Do You Need Picture Lights for Artwork?

One of the common questions our clients have when we’re planning an art installation is whether or not they need picture lights to illuminate their artwork.  The answer to that question depends on a few things.

picture lights
A picture light by Robert Kime

1. Whether or not the work is on paper. If it is, you should never use picture lights. It will damage the work.

2. The lighting in the room. Ideally, the room you’re hanging your artwork in should be light enough that the work can be seen without picture lights. However, picture lights can create nice ambient or mood lighting, so if you’re hanging art in a gathering or entertaining space, they can be a nice touch.

3.  Your design style. Picture lights are typically a traditional design element, so if your style is more modern or contemporary, they may clash with your décor. If your aesthetic is more classic, though, using picture lights for artwork can enhance the look of a room.

Should you decide to use picture lights, choose a style that is about two-thirds the length of the picture. Browse through some of our picture light offerings here, or contact us to discuss a project idea.