The Best Art Lighting for Different Styles: Traditional vs. Contemporary

Phantom Lighting is an expert when it comes to illuminating fine art – get the best art lighting for different art styles with our Contour Optical Framing Projector.

Whether you’re looking to light traditional artwork or contemporary pieces, there is no better option on the market than the Phantom Contour Projector. There are several qualities unique to each style of art that make our projector the best fit and those are what we’ll be discussing in this article.

Traditional ArtworksBest Art Lighting

Safely Illuminating Oil Paintings –
Lighting oil paintings is not like illuminating other pieces of art. These artworks are often many years old and are much more delicate than art from other mediums. This makes them susceptible to subtle risks from ultraviolet radiation and excessive heat. While these stresses can damage any piece of art, they are much harder on fine art made with certain pigments. For this reason, homeowners must plan accordingly when setting up fixtures, as some are too risky to use for delicate artwork.

Heat and ultraviolet radiation will both cause steady damage to art canvases, but they are also punishing on oils. Over time, the stress placed on the pigments by heat and radiation will cause them to discolor, break down, and possibly split. Once this occurs, restoration can be extremely expensive and just impossible in some situations. However, if done with the right fixtures, the best art lighting for oil paintings is possible without worrying about heat or UV rays.

For fine art collectors looking to illuminate oil paintings, Phantom Contour Projectors are without a doubt the best option. Because they use an LED light engine, there is no heat or UV light created at all, which means that valuable oil paintings can be illuminated for years without any risk of damage. In the old days, optical framing projectors, including Phantom’s, used halogen incandescent light sources that produced a lot of heat and some UV radiation. The way to avoid damaging oil paintings was to ensure the projector was installed far enough away from the art to offset any forward-thrown heat. If you have any of the older model Phantom projectors in your home, upgrading them to much safer and more efficient LED light engines is easy with our new LED Projector Conversion Kits.

Traditional Color Tones –
Many traditional paintings lean towards the warmer side of the color temperature scale, employing a lot of reds, browns, and golds. The original halogen art lighting projectors did a great job rendering these colors, but posed a heat and UV risk to the art, as discussed above. Our 3000K LED lamp, which comes standard in the Phantom Contour Projector, produces a light at 90+ CRI that comes very close to the same visual results. However, the LED light engine is far safer and more efficient when it comes to illuminating valuable works of art.

Working with Ornate Frames –
Many traditional paintings are housed within deep, ornate frames. The depth and complex contours can create problems with shadow interaction when they are illuminated with traditional art lighting methods. With Phantom projectors, the light can be precisely contoured to the edges of the frame, which avoids distracting shadows cast onto the wall behind the art. Undesirable shadows created by a deep frame on the painting itself can be avoided by offsetting the projector in the ceiling. To read more about eliminating glare and shadows, please click here. Phantom Lighting has decades of experience creating the best art lighting for the finest traditional art in the world. We can work with you to come up with a perfect lighting solution for your art, no matter how large or complex the frame.

Contemporary Artworks

Making Bright Colors Pop –
One of the most intriguing elements of contemporary and modern art is often the use of bright and bold colors. The Phantom Contour Projector renders color excellently at 90+ CRI with a 3000K bulb in the standard model. However, we now offer optional dichroic filters, available in 2700K, 3500K, and 4000K, that can be used to bring out different colors within your art. Combined with the ability to dim the light from the projector, you can create a wide variety of lighting styles based on your specific artwork and/or personal preference.

Working with Reflective Surfaces –
Many contemporary artworks feature metallic or reflective surfaces, which can make lighting them a bit more complex. However, Phantom has decades of experience creating the best art lighting for contemporary and modern artworks of all mediums and can recommend a lighting solution for any piece you put on display. To learn more about working with reflective surfaces, please click here.

Illuminating Complex 3D Pieces –
Complex, unusual shapes and three-dimensional elements are some of the most exciting elements of contemporary and modern art. Traditional art lighting methods don’t usually do the best job interacting with these elements because they often create distracting shadows or spilled light. The Phantom Contour projector is world-renowned for its ability to precisely illuminate art of any shape with its unique hand-cut brass template masking method.

The Phantom Projector Complements Any Style of Decor

Because all of our housing models (with the exception of the Surface Mount) are recessed in the ceiling, the Phantom Contour Projector fits seamlessly into any style of home decor. Our motto is “see the light, not the fixture,” so adding Phantom projectors to your art collection will not detract in any way from the overall aesthetic of the room. In fact, it will enhance it by making your artwork appear to glow from within! Get the creating the best art lighting from Phantom.

Phantom LED Projector Cutsheets
Float Finish | Remodeler | New Construction | Top Access | Surface Mount

Additional Projector Documents
Projector Supplement | Shutter Instructions | Template Instructions

No matter what style of art you’re looking to illuminate, the experts at Phantom Lighting are ready to work with you to create the perfect lighting solution for your collection. Give us a call toll-free at 800-863-1184 or request a quote using our online form to get started.