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There are times when a surface mount art light is the best option for illuminating fine art!

A surface mount art light is a strong option for nearly any display, though they do have to be aimed properly to produce the proper look. These fixtures are easier to install than most recessed fixtures and only have to attach to a ceiling or wall. Because they are not confined, surface mount art lights often have complete freedom of movement. This grants them a level of flexibility that recessed fixtures have trouble matching.

Some homeowners prefer the look of an exposed surface mount art light, as it can help establish the layout of a room, compliment the décor and direct people directly to the artwork as the focal point of the room. Perhaps the most popular surface mount art light is an optical framing projector like those from Phantom Lighting.

These surface mount art lights can be focused on a single subject and create a powerful wash of illumination, or they can be aimed at different targets and illuminate a grouping of paintings.

surface mount art light, surface mount led projector

Another top option is Phantom’s SM series of optical framing projectors. Most of the projectors Phantom manufactures are recessed into the ceiling, but the SM series is attached directly to the ceiling. The SM projector is more economical than other projector options but can still be configured with masking attachments, dimmer controls, and special lenses or filters. With the SM projector, a homeowner can get a professional level installation for a fraction of the price and installation time.


  • When you don’t have attic/ceiling access
  • When installing framing projectors outside normal aiming angles
  • When you’re renting and can’t make structural changes
  • When the size of your art is outside the framing capabilities of a recessed projector
  • When the style of the space is industrial and has exposed pipes instead of a traditional ceiling
  • When you want to place the surface mount art light on a beam/truss or on top of furniture

A surface mount art light is a powerful piece of lighting technology in an sophisticated package. They may not be recessed in the ceiling, but the effect they produce is so vivid that no one is going to notice the fixture. You see them used quite often in contemporary spaces, condominiums, townhomes, apartments and in Mexico as surface mount art lights where concrete structures are prevalent.

For more information on lighting fine art using Phantom optical framing projectors, call us toll-free at 800-863-1184 or fill out our online request form and see your artwork in a new light.

Phantom Lighting