18 Mar A Few Home Lighting Lessons You can Learn from Art Galleries
Most people have decor and artwork in their homes. While they do know how they want the rest of the lighting in their house to be, they are sometimes at sea as to how they can showcase their art pieces. Most just end up placing picture lights or spot lights above these pieces; however, that doesn’t always flatter the artwork. In fact, sometimes it also takes away from the beauty of it.
Just as you have different type of lighting for different areas in your home, art lighting is a specialised task and needs a certain amount of planning, an eye for detail and creativity. The best way a novice can learn how to get the right kind of lighting for the artwork and decorative pieces in their home is to learn from art galleries.
You must have noticed how impressive the paintings and artwork displayed there look. Light affects different types of artwork in different ways; if you want to bring out its beauty, it’s important that it be lit correctly.
Here are some tips to get you going; you can then mix-and-match and use your own creativity to achieve the look you want in your home:
- It can be quite challenging to light oil paintings; this is because when intense light falls on the painting, spectral highlights get created. It’s best to use a more broad-based light source for this.
- Acrylic paintings largely have a matte finish and you don’t have to worry about glare problems that are common with artworks that have been framed in glass or even oil artworks. You can safely use any type of light source to light acrylic paintings.
- Glare and reflection are problems you have to face with any artwork that’s been placed behind glass. It’s a good idea to use non-reflective glass; apart from this, the lighting should be broader and shouldn’t be directed straight at the painting.
- If you want to light any sculpture, its best to use lighting from 3 different angles. However, you may have noticed that some art galleries use only a single light source to light sculptures. The angle of lighting you use will be dependent on the kind of piece that’s being lighted. The one way to get this right is to have one light exactly above the sculpture; then add some recessed lighting from one side or below it, to create the shadow effect you want.
- The type of framing is another deciding factor in choosing the right light for a painting. If your wall sculpture/piece of art doesn’t have any framing, the lights you use needn’t be attached to your artwork at all; you can use a spotlight, recessed light, track light or mantle light.
- Similar techniques should be used to light smaller frames as they are unable to support attached picture lights. When you are choosing a picture light, you will have to take the depth and width of the frame into consideration.
Some aspects to keep in view
While these are the basic lighting tips, you would also need to choose the right type of bulbs while planning lighting for artwork in your home:
- Use LED lights to showcase valuable artwork. Since they are “cool” lights, they do not emit infrared light or UV rays
- Incandescent lights are excellent for paintings that have reds and yellows in them, and flatter greens and blues too
- If you are using halogen lights, ensure that you place them far away from the artwork; it’s also a good idea to place a UV filter in front of the bulb
- Fluorescent lights aren’t really recommended for artwork as they distort the colours
Thanks for reading,
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