Setting up lighting for paintings can be an intensive task, but if done right, the fixtures will produce an amazing look. There are dozens of illumination options out there, which is why the planning part of the process is the most important.
A surefire way to waste money on subpar fixtures is by quickly settling on a certain fixture for convenience’s sake or because it looks nice. However, if a homeowner keeps a few things in mind, they should have no trouble finding the perfect fixture for their project.
Heat and glare are the enemies of artwork, and when setting up lighting for paintings, neutralizing both should be considered a top priority. Heat warps canvas fibers and destroys oil pigments, and both will cause the subject to discolor in time. Glare does not pose a danger to the artwork, but it will take away from the subject’s appearance.
Heat issues can be avoided by spacing the fixture some distance away from the artwork. Recessed fixtures and fixtures mounted to the ceiling will be far enough away to prevent emitted heat from reaching the artwork. Glare is usually a problem when the fixtures are above eye level, but this can be avoided by proper fixture positioning or by installing a fixture that comes with a glare shield. Phantom’s optical framing projectors, for example, fire a precise halogen beam through a small aperture in the ceiling. The fixture’s discreet design and distance from the subject allows the focus to be on the artwork, while minimizing glare and damaging heat.