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How To Light A Painting In The Rules Of The Art

Posted by karima ka on

Do you have paintings or photographs? To enhance them but also to preserve them, it is necessary to use suitable lighting And to be completely successful, the lighting must take into account several criteria such as the type of bulbs and luminaires or the installation constraints. And at the end of the article, also discover all the mistakes to avoid when lighting a painting!

CHOOSE THE RIGHT LIGHT TO ENHANCE YOUR PAINTINGS

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The best lighting is the one that takes into account your works of art, their style, their layout (type of hanging), but also the possible installations.
A basic rule: to enhance a painting, use dedicated lighting called accent lighting. Ideally, the light beam is directed at an angle of 30° from the vertical. Attention, this beam must be adjusted and calibrated according to the size of the painting. The choice of luminaire will largely depend on the arrangement of the painting(s) on the wall.

WHAT TYPE OF LUMINAIRE TO ILLUMINATE PHOTO FRAMES?

Lighting a photo frame follows very specific rules. Indeed, the location of the light and its direction directly impact the enhancement of your shots. In general under glass, the challenge will be to limit reflections on your photo prints while magnifying them. So what to do? Here are our tips!

  • Overhead lighting, the best option : to illuminate a photo frame, it is preferable to opt for overhead lighting. This light source must imperatively be white in order not to distort the tints of the image (3300 kelvins and more). The size and number of spotlights or wall lights depend on the dimensions of the picture frame.

  • Location and orientation of the luminaire : for a photo frame to be perfectly highlighted, the luminaire must be placed correctly. The distance between the photo frame and the light source should be equal to a quarter of the height of the photo frame. You see it is very precise! And to minimize reflections on the frame, and also shadows, the angle of the luminaire should be 30°.

  • Choose the right light : there is a whole range of luminaires designed to enhance paintings and photo frames. Each of these lights has a specific function that will help us choose them well. We naturally turn to the wall light to magnify our photo frames. This type of wall lamp is placed above the photo frame and offers an adjustable light source. There are wall lights of different widths, thus adapting to the different widths of the frames. Recessed spotlights are also a practical and aesthetic solution. Very discreet, the built-in sports have the particularity of adapting to all styles of frames. The intensity of the light spots is variable. It is an alternative light source in the house and an accent light for photo frames. The only downside to recessed spotlights is that they sometimes require some work. But the end result is very appreciable. Track spotlights are the last option for illuminating a picture frame, a set of frames and even a space in your interior. The spot rail is easy to install. There are many models, so it's easy to choose a light that suits your style and the decor of your home.dwelling.

  • Stand out with downlighting : more rarely, ground lighting is preferred. It has the advantage of being original and dirigible. Vigilance is required with this type of lighting. Indeed, they can be dangerous for children (and pets). The heat sources released can also damage the floor of your home. Floor lighting requires the expertise of a professional.

  • Light frames : finally, today there are many photo frames equipped with a light source. The latter are placed on the sides, above or under the frame. In general with LEDs, these illuminated frames are a good solution to avoid problems with shadows or reflections.

AN ESSENTIAL CRITERION: THE COLOR TEMPERATURE OF YOUR BULBS

Classic or contemporary, the paintings do not appreciate the same color temperature of the bulbs: the classic paintings appreciate the muted and slightly yellow lighting. Contemporary canvases like bulbs with a good CRI (Color Rendering Index) to obtain faithful color rendering.

THE HALOGEN PICTURE LIGHT

It offers quality lighting because it is close to sunlight. It is also aesthetic because fine. On the other hand, it will be necessary to hide the transformer for the 12 volt versions.

LED WALL LIGHTS OR SPOTLIGHTS

They also offer effective solutions: more powerful, some models develop up to 470 lumens, they are also available in many sizes. Choose lamps with a warm white or a neutral white according to your paintings and with an excellent CRI.

THERE ARE MANY PICTURE SCONCES

Incandescent (warm, yellow light), halogen, neon, LED… with more or less advantages:

  • Incandescent : the light is slightly yellow recommended for paintings on canvas rather classic but the bulb is energy-consuming.

  • The new LED wall lights are ideal : they do not heat up, unlike halogen or incandescent lamps, which present the risk of damaging certain paints. Be careful, however, not to choose them with lights that are too cold (over 6500 kelvins) at the risk of distorting the colors.

  • Avoid 12 volt halogen lamps : they require a transformer that is difficult to hide. On the ceiling, you can also fix or embed adjustable spotlights and with reflector to direct a concentrated beam, then prefer 12 volt halogen spotlights.

MISTAKES TO AVOID WHEN LIGHTING A PICTURE

  • Choose bulbs with a color temperature that is too cold (over 6500 Kelvin) as this distorts the colors.

  • Buy cheap lighting rich in UV and therefore harmful in the long term because they degrade the paintings.

  • Choose disproportionate lights: a small spot to illuminate a large canvas...

  • Create haphazard style associations by lighting up modern canvases with traditional style picture lights, for example.

Finally, be aware that halogen or incandescent bulbs give off heat and can therefore deteriorate certain paints.