How To Light Pictures & Wall Art

Wall art

Artwork is what showcases the personality of the homeowner and their space. It has a wonderful way of tying all of your interior elements together, whether it’s a focal point or an additional decorative element, it injects some well-needed character onto bare walls. While the pictures and wall art you choose is truly personal to you, the tips on how to light these beautiful pieces are completely universal. Lighting for artwork requires a little more thought and extra attention to detail than simply putting a downlight near it. Here at Dusk Lighting, we have some special tricks to share with you when considering how to light pictures and wall art in your home. 

How to light artwork on a wall

The first factor you need to consider when lighting your artwork is – do you want your artwork to be the feature of the room? Or do you simply want it to be an additional room enhancing piece, where the focus is elsewhere? 

Regardless of which way you want your artwork to be seen, it’s essential you choose the right lighting for the room, the picture and the focus. When choosing to light for your artwork you need to ensure it has the best possible colour rendering.

What is colour rendering? 

Colour rendering index is a quantitative measure of the ability of a light source to reveal the colours of various objects (in this case the picture or artwork) realistically in comparison to a natural light source. This is shown as a ‘Ra’ number on your globe or fitting packaging.

If your lighting is labelled:

Ra80 = 80% of the colour is okay – you will find this is what most quality LEDs score. 

Ra90 = The colour is much more clear – worth considering if you care about colours being shown accurately. 

Ceiling lights 

Ceiling Light Wall Art

If you’re wanting to light individual, stand-out pieces of art, then ceiling mounted spotlights with controlled light and glare make a great option. They can also be an effective option for sculptures or large ornaments.

A beneficial feature of ceiling light is they can be recessed or surface mounted, this means you provide the flexibility to be adjusted in the direction to best suit your art.

Be sure to check the ‘beam spread’, a narrow beam spread is appropriate for a small piece of art, while a wide beam looks more effective for a large piece. If you’re not sure which to choose, consider how much of the artwork the light will be covering – you want to be lighting the majority of the picture or artwork.

When it comes to installation, the centre of the beam should hit the centre of the artwork when it is at a 30-degree angle. Too much will light will provide a glare, less light and you will get shadowing.

At Dusk Lighting, we have a stylish, contemporary range of ceiling lights for you to choose from.  Picking out a ceiling-mounted light to suit your interior, as well as the artwork you’re wanting to highlight, is vital, as you need the room to effortlessly blend in order to provide the right atmosphere.

Wall lights

Wall art lighting

Wall lights are a simple, yet effective, option if you’re not sure where you want your art to be, or you like to switch things up and change your style regularly. 

While they effectively light pictures and wall art, wall lights can also be used to bounce light off a plain white wall to give the illusion the room is more expansive.  

While they are available in many different shapes, sizes and colours, we particularly love this Astro Lights modern picture light as it can be either wall-mounted or mounted directly onto the picture frame. It delivers a wide, even distribution of light which reflects off the artwork appropriately.

Picture lights or artwork lights place the light close to the artwork and can create a dynamic intimacy in a room, particularly when they are the only lights lit. Choosing LED light technology means you don’t need to worry about the heat from the lamp damaging your decorative pieces.

Opting for a bright wall light can highlight your artworks as well indirectly lighting the rest of the room. Here at Dusk Lighting, our selection of modern wall lights offers you wall lighting options in impeccably stylish designs that reflect both popular and timeless interior design trends. 

Why not experiment with children’s wall lights, they are a great way to add some playful decoration to a young child’s bedroom, as can be used to accentuate their favourite picture or character. As well as enhancing your artwork display, wall lights offer additional lighting options for a lounge or hallway, bring a new depth to any room and offer a change of ambience when it’s needed.

Pendant lighting 

Pendant Lighting Art

If you don’t want your artwork to be the stand out feature in the room, rather a decorative interior element, then pendant lighting is the best option for you. 

You still want your pictures and artwork to be well lit, but you don’t need the lighting to be directional. The right pendant light can create diffuse or omni-directional light with no shadows or textures. 

Whether you’ll need pendant lighting for a large space that requires a more statement, central piece, or a  simple space that would benefit from overhead lighting with a stylised feel, Dusk Lighting can help you to create atmosphere and style in an instant. Our pendant lighting options include modern designs in trend-led styles, classic styles of pendant lighting, plus several pendant suspension kits in various finishes to suit the exact space you have to work with.

Choosing artwork for your home 

The Kitchen 

Kitchen artwork

The kitchen can be described as the heart of the home and is some houses, it is the most used room of the house.  Countertops or spaces above cabinets are the perfect homes for art, especially for smaller pieces that complement not overwhelm the space. Whether it’s a quirky quote, a stunning view or some food and drink inspired art,  art in the kitchen adds some much-needed character to the most functional room in the house.

Check out our kitchen lighting trends blog, where you’ll find multi-layering lighting advice and inspiration.

The Bedroom 

A bedroom is a place you go to retreat after a long day,  it’s a place for relaxation and your artwork should reflect that.

Bedroom art

The best place to hang pictures or wall art is above the bed, or the wall directly opposite the bed. 

Large, wide-scale artwork works beautifully and should be hung at eye-level. Abstract artwork or pictures with muted, soothing tones and colours help create the perfect atmosphere for winding down.  If it’s photography you’re a fan of,  desaturated or landscape photos can have a relaxing effect on a room.  Ensure you keep the frames minimal, as you don’t want to overpower the room – you want the art to speak for itself.

The Office

Whether it’s a work or home office, artwork is a great way to personalise and add character to a bland space. Choose artwork that inspires you, it can be an assortment of all kinds of things, from ‘keep going’ quotes to places that you love to visit, create a mood board of your personality.

You can experiment with sizes, shapes and colours to see what really works for you. It’s important to keep these pieces rotated, so you can continue to feel motivated. 

The Bathroom

Bathroom art

The bathroom, like the kitchen, is another room that can be neglected. The artwork you choose should partner well with the vibe of your bathroom, so if your bathroom is predominantly used as a powder room, you should stick to bright, fun pieces. If you prefer a more natural, relaxing space then bring the outside in with nature-inspired art pieces.

Bathroom art looks great in pairs, or sets of three – stacked or side by side. These pieces should follow the same theme and look great over the toilet, bathtub, or towel hooks.  If you have a large bathroom, one large piece of art looks great over a master bath. 

The Living Room 

Living room art

The living room provides the most scope for decorating with art. It’s the place you spend a lot of time, whether you’re entertaining guests, enjoying family time, or simply relaxing alone. Choosing the right piece is elemental in provoking conversation, creating an atmosphere and enhancing your space. A large piece of art works really well placed above the sofa, just make sure it reflects you and the rest of your interior. The trick is getting the balance just right,  you don’t want to overwhelm the space, but you still want it to make an impact, so evaluate your colour choices to complement the rest of the room.

Whether you’re looking to add a decorative touch to your home, or completely revamp your interior, you’ll find high- performance lighting with a high-quality edge here at Dusk Lighting.  Give your artwork the attention it needs by exploring our ceiling lights, wall lights and pendant lights from a vast array of designer brands here.

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