Halogen Pedestal Lights Help Turn Lackluster Displays into Inspiring Ones

It is no deep, dark secret that it takes a lot of perspiration, creativity and dedication to create the perfect piece of art. So it would truly be shameful to display it in a lackluster light. Thankfully, there are halogen pedestal lights available that can really make an artist’s work pop.

Corner lit pedestal with glass sculpture

Halogen pedestal lights are designed to last long, produce less soot and emit the most beautiful, bright, white light the world has ever seen. It is widely accepted that because of their inherent nature, the bulbs will draw favorable attention to objects and reduce viewers’ eye strain. In addition, today’s halogen pedestal lights tend to be relatively energy efficient and reasonably priced too.

On the downside, the bulbs can run hot and produce intense reflections or glare. Thus, it is important to pair halogen lights with the right type of museum quality pedestals and artwork. Otherwise, the objects on display could inadvertently heat up and the glare could create an unwanted distraction.

Corner lit pedestal with glass sculpture

At Pedestal Source, we have overhead lighting systems that are custom made for use with our visually dramatic, first-class pedestals and are sold separately for your convenience. The systems make use of halogen bulbs, pivoting hoods and telescoping, stainless steel rods. The rods are capable of reaching heights of 36 or 60-inches. Thus, they may be adjusted or otherwise configured in a variety of ways.
Designed to function as down lights, they are known to work well in various display situations. For example, they could easily be used to highlight clear, semi-opaque and opaque sculptures as well as framed paintings. Just make sure that the bulb is positioned well above the item. It should also have has the potential to provide illumination that exceeds the room’s overall lighting intensity by three.

To learn more about our pedestal light systems and how they may be used to create memorable displays, please contact us by calling (800) 333-9953.

Top 3 Things to Consider when Lighting a Sculpture

Illuminated glass globe on spotlighted pedestal
TipsOne of the most fascinating aspects about experiencing a sculpture is how many ways there are to do it. The setting, lighting and point of view can all have a dramatic effect.

The process and decisions involved in lighting sculpture can go in a number of directions depending on a handful of factors. Here are the top 3 things the team here at Pedestal Source ask our customers to contemplate when lighting a sculpture:

1. Medium

What your sculpture is constructed from has the greatest influence on the approach you take with lighting. From a illumination standpoint, all mediums fall into one of three basic categories: clear, semi-opaque and opaque.

  • Etched glass sculpture on ambient lighted pedestalClear: Glass, acrylic, crystal, etc. Sculptures made from a clear medium have the most options when it comes to lighting. These range from spotlighting, ambient lighting, overhead lighting and back lighting.
  • Semi-Opaque: Lightly colored, milky or frosted glass, acrylic, crystal andsemi-opaque vase on ambient lighted pedestal so on. Lighting requirements for sculptures in this category vary dramatically. Spot lights are generally not able to penetrate deep enough to have an effect on most semi-opaque pieces, leaving ambient lighting, overhead lighting and back lighting as the remaining options.

Quick Tip: If you are unsure of your art piece’s level of opacity, we recommend grabbing a high powered flashlight and holding it directly under the base. More opaque pieces will only allow the light to pass an inch or two from the bottom, and ambient lighting would not be recommended.

  • plaster sculpture on ambient lighted pedestalOpaque: Examples range from densely colored glass, acrylic and crystal to bronze or stone. With opaque sculptures, lighting is typically limited to its ability to amplify levels of contrast via cast shadows. Options include ambient lighting and overhead lighting.

2. Scale

Large sculpture on ambient lighted pedestal w/ backlightingWhile smaller scale art pieces can be adequately lit by a light source embedded within a pedestal, larger scale pieces may require an external source to get the job done right. Here are some general rules when it comes to lighting large scale pieces:

If your sculpture is…

…large and opaque, a directional light emanating from a ceiling mounted light source is usually the best choice.

…large and clear or semi-opaque, a combination of ambient light, back light and/or an overhead light would be ideal.

…large and broader at the top than the bottom, ambient lighting typically works best and overhead lighting would be out.

…large and broader at the bottom than the top, overhead lighting typically works best and ambient lighting would be out.

3. Warm or cold?

Frosted sculpture on ambient lighted pedestal with clear acrylic dust coverNo, this is not in reference to your personality or your sleeping temperature. It is about the desired mood of your art piece. Standard lighting elements are typically one of two flavors: yellow (warm light) and blue (cool light).

For most sculptures, selecting a light color is entirely personal preference. The questions you should ask yourself are:

  • When I first laid eyes on this art piece, how did it strike me from an emotional standpoint?
  • Was that emotion more on the calm and soothing side or the intense and dramatic?
  • Now that it is in my home/office, is that still the mood would I like it to convey?

While there are many predefined rules for lighting a sculpture, there is plenty of room for creative expression. Lighting is a medium just like anything else. We recommend you take the time to experiment and see what lighting method best captures the spirit and mood of your art piece.