TIPS ON DISPLAYING YOUR ART
Okay, so you've invested in some fine art, you've brought it home and hung it up.
It looks okay, but why doesn't it look as good as it did in the gallery where you purchased it, or on
the website? Chances are, it could be the lighting. Just as lighting is important to the artist when he
or she is creating the work, how well the work displays in the home can depend on what type of
lighting is used.
With proper lighting, art "comes to life". Without it, the art can become dull or unappealing.
Some type of accent lighting will nearly always improve the appearance of your art, bringing attention to it and
making the colors stand out and become more vibrant. At the very least, a painting should be located near a
small table lamp or in a location where it can benefit from a light source.
DIFFERENT TYPES OF SPECIALTY LIGHTING
Better yet, a simple picture light can produce excellent results, giving your art the attention it
deserves, while enhancing its appearance. These lamps come in a variety of sizes and finishes, are relatively
inexpensive, and easy to install. Some come with built-in dimmer controls, and if you can't find one with a
dimmer control, there are outboard dimmer controls that are easy to retrofit available at Home Improvement
stores such as Home Depot or Lowe's. A picture light can do a remarkable job showcasing your art. In subdued
lighting, the effect can be dramatic:
This type of light can look right at home even in more formal settings; they are often seen in galleries,
upscale restaurants, and the like. The only real drawback is the AC power cord (there are battery powered
picture lights, but of course then there is the need to replace batteries). However, there are some models
available which are designed to have the wiring concealed in the wall. On models with an external power cord, I
recommend using a plastic wire cover, (called "cord mate") which is readily available at Home Improvement
These cord covers come in different colors as well, and can be painted to match the wall that they are attached
to. (they have a self-adhesive backing). This gives your display a neat, finished appearance. In any event, I
recommend mounting the picture light to the wall, and not to the painting or painting frame. When
mounting the picture light, be sure to leave a bit of clearance between the top of the artwork, and the mounting
bracket supplied with the light. This will allow you to hang the art and remove it from the wall as needed without
encountering interference from the mounting bracket.
Track and single unit modular lighting:
Another attractive method that can produce very good
results is the use of track lighting, or single unit modular lighting
units. As with picture lights, these can be installed with the
wiring either concealed in the wall or ceiling, or exposed with
the use of cord covers. Once again, some systems have a built
in dimmer control, while others do not. If you use track lighting,
keep in mind these units often use transformers that step down
the voltage to power the low voltage lamps. When controlling
this type of lighting system with a dimmer, be sure to use a
dimmer designed for use with electronic low voltage lighting
systems, or as directed by the manufacturer.
You can usually find a wide selection of these types of
lighting systems at Home improvement stores such as Lowe's
or Home Depot.
Recessed can or "eyeball" ceiling lighting :
For the experienced do it yourself-er, the recessed can lighting option offers perhaps the "cleanest" looking (and
most permanent) type of installation. With this method, the light fixture itself is recessed into the ceiling or
attic space. Hence, there is no visible wiring, which should be installed in accordance with building codes. Some
homes have recessed fixtures pre-installed, but in many instances these lamps point straight down, which may
or may not be ideal for accenting art, depending on their proximity to the intended display area. I recommend the
adjustable "eyeball" type fixture, as these allow you to aim them at the wall area where the art will be displayed.
If installing these fixtures yourself, it is a good idea to experiment with placement of both the art and the light fixture
for ideal results. For example, a light that is placed too close to the wall where the art is hung may tend to cause
excessive shadowing along the top edge of the image of a framed art piece.
A word about different types of light bulbs:
"A light bulb is a light bulb". "They're all the same". Right? WRONG!! In recent years, advances in technology have
yielded notable improvements over the good old fashioned light bulb, as many of us have known
it. Ordinary incandescent light bulbs-those "soft white" bulbs on the store shelf-tend to cast a rather "yellowish" tint
on everything they illuminate. You may not readily notice it, but this yellowish tint influences the color spectrum and
has a detrimental effect. This is a important point when accenting your artworks. When accenting your art, I
recommend that, rather than using those ordinary sixty-nine cent light bulbs, that instead you buy bulbs
such as GE "Reveal" bulbs, or Philips "Natural" bulbs. You'll notice that these bulbs have a slight "blueish" tint
on the glass. When lit, they will not cast a blue light in your room. Rather, this blueish tint works to "cancel out"
that undesirable yellow tint that incandescent lights produce. They will provide a much more natural and pleasing
light, providing a more accurate rendition across the entire color spectrum. These bulbs are becoming readily
available in many stores, and in more and more shapes and sizes. They are available in sizes that will fit your picture
lights, table lamps, chandeliers, and more. More recently, they have become available in sizes compatible
with recessed lighting cans. You may even find, as I have, that it is desirable to use this type of lighting wherever
possible in your home-not just to accent your art. The reason-everything will look better. Yes, you will pay a bit
more for this type of bulb, but the results are worth it!
If you have difficulty finding the right type of light for your particular need or budget, here is an excellent online
resource for picture lights, track lights, recessed lighting fixtures, and much more:
With the addition of some fine art, lighting accents, and a minimal investment of time and experimentation, you can
transform your home into a beautiful, museum-like environment. I hope you will consider my art in your plans to
beautify your home.
I hope you are enjoying your visit to my site. I thank you for visiting, I wish you the best and hope you visit often!
Very best to you,
Peter Makres Art.com
"South Rim Vista" Giclee
© 2016 Peter Makres Art
All rights reserved.