How Lighting Can Affect Your Artwork

You’ve just finished hanging that beautiful, expensive painting in your home — only to discover that it seemed to look a little better in the gallery. It’s not that the piece suddenly degraded on the trip to your house — more likely, your lighting isn’t creating the desired effect.

Whether you’re displaying works in a gallery, office or residence, art lighting can dramatically change the look of the piece — for better or worse. For example, while a broad-based light source can bring out the best in an oil painting, it will likely have little impact on the quality of an acrylic painting’s presentation.

The type of lighting will also have a direct impact on the visual presentation of the piece. For instance, soft LED lights work best for showcasing high-value pieces, while incandescent lighting will highlight art that prominently features reds and yellows. Fluorescent lighting is typically the worst option for artwork, as it tends to distort the colors.

Art Exhibit Lighting Techniques

While you can’t always control the type of lighting that illuminates your artwork, there are several art lighting techniques you can employ to alter and improve its impact:

  • Use multi-directional lighting to highlight the piece’s texture and shape.
  • When illuminating smaller, low-profile objects, place the light source at a 30-degree angle.
  • Implement a combination of narrow-beam and ambient-diffuse lights to spotlight larger pieces.
  • Employ directional lighting if you wish to add shadowing and depth.
  • When displaying art in a room with recessed lighting, adjust the lighting angle if possible until you create the desired effect.

Lighted Display Pedestals

Lighted display pedestals provide an effective art lighting alternative for bringing out the best in smaller pieces of art, fine jewelry and other valuable items. The appropriate use of lighting combined with the pedestal will add an elegant touch that will enhance the appeal of the item.

Pedestal Source offers a wide assortment of stands made from materials such as wood, acrylic, laminate and metal. Choose a pedestal with a spotlight or ambient lighting option that will enable you to create the ideal effect for your piece. Contact us to learn more about the strategic use of art lighting.