Have you ever bought a magnificent piece of art from the gallery, paid top dollar to have it shipped to your home, only for it to fail to reproduce the same feeling it did while at the gallery? This is a problem that many art enthusiasts (beginners) deal with.

So, how exactly can the same piece of art produce a totally different feeling when it reaches your home? There are many factors to explain this issue, but poor lighting is usually the culprit, and that’s exactly what this guide will help you resolve.

The following are crucial tips on how to light your art and bring out its magic.

1.  Keep Your Art Away From Direct Sunlight

Natural sunlight beams UV and infrared light on your art. This has a devastating effect on the pigment used in creating the artwork. Not only will the light make your painting look ordinary, but it will also damage it over time. The piece will fade gradually, and depending on the prints and paints used, it’ll become unsightly within months or years.

Therefore, never expose your art to direct sunlight. Indirect sunlight may also be harmful over time, so try and avoid it as well.

Artists and galleries suggest mounting your paintings towards north-facing lights. You can then use the artificial light of your choice to showcase the art in darkness.

2.  Use The Right Lighting Solution

Artificial lighting is your best bet when you want to show off your painting. However, don’t make the mistake of picking just any light. Some lighting solutions can actually worsen the appearance of your artwork. Case in point, fluorescent bulbs can create an insane glare on paintings. These bulbs are simply too bright and white to produce the effect you are looking for.

What you need is a light that’s gentle to your painting and accurate enough to highlight the fine details. Something that can replicate the effect of natural daylight without damaging the art.

Inaccedent and LED lights are popular options. Inaccedent lights can create a warm hue around your painting, but they are far from efficient in terms of energy consumption. LED lights lead a new era in lighting designs, as the lighting experts at Replica Lights report. These lights are more energy-efficient, and that’s why they’re commonplace in modern households. Other than lighting your home, LED lights can also be used on paintings. They come in a variety of temperature and warmth options, so you should be able to find the perfect light for your specific art.

Generally speaking, four types of lights that can be used on artwork:

a.   Ceiling-Mounted Accent Lights

Ceiling mounted accent lights can turn your art into the focal point of your home. The lights are highly customizable, allowing you to adjust angles and choose the perfect bulb that works with your unique painting.

When installing ceiling-mounted accent lights, make sure the beam of light hits the center of your painting with the fixture at a 30-degree angle. This reduces the risk of reflections and glare.

b.   Track Lights

Tracks lights are a great alternative if you are looking for an easy-to-install lighting solution. They give you the freedom to move your art without having to call in a contractor to refix your lighting. In this sense, they are a better alternative to ceiling-mounted accent lights.

For the best results, pair your track lights with the appropriate lamps.

c.   Wall Washers

Wall washers are a great solution to anyone looking for effective lighting for an entire wall full of artwork. These lights will “wash” the wall with even lighting, so there’s virtually no adjustment needed on the paintings themselves.

d.   Picture Lights

artwork at home

Picture lights are specifically designed to display art. They are usually installed above the frame or on the wall where the painting is mounted.

3.  Consider The Art Medium

A piece of art will appear differently under different lights depending on the medium used.

  • Acrylic Painting – These paintings thrive under a lighting solution with a CRI percentage that’s as close to 100% as possible.
  • Oil Painting – Oil paintings should be used with gentle lights to prevent glare.
  • Watercolor Painting – Light the painting from a distance if it is not housed in UV-resistant glass.
  • Sculptures – Sculptures look better when they are lit from multiple angles.

4.  Light Evenly

Finally, make sure whatever lighting solution you choose sheds an even beam of light throughout the art. Avoid reflections, glare, and shadows.

Investing in an expensive artwork only for it to be a “fail” in your home can make you feel like you’ve been cheated. However, it’s rare for a piece of art to not look as good in your home as it did at the gallery if you get the lighting right. Hopefully, the above guide will help you find the perfect solution for your art.