Tips for Properly Lighting Artwork in Your Solana Beach, CA Home

Tips for Properly Lighting Artwork in Your Solana Beach, CA Home

American art production totaled more than $900 billion in 2019.

Yet that doesn’t mean all art is treated equally. When you buy a piece of art you have to spend some time thinking about how you want to present it.

Where should you position your light fixture and artwork display? What are some concepts for lights you have to consider? Can you use sunlight in any way? 

Art lights for paintings can be complicated, but they are far from impossible to pull off. Here is a quick guide to proper artwork lighting in your Solana Beach home.

Place Your Lights Above Your Artwork 

A general rule of thumb is to place your lighting above your artwork. This softens the light and allows it to spread evenly across the surface. 

However, this does not mean that you should put your light directly over your art. You may have a reflection you have to deal with. You can place your work at a 30-degree angle to the light, which lets the person look at the art straight on. 

You might also be able to illuminate your works with lights under them. This is an option if your ceilings are too high for lighting displays. You should follow similar rules, arranging your fixtures so they do not cast shadows or glares on your art. 

Find Proper Fixtures

You have many interior art lighting options. A lot of people are happy with track lighting. With this, several lights sit on tracks that stretch across the ceiling and you can adjust the track heads to point at your artwork. 

Recessed lighting involves placing bulbs inside the ceiling. Recessed fixtures accommodate LED bulbs very well, and their fixtures are less apparent. Yet their recessed nature makes it harder to adjust the lights, meaning most of them point down toward the floor. 

Ceiling accent lights are single bulbs that point toward artworks. You can find numerous aesthetic styles for them, letting you match the fixture to the artwork. You need to be careful when placing accent fixtures though, as they might be too far away to light your work. 

If you have very large works of wall art, you can try to wash your wall with light. You can attach a large fixture onto the top of the wall and illuminate the entire wall. 

If you are more interested in ambiance, you can use ambient lights to illuminate your work. You can use lamps to achieve this effect, though you may need a few fixtures for one work. 

All of these options can work very well to highlight your artwork in your Solana Beach home.

Create a Balance of Light 

Whatever fixtures you select, you want to balance the light across your room. Using strong lighting on your art while not illuminating the rest of your room will make it hard to see. Lumens are the measure of a light source’s brightness, and you should find moderate lumens for your lights.

You should also consider color temperature. There is no specific temperature range that all artwork display experts agree on, but you should find a temperature that is not too blue or too red.

The color rendering index regards a light’s ability to represent color accurately. You should find very high index bulbs, specifically ones above an index rating of 90. 

The concept of balancing light can be hard to grasp until you put it into practice. Test your wall lighting out before you commit to different light fixtures, and talk to a company experienced with lighting artwork about what direction to go in. 

Adapt to Your Style of Artwork

Keep in mind that the materials artists use impact how the art needs to be lit in your Solana Beach home. Most oil paintings have glossy finishes and thick textures. This means that you need to avoid intense lights because the finishes will create bright spots. 

A similar concept applies to artworks framed in glass. Many watercolor paintings lie behind glass in frames. If you use intense lights, you may see reflections in the glass and not the paintings. 

Photography prints depend on what finish they have. You can use track or accent lighting on photographs that are not behind glass. 

You can light two-dimensional sculptures from one side. However, you may not want to use ceiling lights on them, as you can cast shadows across their surfaces. 

Three-dimensional sculptures have a similar problem. You want to use lights from multiple angles in order to illuminate all components of your sculpture.

Avoid Sunlight 

Many people illuminate their works with sunlight for a natural aesthetic. UV rays can damage artwork, causing the paint to faint and the canvas to warp. Sunlight is also very difficult to control, especially in terms of color temperature as the sun sets. 

Keep your artwork out of direct sunlight. Place your wall art on walls facing away from your doors and windows. If you have a work of art near a window, draw the curtains so the sun will not damage it. 

It is okay to have some indirect sunlight on a painting or sculpture, but you should adjust your fixtures, so you have a consistent balance of light across your piece. You may also need to move the fixtures as the sun begins to set or rise. 

Lighting Artwork in Your Solana Beach Home

There is no one way to light artwork. In general, you want to use ceiling or wall-mounted fixtures for your work, but you can choose from a range of fixture types. 

You want to create a balance of light in terms of illumination and color temperature. Yet you must consider the materials and dimensions of your work. Finishes will cast glares if you are not careful. 

Also, keep your art out of direct sunlight. UV rays will damage your piece over time. 

Find lighting experts in the Solana Beach area who are experts when it comes to highlight your precious works of art without damaging them. Contact Lighting Distinctions today.