Choosing the Right Picture Light

There are several standards and principles when choosing a picture light for your artwork. Every artwork is different and thus requires different types of lights. To find the best fit for your artwork, please follow these few simple tips:

Picture Lights for Different Mediums

Finding art lights for oil paintings can be difficult due to the spectral highlights that can be shown when a light is directly at the painting. In this case, a broad-based light source such as LED is most ideal.

For acrylic paintings, since it does not have the glossy finish and glare problems that an oil painting may have, any art light featured here will suffice.

Importance of Size

When choosing art lights, the size and dimensions of your artwork/paintings, as well as the picture lights itself, are crucial. Typically, pick an art light that is between 60% to 80% the size of the image (including the frame). In case there are any doubts, use our handy picture light calculator.

When choosing an optimal size of picture light, please also consider if you would like the artwork to be bright, medium bright, or mildly illuminated. There are also options for an electronic art dimmer that gives you the flexibility of adjusting the art brightness. Most Cocoweb picture lights come with a dimmer included.

Significance of Framing

Depending on the frame of the artwork, there can be various options in picture light styles. If an artwork does not have a frame or has a small frame, it can be illuminated with a light that is not directly fixed on the artwork. Lights such as spotlights, mantels, track lights are examples that can be used. On the contrary, a large frame can hold the weight of an attached picture light. Art Lights from Cocoweb are designed with light weight and can either be attached to the frame or the wall.

Types of Lights

Incandescent lights create a warm tone as it highlights the yellows and reds while complimenting the blues and greens. Halogen lights cast a very pure white light and are ideal for the majority of art. However, heat is generated with this type of light, so it has to be placed at a distance from the artwork to prevent any possible damage. Fluorescent lights alter the color of the artwork and emit a high level of ultraviolet rays that can cause damage and acceleration of fading.

LED lights are the optimal choice to use for your artwork. This new LED technology light creates a natural sunlight color and does not produce harmful ultraviolet rays nor excessive heat. LED lights use 80% less energy than the typical lighting and can last over 50,000 hours with the average use. Companies such as Cocoweb have incorporated this latest technology into their picture lights to guarantee highest quality and satisfaction.

classic picture light
tru slim picture light
Color of Art Light

There are two approaches to picking the color for your picture lights. The first, pick a color that matches the frame. Colors such as gold, brass, silver, bronze, and black are very popular. The second way to choose your picture lights is to pick a color that would complement or accentuate the color scheme of the room where the artwork would be placed.

Need help finding the correct size of picture light? Use our handy calculator below, just enter the dimensions of the painting.

Picture Light Size Calculator

Art Width: Inches
Art Height: Inches