Beautiful art can transform an environment. Now that you've acquired a piece of art that speaks to you, you'll want to display it in a way that complements both the work and the room. The key to achieving this is proper lighting. Whether you want to illuminate the piece directly (particularly effective with Lumachrome) or just have it live in a nicely lit room, a few considerations will be helpful.
First, observe the existing lighting of the environment where you plan to display the artwork. Choose a display location that avoids significant glare, such as from a window directly opposite. Strictly avoid direct sunlight falling on the work: Heat and UV light are extremely damaging and will cause colors to fade. At night, make sure nearby lamps do not throw strong reflections or bright spots onto the piece.
While TruLife® uses the most advanced anti-glare technology in the world, all glass and acrylic still reflect some amount of light. Following these simple guidelines will help protect your investment and achieve a beautiful presentation.
Choosing Art Lighting
Dedicated art lighting can make the work come alive and create a focal point for the room. Lighting preferences can be highly individual, and there are no hard and fast rules. However, some simple guidelines around lighting types and positioning can make the process easier and more successful.
Ceiling fixtures are an excellent way to light artwork. Three common fixture styles are directional recessed units, track lights, and ceiling mounts. Whichever style you choose, the fixture placement should allow for a lighting angle of about 30° to the artwork.
Picture lights, either wall- or frame mounted, are another option. Since the fixture is close to the artwork, LED lights are strongly recommended. When selecting a fixture, use the following as a guideline:
- For smaller artworks, the fixture should be at least half the width of the art.
- For art over 30”, select a light that is at least ⅔ the picture width.
- For art over 60”, select a light that is at least ¾ the picture width.
As with ceiling lighting, a 30° lighting angle should be about right.
For dedicated art lighting, choose LED bulbs rather than incandescent (too hot, inefficient) or fluorescent (too much damaging UV.) Several companies make bulbs specifically for the purpose of lighting artwork, offering extremely high color accuracy and low UV and IR output. SoLux and SORAA lights are used in museums and galleries worldwide and are highly recommended.
When buying light bulbs, make sure the bulb base is compatible with your fixture. Also consider the bulb’s color temperature, and beam spread.
A lighting color temperature of about 3500K is ideal for most homes. If your home
Beam spread indicates how wide a circle of light the bulb will produce. For example, a 25° bulb is ideal for lighting a 40” x 40” piece. For larger works, you may need two or three separate lights.
A professional lighting consultant can assess your lighting situation and provide specific recommendations.