Art Lighting Techniques
Lighting Large Art – Recessed Framing Projector
Lighting Glossy Art
Lighting Art That Has a Textured Reflective Sheen
Lighting Art Covered By Glass
Lighting Highly Reflective Smooth Finish Art
Art lighting fixtures fall into two general installation types, recessed or exposed. Regardless of installation type, properly lighting artwork requires an understanding of the art to be illuminated, the space where art is being viewed, and the desired effect.
UNDERSTANDING THE ART
- If the art is sensitive to ultraviolet light, a UV blocking filter should be used.
- If the art is behind glass, positioning the art light sourceto not be seen on the glass should be considered when art is positioned above eye level.
- If the art is highly reflective, such as a glossy photograph or if the art includes a smooth lacquered finish, like an Asian screen, positioning the art light source to not be seen on the highly reflective surface should be considered when art is positioned above eye level.
- If the art is a matte finish photograph, or if an artist used varnish over a textured oil or acrylic painting,the varnish may cause light to scatter forming a glare zone. Positioning the art light to not cause glare on the art must be considered when art is positioned above eye level.
- How Do I know if my art has a textured reflective sheen? Using the flash on your camera, take a straight on photograph. If the flash washes out a portion of the art and you cannot read the art, your art is glossy! Test the art light(s) position before installing the art lighting system.
- Is the art light or dark hued? Dark hued art normally requires more light intensity to pop.
UNDERSTANDING THE SPACE
- Does the space where art will be viewed have a high or low ambient light level? The amount of light required for contrast, to make art pop, will depend upon the relationship between the ambient light relative to the art hue.
- If art above eye level is behind glass or has a reflective sheen, the art light(s) can be positioned to manipulate reflection away from normal viewing angles.
- If the desired art lighting effect is “maximum art impact”, consider using a Sharp Focus Framing Projector that delivers light precisely shaped to follow the contour of art.
- If the desired art lighting effect is “blend art with architecture” or “blend art with frame”, consider using a Fade In Projector that delivers a feathered light border loosely shaped to follow the contour of art.
- If the desired art lighting effect is “let’s keep it simple”, consider using a low voltage art light, an art accent light, suitable for paintings and sculpture alike.