Choosing Lighting for Your Art Collection
When it comes to displaying your artwork, lighting is a very important thing to consider. The best lighting highlights each piece of art in a way that enhances its beauty or appeal. Even the most extraordinary artwork can seem mediocre when it is poorly lit. Another key thing about lighting when it comes to the artwork on display in your home is that it should not be damaging to your art. The main things to keep in mind when choosing how to light your displayed art are aesthetics and long-term preservation.
The best lighting for your art is complementary to each piece, rather than diminishing the beauty. It allows viewers to fully appreciate works of art by minimizing shadows, glare, and distortion of shape/form and color that would otherwise mask them. The best lighting also decreases the risk of damage that can be caused to the artwork when exposed to light and heat. To address these concerns, you should light your art on display with the most appropriate fixtures and lightbulb types; you should also make sure to take advantage of positioning in your display space.
There are several lighting fixtures available for displaying artwork. You can choose the fixtures that work best for the pieces in your art collection. Specialized picture lights are used often to illuminate wall-mounted pieces of art; picture lights are mounted to sit directly above each piece. Accent light fixtures are ceiling-mounted to illuminate your art from a stationary point, at a particular angle. Track lighting is another type of ceiling-mounted fixture; this fixture consists of a series of small, adjustable lamps attached to a track bar. Wall washer fixtures are individual or strips of lighting that can be positioned on a wall to bathe the whole wall in a swathe of light. The right lighting choice for displaying your art will depend on the size of each piece and the specific position of each in your display space.
Lightbulbs are another critical consideration when it comes to displaying artwork in your home. Choosing the correct bulbs is important because the light and heat that emanates can fade and damage the art. There is a variety of lightbulb options for artwork displays, including LED, halogen, or incandescent bulbs. Each type of bulb has its pros and cons to think about, from the level of ultraviolet light to the amount of heat that each emits. And specific lighting choices are required for specific art mediums, too. The type of display lighting you choose should not negatively impact the medium characteristics of the artwork. For example, the glossy nature of oil paintings require lighting that will not cause excessive glare; and other artworks like sculptures need lighting from multiple angles so all the dimensions are highlighted.
The principal considerations of aesthetics and longevity must be the focus when you are planning to display works of art in your home. Display lighting should make your artworks central points of focus, so each piece can be encountered optimally by every viewer. Proper display lighting is essential to drawing attention to your prized art collection for the most positive experience possible.
Art From the Streets is an Austin-based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that was established in 1991 to give transient people a way to develop as artists and to use their creativity to climb out of homelessness. Purchasing artwork supports the artists directly. Donating to our program helps us to offer a free Open Studio for the homeless and at risk.