Artwork can be the perfect way to add personality and character to your home, but it's important to light them in a way that brings out its beauty. Here is how the professionals use lighting methods to correctly light their curated artworks, creating a perfect ambience and ensuring the art stands out!

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to illuminating wall art prints. You should ask yourself whether you want to light the canvas art print directly or place the wall art piece in a beautifully lit room/space.


Lighting type:

1. Ceiling-mounted accent lights (Ideal for making the art the focus, not the light source)

Spotlights directing light onto the wall art piece is the best way of illuminating an art print where the light fixture can either be recessed or surface-mounted, allowing the direction of light to be adjusted to ensure most of the wall art print is lit and not just a tiny section of it.

The general rule is for ceiling-mounted light fittings to be installed such that light hits the centre of the art piece when the light fitting is oriented to a 30 degrees angle. An artwork lit at 10 degrees would mean that the light fitting is placed too close to the wall, pointing downwards, which will cast a long shadow below the frame. Conversely, if the light fitting is placed too far away from the wall, then the light will point too directly onto the artwork, causing a reflective glare.


2. Track lights (Ideal for flexibility)

To create elegant interior decor, always opt for minimalistic-looking track lights. Equipped with suitable lamps/bulbs, these fixtures perform similarly to the ceiling-mounted accent lights however provide a few distinct advantages — easier installation and offering future flexibility!

If you decide to move the art print to an alternate location, you can easily move the light fitting or remove it altogether, but the downside is that your ceiling may not look neat with track lights.


3. Wall washers (Ideal for flexibility)

In the case of multiple art pieces or a gallery wall art print arrangement, you don't necessarily have to ensure each artwork is individually lit; instead, you can illuminate the entire wall in such cases.

Various types of wall washer fittings include recessed, surface-mounted, and track-mounted lights installed on walls, ceilings, and even floors—delivering a wide range of illumination. This type of lighting intends to create one brightly illuminated wall where multiple art pieces are displayed, indirectly illuminating the room. This lighting method is used and preferred by many modern art enthusiasts. While this technique is more casual, it future-proofs your art installation. Additionally, no adjustments are required as the intention is to light up the wall evenly.


4. Picture lights (Ideal for ambience)

Picture lights are a lighting method where the light fittings are directly fixed onto the desired wall or art print frames. This is achieved by using light fittings with very low wattage lamps as the light source as its placed extremely close to the artwork, thereby granting a very intimate feel inviting you to inspect the art closely.


Additional Things to Consider:

Framing Surface — Open frame or Glass?

If your artwork is framed in glass, you must adjust the lighting angle to minimise glare. Art prints or textured paintings in an open frame should be lit such that the light and shadow effect enhances the art.


Sturdiness of Frames

When opting for picture light fittings, your will need to ensure the frame is thick and sturdy to bear the weight of the light fitting versus the case of ceiling or wall-mounted light fixtures, wherein you can use sleek, thin frames or even go with wrapped canvas look and feel canvas art.


Type of Light/Lamp — Halogen or LED

Light can have damaging effects on art over the long term. To understand this better - let's consider the science experiment where if you hold a magnifying glass over a leaf, it would turn brown and eventually catch fire. The principle is the same — it's caused by heat and UV (ultraviolet) rays.

To increase the lifespan of your art piece, if you use halogen lamps/bulbs, keep them at a safe distance from the wall art piece and ensure the lights are fitted with filters for ultraviolet light rays. Alternatively, you can use energy-saving LED lights that emit no ultraviolet rays and minimal heat. Since you have chosen to invest in art, you should go the extra mile by investing in the correct type of light to enjoy your art piece for a longer time.


Avoid Natural Light

Keeping any artwork in direct sunlight exposes it to ultraviolet and infrared rays, which cause the colours to fade. That’s why always ensure that your art print is placed as far as possible from the harsh sunlight to improve longevity.

Empyrean Design+Build — Architecture, Landscape & Interior Design Solutions

Feeling inspired? Along with being a source of elegant and beautiful wall art decor, Empyrean's in-house team of professional architects and interior designers is ready to assist with all of your architectural, landscape and interior design/decor needs. 

Our team specializes in providing a seamless end-to-end experience from design to construction and beyond to fit your unique style and budget. Call +918591914253 or Email today.

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