Lighting High-End Gallery Style Acrylic Glass Prints at Home
One of the most frequently asked questions clients have during the process of procuring my artworks relate to lighting their beautiful high-end gallery style prints once they arrive. So, I decided to provide the most important details and a few tips that are beneficial when it's time to illuminate my photographic artwork you've just added to your wall art collection. There's one important factor to remember before you get started. No matter how stunning the artwork is, you still need to apply the proper lighting to appreciate the details, vibrancy, shapes and colors as they were intended to view. I can think of no good reason to install a beautiful fine art photograph in a poorly illuminated space.
Here's a great lighting solution by from Perfect Art Lights that illuminate the artwork using existing ceiling cans. Take notice of the adjustable angle of light! I highly recommend this product.
There are wonderful details that can best be appreciated by ordering my artworks on the high-end galley style Acrylic glass museum float media. The very nature of the acrylic print media style lends itself perfectly to the art connoisseur that truly appreciates those details as the photographer intended. Acrylic prints have properties that provide a sense of almost 3-D depth & dimension, and also to appear "back-lit". Despite being crafted with the most modern technology, a poorly lit space does very little to allow those subtle touches in the imagery to reveal themselves. However, when the proper illumination is used, the fine art imagery comes to life, bringing unbelievable resolution, clarity, vibrancy and Dmax. The final result is a motif that grabs your full attention and never lets go!
FIRST UP - LETS BE SURE YOUR ARTWORKS ARE INSTALLED CORRECTLY
This is a wild-card that is all to often overlooked. Ideally, for a typical home with ceiling heights between 8-10 feet, the center of the artwork should be set approximately 5 1/2 ft. from the floor. This is a nice middle ground because this puts the artwork at the average height for most adults direct visual plane. The artworks tuck away perfectly behind and above wide sofa's, headboards as well as sofa tables. You'll see when artwork is installed in places with higher or vaulted ceilings (see image above) the artwork may be quite a bit higher than 5 1/2 feet. In most cases, the prints tend to be quite large and are viewed from a greater distance. If your installation matches this description, try to angle your lighting on the artwork at the preferred 30 degree angle.
IT'S BEST TO AVOID DIRECT SUNLIGHT
If you were at an outdoors art show and had an opportunity to view the artwork in direct sunlight you'll definitely see how beautiful the print can be. (sunlight renders colors accurately) But... when you are planning the installation of my artwork, you definitely want to avoid using bright sunlight as the primary light source! Sunlight emits UV (ultra-violet rays) that is damaging to fine art prints and can eventually deteriorate the colors of even the finest UV protective archival quality media. When it comes to your fine art installation, direct sunlight is the worst case scenario. Indirect "filtered" sunlight can be helpful as ambient room light. It's important that you take this into consideration when you are planning the installation of your new print.
Track lighting is an easy way to illuminate spaces in modern homes. These lights work well in spaces with both standard and vaulted ceilings
COMPARING LIGHT FIXTURES
Take a quick look around your home and you'll instantly see a myriad of different lighting fixtures. Each one has it's strengths and weaknesses for the task applied. Obviously, not all of them apply as the perfect lighting solution for illuminating fine art gallery-style prints. We'll make a brief comparison of the light fixtures as well as the BULB choices that make solid choices based on all my years of experience.
Recessed lights, also called "can lights", are popular ambient room illumination options. There are almost unlimited designs and styles that will work for any interior décor. Unless you stand directly below them or look up at the ceiling itself, they won't stand out because they are hidden into the ceiling. Most recessed lights have floodlight bulbs intended to cast a downward - wider angle of light on the living area.
SCREW IN LED FINE ART LIGHTS
The traditional recessed light in itself is not the ideal one and done solution, however, it is easily transformed into art illumination by screwing in an ML-Direct Plus smart bulb in place of the standard screw-in Edison socket flood bulb. (I featured this amazing lighting option with the first photo up top)
What's so awesome about this design is it eliminates cutting holes, running electrical wires and installing light switches. You simply transform a really cool recessed light fixture into the ultimate art gallery light. The ML-Direct smart bulbs are more than an angled light fixture solution. The included LED bulbs come with a remote control so you can set the perfect light intensity and change the color temperature to enhance my fine art prints.
The lenses on the Perfect Art Lights smart-bulbs can be adjusted to illuminate a space from as small as a 20" print to a super large 66" print from as close as 6 feet away. The beauty and simplicity of this lighting solution is it will work in any standard fixture (allowing for lighting from virtually any angle you like) and installs in seconds.
→ I consider this lighting option to illuminate my artworks MOST HIGHLY RATED. They are affordable, versatile, use existing recessed light can fixtures as a source, and you can adjust the light intensity and color cast remotely. In addition, this product works like magic with custom art illuminating ideas that feature standard screw-in style fixtures!
RE-CHARGABLE LED WALL MOUNTED ART LIGHTS
OK, I'm just getting warmed up here (pun intended) So, for those of you that don't really want to hire an electrical contractor to cut your finished ceilings & walls open, slice and splice switches, and repair the wall board - I've found a wonderful solution! Wall Mounted Art Lights are intended to perfectly illuminate only the artwork (motif) itself and not act as ambient room light.
If you can imagine dimming the ambient room light a notch and illuminating only the artwork with this highly specialized art light, you instantly achieve a romantic room setting while drawing attention to your valued fine art acrylic photography print. If you've ever visited one of those high-end Peter Lik art galleries and experienced how beautifully his artworks were illuminated with low ambient lighting, you can virtually duplicate the results with my artwork and a Situ art light in your own space.
Cordless battery powered lights can easily be installed over any artwork, and what's so cool is you can do this "after" you've carefully located the artwork's final destination in your space!
Modern day picture lights by Situ Art Lighting provide a clean, sharp, refined and minimalist design as well as a touch of elegance that can truly be appreciated. They provide both "plug in" and re-chargeable wall mounted art lights that come in a nice variety of finishes and accommodate prints of all sizes. Their wireless rechargeable LED art lights provide (3) brightness levels, an auto-shutoff option, can be top OR bottom mounted (upwards) on the artwork and illuminate my artworks up to 45 x 30" or 48 x 24" dimensions.
For larger acrylic gallery-style artworks from my Collections that range from 54" - 60" - 72" and even 84" you can mount a pair of wireless LED art lights to do the trick!
→ I consider this lighting option to illuminate my artworks MOST HIGHLY RATED. They provide affordability, versatily, convenience, and you can adjust the brightness with 3 available settings.
PLUG-IN SLIM & DISCREET LED PICTURE LIGHTS
A second convenient picture light option from Situ Art Lighting Solutions are their phenomenal plug-in bar lights. They offer several lighting solution options to fit any illumination project, and allow you to place light on just about any interior wall using minimally invasive installation technique. They are just perfectly suited to work with any of my gallery style frameless floaters because all of my float mounted artworks are spaced @ 0.75" from the wall using recessed floater frames on the back side of the artworks. This completely hides the small hole behind the artwork!
To install, simply mark the wall where the very top of the artwork will be installed, drop down about 1.5" and use a small drill & sheetrock hole saw to open a space large enough to insert the supplied power extension cord. Then drill a second discreet hole down near the floor or baseboard trim in the same bay (opening between the wall studs) and use the fish wire technique to pull the supplied extension cord back into the room to plug into the supplied power converter. It's clever, clean and best of all hidden from site and doesn't require a licensed contractor!
Similarly to the re-chargeable cordless Situ art lights, these plug-in versions are discreet, sharp and refined and are available in an even larger variety of sizes and applications. A remote control (pictured above) gives access to over sixty settings of high CRI light from an LED array designed to bring out the most in my high end gallery-style artworks. As you can see looking at the photo above, the images to the right show you how the lights are properly spaced from the wall to provide "adjustable" illuminance to the entire vertical height of my artworks up to 60" and horizontal widths up to 84"
One of my favorite options by Situ Art Lights is their LED art-track lighting. A single track gets installed flush-mounted to the wall just above the artwork. You can illuminate smaller single art prints 24 x 16" or 30 x 20", and wider art tracks can accommodate multiple lighting fixtures for prints as wide as 72" or 84".
→ I consider this lighting option to illuminate my artworks MOST HIGHLY RATED. They provide affordability · versatily · convenience · minimally invasive installation · classy modern high-end gallery style · even distribution of lighting. Best of all, Situ Art Lights are USA made here in beautiful Sarasota Florida (just 20 minutes from my Nokomis Florida gallery space)
CEILING MOUNTED HARD-WIRED TRACK LIGHTING
This is a popular method, tried and true that is normally used by homeowners and commercial spaces to provide directional lighting as well as ambient room light. If you are in construction phase or remodeling a room, this is the best time to consider the placement of the tracks and the length of any tracks you wish to install.
I urge you to stay away from retail outlets and big box stores like Home Depot for your track light solutions if possible. Instead, my recommendation is to go to a lighting store that carries WAC Lighting fixtures or SoLux! WAC has light heads, unique track options, rail systems and so much more to choose from! When you purchase your bulbs for track lighting, be sure NOT to use Incandescent or Fluorescent bulbs! Both of those lighting sources can deteriorate even UV protected artwork media after years of direct exposure. Have them find the correct LED bulbs that fit the light heads, and most importantly select a 3500K (kelvin rating) for a bulb with a neutral color cast.
If the track lights are pre-installed into your space, you'll have to take the location of the lighting into consideration before installing the artworks. If they configure well (about 36" to 48" from the wall to allow for a 30 degree angle of light beam) you're in great shape! Chances are, the pre-installed bulbs are not appropriate LED to illuminate fine art photography, and I'd bet they are warm lights (Kelvin scale) that project a golden or slightly yellow-orange light typically used for ambient room light. So the same principal applies, and be sure to replace the bulbs with 3500K LED lights for illuminating artwork.
→ I consider this lighting option to illuminate my artworks RATED ADAQUATELY. They are permanent fixtures but do provide some degree of light beam adjustment. Best LED lights provide the best results. For installation into an existing space, this will require an electrician, a bit of hole cutting and light switch installations.
Halogen Lights are a viable wildcard for illuminating fine art photography artworks. They've been in use by art gallery owners and artist alike for many years. Aa halogen lamp produces a continuous spectrum of light, a spectrum similar to that of the sun and highly suitable for the eyes. I've read in many places online that Peter Lik uses basic MR16 halogen lights in his franchised galleries. I've visited Lik Galleries in person and can attest that the art lighting was beautiful.
These halogen lights do produce some heat, and are definitely not the most energy efficient bulbs available, however, they do fit a number of low voltage track lighting applications. My ultimate choice for choosing your bulbs would be LED lights. You'll get superior light, no heat as a byproduct, and no damaging UV light to deal with.
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