How to Use Picture Lights in Your Home

How to Use Picture Lights in Your Home


A picture or painting is a great way to add instant decoration to plain surface and bring colour to a room. With the right lighting however, it could be so much more. If you want to draw attention to your artwork, creating a focal point that sets a particular piece apart from the rest of the wall, lighting will help you achieve it. By using specially chosen lighting to illuminate your wall display, you can create an immediately eye-catching piece that demands further inspection.

Picture lighting is diverse and plentiful. There are numerous ways to harness its qualities and deliver a completely new perspective on a piece of art. However, given the sheer range of lights and bulbs available it is easy to get it wrong, and choosing the incorrect lighting can take away from the natural beauty of a picture.

If you are struggling to achieve the right kind of light for your picture, here are some inspirational ideas to help you out.

Up Close and Personal

If you have ever been to an art gallery or museum, you will notice that paintings are dimly lit. This is done partly for aesthetic purposes and partly to preserve a piece from the damage that can be caused by bright light.

Paintings are works that deserve to be seen up close and lighting should be used to draw the eye directly to the intricacy of the art. This has been achieved perfectly in this home with the use of low voltage recessed lighting with adjustable eyeball trims.

Recessed lighting is more of a modern approach to lighting and might not be suited to everyone. If you would prefer to pair a traditional painting with traditional picture lighting, a classic wall-mounted picture light directly above the picture can work just as well.

If your home has a more contemporary feel, you can shun the traditional sweeping shade light in favour of a more modern, neat chrome style overhead.

Even Lighting for Large Paintings

Large pieces look best when the picture is illuminated evenly by pulling the light source away. Like so:

The idea here is to prevent shadows raking light across the piece and is achieved here with the use of recessed lighting. Surface-mounted lighting can also be used to create the same effect. Non-glare glass is essential to prevent unwanted reflections and reduce UV (Ultraviolet) light.

Track Lighting Can Work For Pictures Too

We are used to seeing track lighting mounted in kitchens with light fixed on work surfaces; however, adjustable tracks can be used to great effect with pictures too. Hung from the ceiling, track lighting can work well with pictures that are high up on a wall and, when positioned accordingly, will effectively illuminate one or multiple paintings.

In-frame Lighting

To showcase a larger piece in a naturally dim room, in-frame lighting can be used to great effect. A painting encased in a glass frame will often benefit from this type of lighting as it allows the image to be illuminated without glare.

In-frame lighting can be used in the header part of the frame or, as seen here, on all four sides.

Replicate Daylight

Artificial light can really enhance a picture, but it can also take away from it. Certain types of light, such as ultraviolet light, can damage paintings, while others stifle the beauty of a piece. Always choose bulbs that replicate daylight. Warm white and cool white are good choices to complement your wall displays and should be used in everything from overheads to spotlights.

4 months ago