Lighting Tips For Art Display


Display Position

Before you go to the trouble of placing that art on your wall you really need to consider how light and other room conditions will affect it at certain times of the day or even certain times of the year as the seasons change. It would be to your advantage to secure it on an aisle or something mobile in the area you want to hang it and periodically watch how lighting affects it throughout the day, night, sunny and overcast days. Don't get in too big of a hurry. It may take a few days to find its home in the right place on your wall. Hanging art in direct natural light is not recommended which can cause fading and decrease the longevity of the art. In turn, positioning art between windows will make the eye struggle to see the art during the day. Finding a neutral zone with controlled lighting is key to longevity and best viewing characteristics.

Lighting Type

High quality LED's offer superior color rendition. A color temperature of 2,700K and a color rendering index of 95 or above is a good lighting tone to start with since many placement variables must also be factored. Spotlights create a pool of light over artwork. Picture lights create a more definite cut-off. Track spotlighting systems create a gallery feel and offers some flexibility especially if a collection changes regularly.

Lighting In Layers

Depending on how you are displaying art, generally, lighting an entire room with a grid of downlighting will not prove beneficial to each piece. Your goal should be to create an ambiance that draws your attention to each piece. This can be achieved with offset lighting - table lamps combining other lighting tones which give a layering effect as well as the lamp shade and how it casts the lighting are all key elements in acquiring a stable lighting environment. 

Lighting Angles

While downlighting is the preferred choice uplighting casts shadows above the paintings. So, keep in mind every piece will show differently and is always best practice to find the best angles and sometimes combining a variety of angles may offer advantages.