What makes art lighting fixtures different from other types of lighting?
Art lighting fixtures come in a variety of design types, each of which offers scores of individual models and lighting controls from which you can choose. Art lighting fixtures have to matched to both the type and genre of artwork they illuminate, and they have to aesthetically compliment the interior design of the home, office, or gallery surrounding the art. Some are made to be visible, yet attractive; others are made to minimize or conceal their appearance altogether so that you see the light and not the fixture.
What are the least expensive art lighting fixtures I can use?
Picture lights attach to the top of the frame and cast direct lighting downward across the surface of the image. These convenient art lighting fixtures evenly distribute illumination across the surface of the image, bringing out the details of texture, color, and subtle interplays of light and shadow. Due to their close proximity to the image, however, they can damage sensitive oils and canvases common in rare originals and extremely fine art. In such instances, it may be to choose a different fixture type altogether for your art, or to substitute over the picture lights fitted with LED lamps. These lamps use less electricity and emit wavelengths of light that are minimal in forward throw heat and completely free of ultraviolet radiation.
What lighting fixtures are good for illuminating multiple works of art?
Track lights are ideal for arenas where a large number of works in a collection are on display. A track lighting installation consists art lighting fixtures that hang suspended from a rail, or “track” as it is called, that runs near the ceiling parallel to the wall.
Track lights are often the preferred art lighting fixtures of high-end art gallery lighting. Most photography showings consist of a series of images displayed as a thematically representative group. A single track light can be pointed toward a single photograph, placing each piece in its own individual light. They also work very well in contemporary or ultra-modern interior lighting design.
Track lights sometimes lack the ability to pin spot exceptionally small canvases and sculptures, and even though they can be controlled with dimmer switches to create different levels of light, they are nonetheless limited in their capacity to achieve highly customized lighting effects.
Are their art lighting fixtures that you can conceal from normal viewing angles?
Yes. You can use recessed art lighting fixtures, accent lighting fixtures or framing projectors if you need a concealed source. This is also known as “sourceless” lighting and represents the most sophisticated form of illumination possible.
Recessed picture lights mount in the ceiling and direct light from an angle onto a piece. Recessed art light fixtures are commonly fitted with halogen bulbs renowned for their optimal color rendering capabilities and extremely bright light. For less sensitive works of art, such as black and white photography or lithographic prints, halogen recessed lights can be an ideal source of illumination. They work exceptionally well for lighting a small grouping of thematically connected photographs or prints.
For more sensitive oils and acrylics, recessed picture lighting fixtures must be fitted with special ultraviolet filters to prevent the light from degrading the materials and paints. This can be problematic even with the best of equipment, however, as some UV light may still reach the canvas and cause deterioration over time.
If you are in doubt and can afford to take no risks with the finest art you possess, consider the very wise investment in a framing projector. Give the artwork lighting experts at Phantom Lighting at call toll free at 800-863-1184 or click here to find a lighting agent in your part of the world.
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