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When you have paid money for a painting or canvas that you love there is every chance you will want to light it to enjoy its beauty. Artwork will truly come to life when lit correctly and we have a selection of picture lights to illuminate your paintings and drawings bringing your interior to life and of course highlighting your favourite pieces of art. Contemporary or traditional styles, plus many finishes and sizes are available. See below listings for information on lighting artwork.
Most people will have seen artwork lit in a gallery or museum, but will not have understood how lighting, good or otherwise, affects the presentation. Many people purchase artwork but never include lighting in the artwork installation process - it is definitely worth the effort. Proper lighting will bring out fine distinction and effects in the artwork that might not have been noticed before. Lighting will also tend to bring out the colour and, in terms of importance in the design of a room or environment, the piece of artwork will make much more of a statement.
Light Damage to Artwork
Artwork needs to be protected from light damage but the most damage will always come from DAYLIGHT! If your artwork is protected against the fading effects of sunlight you should also ensure that any artificial light does not damage your artwork too. Try only to light the art when you are likely to view it and keep the light off at other times. Incandescent light is less harmful than fluorescent light, but a standard bulb gives a very imbalanced light, with too much light coming from the red end of the spectrum which can over emphasise warm colours while muting blue, green and violet colours. Do not consider using “daylight” lamps as these are for colour matching, not colour rendering. In museums, the debate is still in progress as to the status of halogen lighting. Museums pieces have their own special needs and rules. Contact us if you require more information on this matter.
Lighting Artwork Guide – Domestic
Never let picture light be larger than artwork
It would not look good to use the lights that light your artwork from the top if they extend too far beyond the borders of the painting. With linear picture lighting try to use a fitting that is two thirds of the pictures width. It is best to try to light the entire piece evenly.
Put as much light on the picture as you can
In the gallery lighting situations the lighting is adjusted in brightness according to the medium used. Watercolours have low lighting, modern acrylic artwork gets loads of light. If you are only lighting one piece, light it well enough to bring out the wonderful subtleties but steer clear of more than three spotlights on all but the largest of artwork. Adjust the light levels by changing the lamps wattages and do not just rely on dimming because when you dim a lamp the colour shifts toward the warm colours. It would be better to use a 20w lamp at full brightness rather than a 50w lamp dimmed by 50%.
If your painting is behind glass consider using the likely reflection
You may find that glass glare and reflections bother you. Glass can reflect so badly that from certain angles it is sometimes hard to see the artwork for the reflections. Experimentation may help, try lighting from different angles to ensure you do not fix light fittings where they will make the reflection worse. If you require any further help or assistance in choosing the correct fitting for your artwork please contact us.