Using Lighting to Highlight Your Frames

You may have seen framed artwork in museums that’s perfectly lit to make the entire piece look more attractive and to highlight the focal aspects of the art. If you want to step your own artwork and décor up a level, then you can do the same thing in your home or workplace.

Here’s some of the theory and tips behind using lighting to highlight your framed photos or artwork…

Different types of lighting

Generally, you can choose between three main types of lighting – wall-mounted, ceiling-mounted, or picture lights mounted to the frame itself. If you choose a ceiling-mounted light fixture, then the best way to reduce glare on the artwork and shadows being cast from the frame is to angle the light at 30 degrees. Picture lights can be very effective at highlighting your artwork, just make sure your frame is big enough and sturdy enough to support the fixture.

For wall-mounted fixtures and picture lights, uplighting or downlighting your frame will create a different effect. Which direction to choose may depend a lot on the piece of art and the frame in use, as well as your personal preferences. Uplighting can create dramatic shadows over the piece, especially with a chunky frame. Try shining a light on your art facing upwards and then downwards to see which effect you prefer.

Make it bright

To really highlight your frame and picture, the lighting used should be brighter than the room’s general lighting. You can achieve this by buying brighter bulbs or directing more light sources toward your artwork.

Avoid damage to your artwork

You might think about positioning your artwork in a spot that gets direct sunlight during the day as a way to highlight it, but this can be damaging to your art or photo. The UV light from the sun’s rays causes the colors to fade. When it comes to artificial lighting, damage can still be caused by the heat coming from the bulbs. Don’t place a lighting fixture so close to the frame that you can feel the heat coming off it if you place your hand near the artwork. And try not to position a light source so that it is facing directly toward the piece.

Consider LED lights

LED lights are a good choice for protecting your artwork because they produce very little heat and do not emit UV light. Other options, like halogen lights, may need UV filters applying to them and should be kept a safe distance from all artwork.

If you need help with home or commercial framing, or more advice about hanging your artwork, then please get in touch or visit us at our frame shop in Clemmons, NC.