“Ideas are to literature what light is to painting.”
All of us at Alcott & Bentley love to help solve any lighting problems that you may have and one topic that frequently comes up is the best way to spotlight an art collection. Whether you have invested in an important art piece or simply want to honor your 3 year old’s latest masterpiece, proper lighting is key. The type of bulb is important as well. Incandescent bulbs give off a warm yellow glow that bring out the yellows and reds as well as enhance blues and greens. Halogen gives the truest white but can get hot so they cannot be too close or may cause damage. Fluorescent bulbs should not be used at all as they distort colors and can even cause fading. Oil paintings look best with an all over wash of light, acrylics can use most any kind of light, and framed pieces look best with non-glare glass and work with all the lights mentioned here.
1. Recessed Lighting
Since a majority of newer homes now come with recessed lighting this is an soft and easy way to light your art collection. The only drawback with recessed lighting is that it may not be flexible enough to adjust to suit your particular needs. This type of lighting works well with sculpture as the light pours straight down although most larger pieces will need additional lighting.
2. Track Lighting
This is your most adjustable and adaptable choice as you can wash an entire wall with light or focus on one particular piece. If you do not currently have track lighting and would like to add it to your space it is best to have it installed by a professional. There are many style and finishes and may be in a fixed straight line or flexible to curve as you wish. Once installed you can tweak the positioning to your liking.
3. Picture Lights
Picture lights have come a long way from the clunky numbers they used to be. They are now available in a multitude of finishes and styles, from traditional to modern. They do an excellent job of focusing entirely on the intended framed art washing the piece with soft light. They also give the selected artwork a sense of importance.