Lighting art is best done with commercial grade fixtures that have been engineered for the specific purpose of illuminating art galleries and lighting private art collections. Retail equivalents, even if they claim to be art lighting fixtures, tend to feature shorter lamp life, less adjustability, and inferior optics. Specification grade equipment has consistently produced better results when it comes lighting art, and to also help save money with more energy efficient operability and reduced frequency of equipment replacement.
With very few exceptions, low voltage fixtures are the best equipment to use for art lighting fixture installations. This is due to several reasons. To begin with, they tend to produce considerably less heat than high voltage equipment. This saves a great deal of money on cooling costs because there is less cumulative heat buildup around the lamps. It is also much safer for the artwork itself, some of which can be damaged very easily if overheated.
Much of the heat generated by any type of light falls in the infrared portion of the spectrum. This light is invisible but can nonetheless dehydrate paints and cause them to crack and flake off canvas. Ultraviolet light is even worse and can damage the canvas itself. To protect the color and integrity of paintings, architectural custom lighting fixtures have been constructed with infrared and ultraviolet filtration technology that blocks these frequencies and leaves only the visible portion of the spectrum necessary for lighting art.
Within these simple parameters, then – low voltage, specification grade quality, and filtered lamps – there is a wide range of free choice available to the collector in terms of fixture intensity, type, positioning, and end user adjustability. So great is this diversity, in fact, that lighting art has now become a form of art itself. Even better is the fact that home lighting control systems now makes it possible for many of the adjustments that previously required a service call from a professional can now be made by the collector or curator. Dimmers, wall boxes, and hand-held remotes allow the private individual to fine tune lighting levels both on a systemwide and individual fixture level.
This allows consumers and art consultants to layer different levels and intensities of light one on top of the other. Such layering gives a collection special emphasis, as if it were set apart in a special space within space. To achieve this multidimensional effect, though, we need more than just one type of fixture to do the job. Fortunately for those of us who specialize in lighting art, manufacturers have stayed on top of the complex needs of art collectors and invented a myriad of specialized luminaires dedicated exclusively to the task of illuminating paintings, high-end photography, sculpture, and abstract three dimensional forms.
Framing projectors are perhaps the most unique and fascinating type of artwork lighting device ever invented. The most notable brands can project an invisible beam of light onto a canvas or sculpture that suddenly erupts like an aura around the piece. This makes a work of art look illuminated from within. While an entire gallery cannot be lit by projectors alone, they are nonetheless essential to signifying the most profound works in a collection and creating the more exceptional lighting effects.
Other fixtures, such as recessed art lights, slotted aperture halogen fixtures, pinhole lights, and eyeball lights all direct light downward from a variety of angles ranging from 30 degrees to 90 degrees. All are basically round circles in the ceiling, whose effects are determined solely by positioning, angle of incidence, and lighting intensity levels. Art collections look best when illuminated by an customized array of several different fixture types, each positioned strategically to showcase key elements and magnify works of major import. Of course, it takes more than electrical installation knowledge to create such a picture lighting system. Lighting art, like we have noted, is an aesthetic disciplined conjoined to a technical skill set.
In order to get this blend of feeling and hard science, so to speak, it is necessary to contact an fine art lighting company such as Illuminations Lighting and Design who specializes in art lighting design, consultation, system planning and photometric lighting analysis, and lighting design installation services. Both as a design-build firm who can both plan and install the equipment, and as a partner company consulting with a preferred electrical services vendor, we have delivered consistent value to art collectors and galleries throughout the nation since 1980.
Illuminations Lighting Design is a premier fine art lighting company in Houston Texas. We have consulted and lighted some of the world’s most prestigious public and private art collections including works from renowned artists such as Chagall, Picasso, Matisse, Renoir, Rockwell, Salvador Dali and Rembrandt. Employing the most innovative artwork lighting techniques in the world, we can assure you that your treasured pieces will shine as brightly as the artist’s true vision. Visit our testimonials page for customer feedback.
Simply put, our staff is Illuminations Lighting Design’s greatest asset. We are fortunate as an electrical contractor to employ and retain such a highly skilled workforce of craftsmen and mechanics who enjoy what they do. Working carefully and efficiently, they will treat your home with respect while ensuring the job gets done right. Their pride, persistence, quality and determination are the hallmark of Illuminations Lighting Design’s tradition.
To make an new appointment, reschedule an appointment with a specific salesman or crew please use our handy online scheduling form. You can contact us locally at 713-863-1133 or toll free at 800-863-1184 to request a custom lighting quote or lighting proposal?