How To Choose The Picture Light - SEEDIQ

How To Choose The Picture Light

Sympathetic lighting is essential for enhancing any artwork, but exceptional artwork deserves an extraordinary touch. Illuminating artwork requires expertise in the field, employing a range of advanced technologies and lighting design techniques to create custom lighting solutions for exquisite art collections and individual masterpieces.

There isn't a single universally perfect method for lighting art; the most suitable approach depends on various factors such as the art style, medium, artwork size, surrounding environment, and available fixture points. Additional considerations include the frequency of artwork changes and the desired level of illumination.

It's important to acknowledge that all light, to some degree, can affect paintings. For precious artworks, particularly delicate watercolors, the optimal preservation method is to keep them in darkness. However, in order to appreciate and derive enjoyment from paintings, they require illumination. Therefore, it is crucial to employ light sources that minimize damage and offer precise control, allowing for adjustable light intensity and duration to protect the artwork adequately.

Avoid direct natural light

Direct sunlight poses a significant risk to artworks due to its UV and infrared light, which can cause fading and deterioration of pigments in paints or prints. To safeguard your artworks, it is crucial to keep them away from strong natural light sources. Even indirect natural light, although less harmful, can still cause damage to flooring and furniture if exposed directly.

We recommend north-facing light as the optimal choice for art display, with some artist studios specifically advertising this feature. Alternatively, a simpler approach is to select a wall for your artwork where direct daylight does not directly hit its surface, minimizing the risk of light damage. By strategically placing your artworks away from direct natural light, you can help preserve their integrity and longevity.

How To Evaluate The Existing Room Lighting

  • If the room appears dim, it might be necessary to introduce supplementary lighting to improve the overall illumination.
  • The lighting requirements for artwork on the wall depend on the specific type of artwork being displayed. Darker prints typically necessitate more illumination compared to lighter prints.
  • The approach to illuminating a fine art print can vary based on personal preferences and the desired effect. Some individuals prefer to rely on the existing ambient lighting in the room to illuminate the print, while others opt for picture light installations to accentuate the artwork.
  • Are the picture light dimmable?Picture light usually use wall mounted switches to adjust brightness, but some wireless battery operated picture lights can be adjusted for brightness and color temperature through a remote control, and even have a timer function.


Techniques for Hanging Artworks


  • Ideal height for photographic prints and paintings is 5-5.5 feet off the ground, aligning with average adult eye level.
  • Light fixtures should be angled at around 30 degrees to minimize glare.
  • Direct sunlight should be avoided on the surface of the print as it can cause damage and fading due to UV light exposure. However, indirect sunlight is generally considered acceptable.
  • Considering the potential risks involved, such as the presence of electrical and water lines, it is advisable to have a professional handle the installation of prints on the wall. Their expertise ensures a safe and secure installation. However, if you feel confident and have another person to assist you, it is possible to install the artwork yourself. Just remember to exercise caution and follow proper guidelines to ensure a straightforward and successful installation.


How to choose the most suitable Art Light?


In order to illuminate artworks, different light bulbs have different effects. There are hundreds of different light bulbs to choose from in the market, but only a few are suitable for art lighting. The best light bulb can cover most of the visible spectrum while avoiding harmful wavelengths emitted beyond the visible spectrum. Infrared (IR) and ultraviolet (UV) are unpopular wavelengths as they may cause damage to artwork. When choosing a light bulb, there are several important points to consider:


  • Kelvin temperature, measured in degrees Kelvin (K), determines the color appearance of light emitted by a lightbulb. Lower color temperatures, such as 2700K, produce warmer light with a yellow/orange tone. Higher color temperatures, like 5000K, generate cooler light with a blue tone, while neutral color temperatures around 4000K produce white or neutral light.


In residential settings, lightbulbs with color temperatures ranging from 2700K to 4000K are commonly used as they provide the most pleasing illumination. For specific areas, preferences vary. Bedrooms, living rooms, and dining rooms generally benefit from 2700K to 3500K lighting, while kitchens, offices, and workspaces tend to favor 3000K to 4000K lighting.

Regarding artwork viewing, studies suggest that the optimal Kelvin temperature falls within the range of 3600K to 3800K. This range provides a balanced and visually appealing illumination for appreciating artworks.


  • CRI (Color Rendering Index) measures a light source's ability to show colors accurately compared to natural daylight. Lightbulbs with CRI values above 90 are excellent for illuminating fine art prints.

R9 is a scale that specifically measures how accurately a light source renders the color red. Since red can be challenging to reproduce faithfully, it's important to consider a light's ability to render this color accurately. The maximum value on the R9 scale is 100. For lighting fine art prints, light source with R9 values above 80 are considered excellent as they provide exceptional rendering of red colors.

Lumens are the unit of measurement used to quantify the brightness of a light source. The higher the number of lumens, the brighter the light emitted. It's important to note that watts are no longer used to determine brightness but rather indicate the energy consumption of a light source. Lumens have become the standard for indicating the brightness level of a light source.

LED Picture Light:

LED light source have quickly become the preferred choice for illuminating fine art prints due to their superior color rendering, energy efficiency, long lifespan, and dimming capabilities. Their advancements in quality have made them the main sources of light in homes and a replacement for fluorescents in businesses.


LED light source offer several advantages for lighting artwork, including high energy efficiency, long lifespan (10-20+ years), and the absence of ultraviolet (UV) and infrared (IR) light emissions. However, they do have some drawbacks, such as a higher upfront cost and potential flickering when dimmed. To power the light, a cord may need to be run up the wall, which may not be aesthetically pleasing, or you can also choose a wireless and battery operated LED picture lamp, also you can choose a LED picture lamp that is powered by connecting the wires on the back of the LED picture lamp. This way, no additional wires will be exposed, making it very beautiful.


Considering these factors, it is highly recommended to choose LED picture light for lighting artwork. When selecting Picture Light, opt for a color temperature between 2700-4000K, with 2700K-3000K preferred for bedrooms, living rooms, and dining rooms, and 3000K-4000K preferred for kitchens, offices, and workspaces. Additionally, prioritize art lighting with a CRI above 90, R9 above 80, and a low flicker index.


Final Thoughts

Properly illuminating artwork is crucial for its appreciation. When selecting a LED Picture Light, consider the space, choose one designed for artwork, ensure adjustable lighting, and consider dimming capabilities. Install and position it correctly for optimal display.

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