How Lighting Can Affect Your Artwork

How Lighting Can Affect Your Artwork

Posted by Seth Braverman on

Well-lit Art

Choosing lighting for your pedestal

When it comes to artwork lighting, it’s crucial to know where you plan to display the sculpture. Indoor vs. outdoor, ceiling height, the direction the windows face, and even the color of the floor, walls, and ceiling all have their unique implications. Lighting can also have a huge effect on the mood and feel of a piece. For example, one of Wendy’s customers was sure she wanted lower corner lighting on her Madonna statue, but when she tested it out, she realized it gave the piece an ominous feel. In contrast, the ambient lighting tends to have a warming, comforting effect.

We offer a variety of lighting and accessory options, and it can be overwhelming to choose. To help with analysis paralysis, one of Wendy’s pro tips is to use a flashlight to experiment with different directional light at different times of day to see which one you like best.


Lighting and Artwork

You’ve just finished hanging that beautiful 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.  Proper artwork lighting can help your home display pop the way it did on that gallery wall.

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, lighting your artwork with soft LED lights works 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.

Lighting Your Artwork With Lighted Display Pedestals

Glass bowl with corner lighted pedestal

Lighting your artwork with lighted display pedestals provides an effective 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.

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