picture of led light

LED Lighting vs Incandescent Lights

Before selecting the ideal artwork lights, ask yourself the following one question.

What kind of light bulbs should I use?

  • LED Lighting: LED lighting is the best option for displaying priceless artwork. LED lights emit minimal heat and UV radiation, and they have a long lifespan. As a result, neither infrared nor ultraviolet radiation is harmful. Although LEDs have a higher initial cost, they last a long time and are energy-efficient.They also work well when there isn't much space between the light source and the artwork. Both warm and cool color temperatures are available for them. Many prestigious institutions are transitioning to LED lighting. Seek out lamps with a high Color Rendering Index (CRI).
  • Incandescent Lights:casting warm and comforting light. However, due to their excessive emission of warm light, traditional incandescent lighting should be avoided. Furthermore, their efficiency is lower than that of LEDs.

    Halogen lights produce more heat but have a cooler tone. Maintain a safe distance between yourself and the artwork, and consider using a UV filter to cover the lightbulb. Halogen lights are ideal for illuminating most artwork because they emit pure white light.

  • Fluorescent Lighting: Using fluorescent lighting to illuminate artwork is not recommended. UV radiation emitted by the lights can cause damage to the artwork by accelerating color fading and distorting its appearance.




Light color



Energy efficiency

Less efficient

More efficient


1,000 hours

50,000 hours

Average cost

$2 – $3 per bulb

$5 – $10 per bulb

Bulb heat

Loses energy as heat

Minimal heat loss

Consider the longevity of your artwork when choosing lighting. Determining the optimal lighting conditions to preserve the artwork is the primary consideration when selecting the appropriate lighting. Aesthetic preferences should come second. Harsh lighting choices can often lead to heat and light damage, resulting in brittleness and permanent color distortion.