The best art deserves to be shown in the best possible light! Lighting your artwork may present a challenge because there are so many art lighting fixtures and lamps for you to choose from that it can be very hard to determine which models will provide the truly best art lighting for your collection. However, a basic understanding of the elements essential to high-end artwork and picture lighting will help you quickly narrow your choices to a select few fixtures that embody several, or even all, of the elements that characterize the best lighting for art.
The Light Must Strike The Art at Exactly The Right Angle.
To understand how important angles are to lighting art, try this experiment. Stand in front of any mirror in your home with a small flashlight and shine it directly into the mirror. You’ll more than likely be shocked by the intensity of the direct reflection, as the mirror actually magnifies the beam by scattering the photons when it reflects them back into your eyes.
Now, try standing at different angles, moving the flashlight each time you move. When you can clearly see your own form without being blinding by the reflection of the flashlight, you have found be best angle for lighting yourself in the mirror.
These same accent lighting tools are used by lighting designers to position fixtures at the best angles for lighting art. Any surface will reflect light to some degree, and though it may not be as intense as a reflection in a mirror, it will nonetheless cause discomfort to viewers. This is especially true when lighting high-end photography. Photographs have very glossy surfaces and are often enclosed in glass frames. The best lighting angle for these forms of art is generally from a recessed picture light or a track lighting installation near the ceiling. This causes the majority of reflected light to angle downward to the floor.
Invest in Low Voltage Equipment.
Low voltage fixtures generally provide the best lighting for artwork in museums and galleries. This is due to several reasons. The first is cost. Low voltage lights such as recessed fixtures and art lighting projectors use less electricity and can be left on for longer periods of time without exorbitant power costs. Low voltage artwork lighting also produces a less glaring light that is more radiant and ambient. It very difficult to achieve soft lighting or lighted from within special effects with line voltage equipment simply because there is too much luminance output striking the piece.
Finally, low-voltage lights operate at lower wattages therefore produce much lower operating temperatures than line voltage lights. This is another reason low-voltage fixtures tend typically produce the best museum lighting for art because they emit little if any forward throw heat that can dry out paints and cause them to crack over time.
Dimmable Fixtures Give You Greater Lighting Control.
Dimmable art lights are generally the best fixtures to use in art displays and exhibitions. Each work of art is unique and conveys its own message through a subtle interplay of colors and the contrast between light and shadow. A fixed, bright lighting level will either overemphasize light or dark elements or certain colors, or, even worse, throw reflected light back into the eyes. Dimmable picture lighting fixtures give you ultimate control over luminance levels so you can achieve the best results when lighting your art. Dimmer controls should always be easy to operate and allow you to make quick adjustments.
Invest in UV-filters or fixtures designed to filter UV light.
Ultraviolet light is even more deadly to fine art than it is to human skin. It has to be eliminated from any source of lighting, or your best art will soon deteriorate and be permanently lost to time. Almost all artwork lighting fixtures are equipped with some sort of mechanism to minimize UV output. However, the best art in your collection cannot afford any exposure to UV light and require the most sophisticated optical system technology possible to protect their integrity and beauty.
Phantom Contour Art Projectors Combine All of These Characteristics Into a Single Design.
Phantom projectors feature all the attributes that characterize the world’s best lights for art. They are low voltage devices that conserve power, are extremely cost effective, and easy to angle and adjust. A Contour Projector housed near the ceiling can be adjusted to fit the dimensions of a painting, photograph, or lighting sculptures that produce illumination that appears to be more like an “aura” around the piece than a beam of light shooting toward it. We call this “the lighted from within” effect.
Phantom projector light fixtures are easy to use and allow you to dim or raise lighting levels at will. The proprietary lens also allows you to fit the beam to the dimensions of any work of art on display. Few people who visit your collection will ever see a Phantom projector, however, because it is smaller than competing models and hides itself either in or on the ceiling to angle an invisible beam of light downward onto the artwork which becomes visible only when it strikes the surface.
Most importantly, each Phantom Contour projector features a sophisticated, patented filter that completely strips the light of all ultraviolet radiation so it can safely light your best art with no negative effects resulting. Everyone from private collectors, commercial clients, and professional galleries can benefit from a Phantom Contour Projector, and they can also choose from any of six models that are specifically designed for different environments. A Phantom lighting agent can help you determine which model will work best for your art lighting needs.