Picture Lights: Top FAQs and Their Answers
Picture Lights: Top FAQs and Their Answers
Picture lights can bring any work of art to life and show it off in the most attractive way possible. But if you have never used one before, you may have a number of questions about how to get the most from it. Here are some of the most common questions regarding picture lights, along with their answers.
How Are Picture Lights Used?
A picture light hangs near a painting, poster or other type of picture, and it is usually positioned directly above it. When the light falls on the picture, it enhances the picture's appearance and brings the colours to life. Picture lights can also be used to illuminate antiques and plants.
Do They Use Electricity or Batteries?
Picture lights come in both electric and battery-operated versions. When battery operated, the problem of hiding the wire is not an issue. However, the batteries require constant changing, so electric lights are often recommended.
Do I Need an Electrician to Install It?
If you want to install an electric picture light, then it is usually a good idea to hire an electrician. The visibility of the wire is often something that you will want to rectify, and an electrician may be able to hide the recess box behind the painting so that the electric wires are not displayed. However, this is a specialist job for a professional.
How Else Is the Wire Hidden?
As well as using a recess box, the wire can also be hidden by a cover. Alternatively, you can paint over the wire or place other items like furniture and plants over the wire to keep it from sight.
What Are the Different Types of Picture Lights?
There are many different designs of picture lights to choose from. Some are more modern and sleek, whereas others have a more classic and traditional style, so it depends on the style of the room where you will use it.
Most picture lights are attached to the wall above the picture. These allow you to change the picture with ease when you want to, and they are suitable for high ceilings because you need space between the painting and the ceiling to attach the light. However, other picture lights attach to the ceiling or to the painting itself, and others are freestanding.
How Should I Get the Best Results?
You should hang your picture on a suitable wall. This means a wall that does not have any windows, and preferably no windows opposite either, because the light can create unwanted glare.
Hang your picture correctly with a gap of about an inch or two from the wall at the top, as this stops the dust settling on the canvas and reduces reflection from the light. The glass covering of the painting can reflect the light, and oil paint can also create reflections, so position the light in a way to reduce the glare, experimenting and moving it around until you find the best option.
What Are the Different Types of Bulbs?
There are many different types of bulbs to choose from, and you need to choose a type of bulb that shows the picture at its best. Incandescent bulbs provide a yellow light, whereas halogen bulbs generate a whiter light, and they are popular even though they can give off some heat and UV. LED lights are popular because they emit less heat and UV, and they come in a range of different temperatures.
Can Picture Lights Damage My Artwork?
For some paintings, too much light can cause fading, and this is particularly true of water colours. The most damaging light is daylight, and fluorescent light can also be harmful. Low voltage lights are the best option, but always ask a specialist if you have a particularly delicate painting that you are worried about damaging.
What Size Picture Light Do I Need?
You need to choose a picture light that is right for the size of the artwork. As a general, rule, if you are using a horizontal light above the picture, it should not extend beyond the borders because it will be too noticeable. Instead, it should be about half or two thirds the width of the picture and frame to create the ideal appearance.
What Height Should I Hang the Light?
Pictures should usually be hung at eye level, and the picture light will then normally be hung slightly above the picture. However, there are no strict rules here because some picture lights are attached to the ceiling rather than on the wall above the picture.
Find the Right Picture Light for Your Art
Picture lights make pictures and artwork look more elegant, and they will make sure people notice your art rather than ignoring it. A properly installed picture light will ensure that your picture becomes a talking point in your home or office, so if you have a work of art that you want to highlight, consider installing a picture light and remember the above factors. If you are unsure about any aspect of your picture light, always ask an expert for advice.