 feet; sldlighting.com).
Benoit always builds in climate controls to keep his cellars at 55 degrees Fahrenheit, but he thinks “the whole issue of humidity in a wine cellar is overblown.” Among the few exceptions are cellars in very dry climates, like Las Vegas.