There are several standards and principles when choosing a picture light for your artwork. Every artwork is different and thus requires different types of lights. To find the best fit for your artwork, please follow these few simple tips:
Picture Lights for Different Mediums
Finding art lights for oil paintings can be difficult due to the spectral highlights that can be shown when light is directly on the painting. In this case, a broad-based light source is most ideal.
For acrylic paintings, since it does not have the glossy finish and glare problems that an oil painting may have, any type of art light featured here will suffice.
Importance of Size
When choosing art lights, the size and dimensions of your artwork/paintings as well as the picture lights itself are very important. Typically, pick an art light that is half the size of the image (when not including the frame). For example, if an image is 10 inches wide, choose a light that is 5 inches wide.
When choosing an optimal size of picture light, please also consider if you would like the art work to be bright, medium bright, or mildly illuminated. There are also options for an electronic art dimmer that gives you the flexibility of adjusting the art brightness. Conoco Picture Lights provides this option.
Significance of Framing
Depending on the frame of the artwork, there can be various options on the styling of the picture lights. If an artwork does not have a frame or has a small frame, it can be illuminated with a light that is not directly fixed on the artwork. Lights such as spotlights, mantels, track lights are examples that can be used. On the contrary, a large frame can hold the weight of an attached picture light.
Types of Lights
Incandescent lights create a warm tone as it highlights the yellows and reds while complimenting the blues and greens. Halogen lights cast a very pure white light and is ideal for majority of art. However, heat is generated with this type of light so it has to be placed at a distance from the artwork to prevent any possible damage. Fluorescent lights alter the color of the artwork and emits a high level of ultraviolet rays that can cause damage and acceleration of fading.
LED lights are the optimal choice to use for your artwork. This new LED technology light creates a natural sunlight color and does not produce harmful ultraviolet rays nor excessive heat. LED lights use 80% less energy than the typical lighting and can last over 50,000 hours with the average use. Companies such as Conoco Picture Lights have incorporated this latest technology into their picture lights to guarantee highest quality and satisfaction.
Color of Art Light
There are two approaches to picking the color for your picture lights. The first, pick a color that matches the frame. Colors such as gold, brass, silver, bronze, and black are very popular. The second way to choose your picture lights is to pick a color that would complement or accentuate the color scheme of the room that the artwork would be placed in.