Spotlight: The right lightings for your artworks

The tips and tricks of working a piece of artwork into any room rely on lighting. It’s not only a matter of placement and angle. Purchasing the right lighting with adjustable intensity, angle, and colour helps to bring out the colours and designs of an artwork. 

Recessed lightings are installed onto the ceiling. 

Types of lighting fixtures

Track and rail lighting. These are commonly used in art galleries because the angles of each light can be adjusted individually. You can have light cast onto the walls to highlight a piece of art.

Picture lighting. They’re stylish and often seen in museums. They provide direct lighting to a piece of artwork at a close distance. The styles available range from classic to contemporary. Depending on the style you choose, they can pair well with artwork inspired by the renaissance period.

Recessed lighting. They’re great for sculptures, oil paintings, and glass covered artworks, especially those on the ceiling. It’s only a matter of distance between the light source and the oil painting. Depending on the type of recessed lighting, one may not be able to adjust the angles. Choose from an adjustable angle-cut, gimbal, or retractable fixture. 

Check out, http://recessedlighting.com/picture-lighting-calculator/


1. The ever so reliable LED lights are not only energy saving; they also cost less and are also devoid of heat produced by halogens and incandescent bulbs. Use these LED lights for oil and acrylic paintings if you don’t want them to melt from the intense heat.

Check out http://bit.ly/1SUuKwF for information on lighting your artworks.

a. Vector, a ceiling light designed by Carlotta de Bevilacqua for Artemide can rotate 360 degrees, with a 90 degree tilt. It can be installed on wall-ceilings or on a track. It uses an 8W LED.  Available from Lightcraft.

b. Artemide’s Tycho by Michele De Lucchi is a cleaner and softer lighting design. It’s available in two sizes and versions: wall, and track. Available from Lightcraft.

c. Of Giulio Iacchetti design, Danese Milano’s Olmo can be installed vertically or horizontally. It produces a stylish, state-of-the-art geometric feel. Multiple lightings can be installed along the track. It supports up to 130W on a single power point. Lights can be rotated 360 degrees and tilted 90 degrees. The light can also be fitted with a dimmer.

2. You can use incandescent flood lights or halogen lights for your artworks, but the latter produces heat and UV light. We recommend placing these lights further away from your artwork.  

Directional spotlight, Starship uses 230/240V halogen lamps. The lights can be tilted up to t 90 degree angle, and can rotate up to 355 degrees. Alberto Meda and Paolo Rizzatto designed Spaceship for Artemide. 

3. Use recessed lighting for sculptures, as they bring a three-dimensional, textured look, casting the right amount of light to bring out the shadows. It also does not obstruct the view of a piece of art. Use track lights for triptychs.

Hint: Combine natural light with artificial lighting. Avoid placing artworks on a wall that has access to direct sunlight because long exposure could cause artworks to fade over time. The combination of both artificial and natural lighting may bring you closer to the colours envisioned by the artist.


Would you go for yellow, orange or intense white lighting? Tinting lights impact the colour of your artwork. Would you like to bring out the colours of your artpiece without tinting it with the colour of your light? White is the solution, but it brings a colder touch to your artworks, while orange or yellow ones bring a warmer look.

Tip: Make sure the lightings are three times the intensity than ordinary lighting in your home.

Safe distance. Learn as much as you can about the lighting and the type of artwork you have. This would provide you with the answers for an appropriate distance to position both light and art.

Work the angle. Adjust the angle of your lighting to prevent the glare coming from framed artworks.