The lighting in a room can transform the way your photos, pictures and art come to life. Don't let your finest pieces sit in shadow – bring them into the light with these top tips to lighting your art at home.
How to light your art
Use high-quality LEDs and consider ‘the three Cs’
A high colour rendering index, a colour temperature that considers the immediate environment surrounding the artwork, and a colour consistency that matches the visual of the room. If you're creating a gallery wall, consider the colour of all the different pieces to check they compliment each other.
Positioning of light is key
Avoid reflections on the canvas by refraining from uplighting, which can also illuminate the ceiling and make a room feel less intimate. When lighting sculpture, consider the artist’s intent, as shadows will affect the appearance.
You might need some artificial lighting
Natural daylight is a great way to view paintings, but important detail can sometimes be lost. The tiniest amount of artificial light can lift a painting and allow the viewer to see it, without realising that it is lit.
You could try an antique light to bring a little more character to your space. Check out our guide to how to buy antique lights and lamps and what to look out for.
Consider the frame
Ensure that the LED light source creates an even distribution of light across the whole painting – not just the top of the frame! Also think about matching the finish to the colour of the frame, or the walls, for a seamless effect.
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Light each artwork individually
Works on paper, such as photographs and watercolours, are very sensitive to light, so place them in the darkest part of the house to preserve the pigments. Oil paintings are moderately sensitive, so consider installing a mesh blind, or drawing the curtains when the room is not in use.
Written by Andrew Molyneux and Harry Triggs, founders of art lighting specialists TM Lighting
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