Five Important Factors to Consider While Buying Picture Lights

Art galleries and museums are the sole protectors of notable art works and every artist’s getaway places for inspiration. Though these centers are visited by thousands of art enthusiasts every day, most of them look at the displayed art works and don’t think much about the maintenance of these galleries. But the owners of these art centers know the work that goes into the maintenance and unanimously agree with the integral role picture lights play in their maintenance. Not only museum and gallery owners, even interior designers and art enthusiast homeowners know the importance of picture lights in interior design.

Picture lights not only highlight the art works at display but also play a decisive role in deciding the look and feel of the art work. Appropriate lighting is very essential to ensure the integrity of these art works so that there are no notable changes when they are illuminated. Be it acrylic colors or oil paints, colors look different under different lights and hence museum owners must carefully choose the picture lights to retain the originality of the art works. Although, a lot of things that can go wrong while choosing picture lights and here’s everything you need to know about making the right choice.

1. Type of Lighting Used

Of all the factors to be considered, type of lighting used is the most important consideration to be made before buying picture lights. As mentioned before, art works take different forms under different light settings. Here’s a brief description of how they look under incandescent, fluorescent, halogen and LED lighting.

Incandescent- It is wise to choose incandescent lights only if the pictures are composed of primary colors red and yellow, and complementary colors like blue and green. Unless otherwise, incandescent lights might alter the appearance of the art works displayed.

Fluorescent- Though fluorescent lights are one of the favorites of commercial and residential lighting owing to their energy efficiency and clean light, they are not so famous when it comes to picture lights. This is because fluorescent lights normally alter the appearance and emit strong UV rays that might damage the art work as well.

Halogen- Known for their bright and clean white light, halogen bulbs are certainly one of the favorites of art gallery and museum owners. Though halogen bulbs do not alter the appearance of art works, care must be taken to place these lights far from art works as they emit a lot of heat when illuminated.

LED- LEDs, the hot new favorite of the lighting industry is the most preferred type of light bulb for picture lights. They emit natural sunlight, have high focus, consume very less energy and have long lives extending up to 50,000 hours.

2. Size of the Picture Lights

Next important consideration to be made while buying picture lights is their size as the size of the illuminating light plays a decisive role in the appearance of the art work at display. Normally the fixture size must be ½ or 1/3rd of width of the frame if it is a landscape and ½ of the width of the frame if it is a portrait. This ensures that the picture light is neither too big nor too small for the picture frame.

3. Dimmers and Wireless Technology

Use of automatic dimmers and wireless remote control technology to control the lighting preferences of the picture lights is totally up to the museum owner. Before buying the lights from lighting stores ensure if you need these additional accessories and if yes, buy only those picture lights that comply with these modern technologies.

4. Different Styles of Picture Lights

There are mainly four different styles of picture lights based on their form and function namely, wall mounted picture lights, ceiling mounted picture lights, clamp on and freestanding picture lights. Based on the colors used in the picture frame and space availability, choose one of the four which best suits your requirement.

5. Color, Shape and Style of Picture Lights

Picture lights are available in many color shades namely bronze, brass, silver, gold and black, most of which come in fine metallic finish. While Contemporary and Slimline are the most popular styles of picture lights, lengthy bar lights and round spot lights are the most preferred shapes of picture lights.

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