What is the best way to light your art?
Elongated filament tube-bulbs, often greater than 6” in length, used to be the “go to” choice for lighting paintings, or other relatively flat objects (like plaster of stone friezes). With paintings there would often be a fixture with one or two bulbs directly overhead. This was called Direct Lighting, which would illuminate a rather central splotch, often leaving the top corners relatively dark.
If you stood too close, the light source would glare in your eyes. If you were far enough away to appreciate the art, the light would fade away before it reached the lower edge because, if it were bright enough to illuminate the bottom of the image properly, it would wash out the top of the image with too much light. Art illumination in homes used to be, quite frankly, awful.
In the Beginning
That wasn’t good enough for Jim Stephens and Tom Kretzschmar, our founders. Their chance coffee-meeting turned into Illuminations Lighting Design back in 1980. Why, they asked, should people have to settle for the poor lighting styles available at the time? The perfect marriage of electrical engineering and artistic lighting design gave us the company you see today. (Feel free to read about our founders Jim Stephens and Tom Kretzschmar and how our story began!)
Since then ILD has been an upstanding community member in the Houston area, but of course we’ve grown and now cover the entire state! Better yet, with our constant innovation and learning, our Art Lighting consultants are in demand all over the country, lighting some of the most prestigious art collections in the entire world. Isn’t that the sort of expertise you want for your own art, no matter how grandiose or modest? You bet it is!
We Invented Phantom Lighting
That’s right! Phantom Lighting is sourceless lighting for cabinetry, internal or external architectural features of your home, hanging art, statuary, water features, or landscaping. It is so much better now that LED lighting sources have durability reaching hundreds of thousands of hours. Imagine never having to change a lightbulb again…ever!
Extremely flexible, and able to use the entire spectrum of natural light, it is a suitable replacement for any ancient system. It’s reliable, economical, durable, and beautiful. Do you want your home to be dressed in autumnal oranges and reds in October, red, white, and green in December, or the school colors for the Graduation Party? The only real limit is your imagination, because with LEDs we can do just about anything, indoors or out!
This might be a pinhole spotlight located across the room, or a silhouette fixture set at a high angle to illuminate a particular object, such as a bronze or marble figure. Silhouette fixtures avoid spraying all sorts of scatter-light around an object, keeping it clean and tidy while avoiding over-lighting. Setting a light too close to an object can make the shadows too stark. Distance gives us a pleasant fuzziness—the same as diffuse sunlight might give—providing much softer shadows.
Ars Gratia Artis
There’s an old expression Ars est celare artem, or in English, true Art conceals the means by which it is achieved. Yes, admittedly, there are occasions when the lighting is the art (neon signs, for example), but most of the time it should be invisible, leaving only the impact. Which would you find to be more rewarding to hear?
- That’s a nice effect you achieved there, or
- Wow! That’s beautiful!
The question sort of answers itself, doesn’t it? You don’t have to be stuck with horrible, inefficient, old-fashioned monochromatic lighting anymore. Lighting systems in the 21st century have far outpaced the 19th century incandescent bulbs of Edison. Let us help you move into the modern age and (not incidentally) save you up to 90% of the power consumed by your lighting.
We’re future-ready—you can be, too!
We at Illuminations Lighting Design are thrilled to be located in beautiful Houston, Texas, and while we provide service over quite a wide area, we always love to hear from River Oaks, Memorial, West University, Bellaire, Southside, Heights, and Royal Oaks, or whichever part of town you call home…
Don’t be a stranger—give us a ring at 713-863-1133 and say “Howdy!” We would love to hear from you and get you started on the path to more economical lighting, a beautiful design, and a reduced environmental impact!