The Most Important Factors in Art Lighting

Posted by Max Villarreal on

When you're mounting a beautiful painting in your home, it’s important to illuminate it properly. The light reflected off of the paint is what your viewer sees, so spending some time selecting the proper picture light is well worth the effort. Today we would like to go over some aspects of art lighting, and show you why Cocoweb’s Art Lights are the best choice for your home.

Ultraviolet Light

Ultraviolet Radiation is an invisible form of light which we are exposed to daily from the sun. Though mostly known for its cancerous capabilities, UV light can also cause many most types of paint pigments to fade over time, in a completely irreversible process. Therefore, it is imperative that you keep your precious artwork away from natural sunlight, and instead use a low UV emitting lamp. Cocoweb’s LED picture lights are UV free, meaning that you can safely illuminate your art without the danger of discoloration.

Color Rendering Index

Color Rendering Index (CRI) measures how well a lighting source can fully bring out the range of colors on its illuminated object. The maximum score is 100, for lights which perfectly illuminate all visible colors. In general, museums like to use lights with a CRI rating of at least 90, though a rating of 80 is often sufficient for paintings. Incandescent bulbs generally hold at 100, fluorescents can range from 50 to 80, and most LEDs are around 80. Cocoweb LEDs, however, are specifically designed for artwork, and so run at 90+ CRI, rivaling most incandescents.

LED Art Lighting

Our 43" Tru-Slim Battery Operated Art Light uses Picture Perfect LEDs to bring out the best in your artwork

Color Temperature

Color Temperature is a measure of the warmth of a light, in terms of its color. Reds and oranges (warm colors) are given a lower temperature, while blues (cooler colors) have a higher temperature. Color temperature is given in degrees Kelvin—for example, sunshine is 6500K, LEDs can be in a range of 2700K to 3300K, and fluorescents are about 5000K. Depending on your picture, you may choose to use a warm or cool lamp to bring out certain colors, but in general it’s wise to have a light between 2700K and 3000K in order to have a balance of warmth and cold.

Light Intensity

Every piece of art is different, and therefore needs more or less illumination depending on its style. Bright paintings may need only minimal amounts of light, whereas darker pieces need plenty of illumination to bring out their colors. All of Cocoweb’s Picture Lights are compatible with a dimmer switch, so that you can find the perfect strength for your painting.

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