Lighting your Artwork
Now that you found your perfect print to transform your space, it's important to choose the best way to illuminate your artwork. Quality lighting can make the difference between a piece of art being overlooked, or commanding your attention. Soft, yet targeted light, brings out details, tonal qualities and colors that you may have otherwise not every seen. Lets discuss some of the various types of lighting available to you.
Ceiling-Mounted Accent Lighting
Spotlight mounted from a ceiling facing downwards offers an easy and adjustable solution of illumination. They should be place at a 30-degree angle, directed at the center of the artwork, and should provide a soft even spread of light, illuminating the majority of the print. When directed at this 30-degree angle, it reduces the amount of shadowing cast onto the wall below the art and eliminates reflective glare.
While essentially providing the same benefits and overall look of "ceiling-mounted lighting," track lighting can be beneficial for those who have multiple pieces of art across the room, or for those that like control with moving and angling light fixtures. Yet one must consider the overall aesthetics of track running across the ceiling.
Picture lights are mounted directly above or even on the frame of the artwork itself, and in most cases are low wattage light sources with a very small spread of illumination. This is not my personal preference with lighting artwork, yet it offers lighting on a budget.
Halogen vs Led
"Halogen Bulbs" produce large amounts of infrared (IR) and ultraviolet (UV) radiation that can be damaging to your artwork over time if mounted too closely. Halogen bulbs also run very hot and are very bright. Not my go-to source for lighting. If you do go with halogen, be careful not to place the light to close to the print so that things don't get heated up. LED bulbs on the other hand, have a wide variety of color temperatures and while more expensive than Halogen, LED pays for itself over time with lower energy cost. They are the preferred method for lighting artwork, being that they emit very little heat, and do not emit "UV or IR rays." They provide a beautiful glow to light artwork. and is my preferred method for lighting art. Yet you still need to be careful not to get any light source too close to the artwork.
Solux Colorview LED Artlight
Tailored Lighting INC., is the maker of Solux, a patented light source that provided an unparalleled replication of natural daylight without the damaging effects. To learn more, click here.
Mistakes to Avoid
- Avoid Direct Sunlight!!!! Ultraviolet light and radiation can cause fading even with artwork that has been protected by UV coating.
- Do not use direct facing light sources. By doing so, this will protect your artwork from heat damage. If you are unsure, place your hand near the surface of the artwork while under the light source. If you can feel the heat, it is too close.
- Avoid Fluorescent lighting. High levels of UV light accelerate fading and color shifts.