Accent lights that hang from the ceiling
Best for: focusing on the art rather than the light source
“Illuminating specific artworks with pin spotlights is a fantastic way to do it,” Mishaan explains. These ceiling fittings, which may be recessed or surface-mounted, allow you to change the direction of light. They may also be defined with a variety of light-beam spreads, allowing him to “guarantee that the light covers the majority of the artwork,” rather than just a tiny portion of it.
Ceiling-mounted lights should be set such that the light beam touches the centre of the artwork when the fixture is adjusted to a 30-degree angle, according to Russell.”If you light a piece of art at ten degrees, which means you’re incredibly near to the wall and pointing practically straight down,” he explains, “you’ll wind up throwing really lengthy shadows below the frame.” “If you go back too far, to 45 degrees, you’ll get reflecting glare because you’re pointing too directly.”
A Warren Platner sofa, lounge chair, and ottoman, all upholstered in Cowtan & Tout fabric, and a wicker chair by Marc Newson, are shown in a living room in the California desert; the panels over the fireplace, clothed in hand-painted Porter Teleo wallpaper, conceal a television. An Eric Schmitt console sits between the glass doors, topped with a Jim Dine print. Madeline Weinrib designed the rug, while Benjamin Moore white was used on the walls. Nikolas Koenig is a German entrepreneur.
Lights on a track
For a continually changing display, this is the best option.
Lighting systems at racetracks have gone a long way, and many now have a much cleaner, more minimalist appearance than those of previous decades. They work similarly to ceiling-mounted accent lights when equipped with the appropriate bulbs, but offer a few additional benefits, according to Russell. For starters, they’re easier to set up and provide future flexibility.
If you want to move a picture, you can’t move a recessed ceiling fixture without drywall surgery, but track lighting can. “You can quickly relocate or remove a fixture,” he explains. “The trade-off is that you’ll have something on the ceiling that isn’t really attractive.”
Ideal for: a versatile configuration
“You don’t have to have lighting that touches each picture,” Mishaan explains. “Instead, you could wash the wall.” Wall washers come in a variety of shapes and sizes, including recessed, surface-mounted, and track-mounted units that may be installed on walls, ceilings, and floors. “You’re creating one bright wall where art is presented and indirectly illuminating the space,” Russell explains, noting that many modern collectors favor this strategy. “It’s a more laid-back approach to lighting art,” he explains. It also has built-in flexibility for adding, deleting, or relocating art in the future; you won’t have to change anything because the wall is uniformly lighted.
Best for: a small-scale show—and renters
Picture lights are hung on the wall or attached to the frames of specific pieces of art. Russell explains, “It places the light source extremely near to the piece of art, often with very low-wattage bulbs.” “It creates a sense of closeness with a work of art and urges you to get up close and personal with it.”
The art lighting professionals at Illuminations Lighting Design understand all elements of lighting design. We’ve helped many homeowners throughout the Greater Houston region have the art display of their dreams.
Contact us for a consultation about your art lighting goals. We’d love to help you transform your art display into a museum-quality exhibit.