When decorating your home, your job doesn’t end with positioning your favourite artworks on the wall. You will also need to choose the right lighting that makes your artworks shine. Nothing looks better than a delightfully lit piece of art. Though lighting brings alive your artworks, you shouldn’t take a one-size-fits-all approach when lighting art.
You need to consider your artwork’s size, frame, surface, and placement to decide on the best lighting options and proper angles that make it look striking while minimising heat damage. If you aren’t sure what works and what doesn’t when lighting your artwork, the following six tips can help.
Position your ceiling-mounted lights at 30° angles
These lights can be surface-mounted or recessed and direct light onto your artworks to draw attention to them. They should ideally be positioned at an angle of 30° so that the emerging light beam hits your artwork’s centre. A lower angle, say 10°, will point the light beam almost straight down, which will cast long shadows below the frame. Wider angles, say at 45°, will make the light hit your artwork too directly and cause reflective glare.
Use track lights for more flexibility
If you decide to relocate your artworks, you won’t be able to move your recessed ceiling lighting fixtures without drywall surgery. However, you can easily move your track lighting or even take one off. Though track lights perform mostly the same function as ceiling-mounted accent lights, they provide future flexibility and are easier to install.
Make the most of picture lights
Picture lights are often considered the most specialised option to light artwork. They are either wall-mounted above the artwork or sit directly on the artwork’s frame. These lights are decorative fixtures that position the light source extremely close to the work of art and typically use very low-wattage lamps. They impart a sense of intimacy to the artwork and entice you to stand closer for a good look.
Keep your halogen lamps away
Avoid pointing your halogen lights directly onto a specific area of your painting. Else, it will gradually burn away the material due to UV light and heat. Keep your halogen lamps away at a safe distance to minimise damage to your wall art. You can also use UV filters with your halogen lights if you plan on using them to light your artworks over the long term. However, LED bulbs are a better lighting alternative as they emit little heat and no ultraviolet (UV) light.
Invest in wall washers
Not every piece of art needs light to hit it. You can deliver a casual and wider distribution of light with wall washers. These are individual or strips of light placed directly above or under a wall, on the floor, or on the ceiling to wash the artwork in light. You can get wall washers in different forms, including surface-mounted, recessed, and track-mounted fixtures.
Avoid natural light
You should keep your wall art away from direct sunlight exposure as infrared and UV light will make its colours fade. It’s best to position your pieces of art away from bright and strong natural light sources to avoid damage.
If you are ready to give your space a stylish update by using the most suitable lighting for your wall art, use the tips shared above to get it right.