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Wall Fixture Picture Lights

Your artwork display can liven up the decor in your home. Therefore, your choice of lighting is just as important as your frame selection. Since lighting effects paintings, prints, and photos differently, choosing the proper lighting can make a dramatic difference to your home gallery.

What types of picture lights are available?

There are three mounting options for these decorative fixtures. They include wall-mounted, ceiling-mounted, and clamp-on. Some components operate via battery. Others need an outlet to work. Assess your options. Then, decide if a wireless or corded unit will work with your power outlet options.

  • Wall-mounted: As the name implies, these fixtures mount to the wall. They fit above framed art and photos. Some wireless models have extended arms that allow you to position the light at different angles.
  • Clamp-on: Clamp-ons attached to the back of the frame. The units curve over the frame to enhance the picture. They are available with or without a battery.
  • Ceiling-mounted: If you have limited space, you can opt for ceiling-mounted lights. With adjustable spotlights, you can shine them straight onto one picture or a collection of paintings.

Which type of bulb can you use?

Light globes bring out the different hues of your artwork. Choosing different light spectra can highlight different colors in a similar way that a camera filter works.

  • Halogen: These picture lights illuminate the full spectrum of colors in art. Since they generate a fair amount of heat, ceiling mounting is recommended. Oil paintings look spectacular under the white, full-light spectrum of halogen globes.
  • Incandescent: Opt for this type of lighting if the exhibit consists of predominately-warm colors. It can be used in ceiling and clamp-on mounts. Acrylic paints show up nicely under practically any type of lighting and will work well with incandescents.
  • LED: LED lamps release balanced beams of light with no flicker. Use the energy-efficient LED globes to show off your artwork. Photos and art under glass look especially nice when illuminated by LED bulbs.

What other factors can you consider?

The purpose of artwork lighting is to the draw eyes to your art exhibit. However, it is important to choose picture lights that accent the frame. In addition, the light has to be the correct size and position for maximum impact. See further details below.

  • Positioning the picture lights: Look for lamps that offer the flexibility to tilt at different angles. The lamp should be positioned at a 30-degree angle to prevent glare.
  • Picture light size: As a rule, the light should be at least half the width of the picture frame if it is less than 30 inches wide. Estimate approximately 60 to 80 percent of the frame for large-scale works.
  • Picture light finish: One decor tip is to choose a finish on your light that accents that of the frame. If you have a bronze frame, select a bronze picture light. Other common finishes include brass, aluminum, and stainless steel.