Once you have decided on a print, and where you plan to hang it, lighting the work is the next recomended step; this will enhance the beauty and bring the image to life. Properly lighting your piece of fine art can really show it’s true detail and get the attention it deserves. A properly lit piece of art showcases the details, colors and depth of a fine art print and illuminates it in a way to maximize it’s beauty.
The most common way to effectively light is to install a ceiling fixture, like a flush mount, or a track light which will focus on the individual print. Most fixtures allow you to use the bulb type of your choice, so you are free to use the fixture that most aligns with the aesthetics of your home. When you point the bulb at the image, focus on highlighting the center of attention within the print. If you are hanging the print for an extended period, ceiling-mounted fixtures are the best way to light up my work.
Ceiling Light Placement
Correctly placing your fixture is essential to getting the most out of light. Install ceiling lights so that the light has an angle of about 30° to the print, add 5° if its a very large print. If the fixture is placed too directly overhead, you will have harsh shadows down the image. If the light angle is too flat, then you can get unpleasant glare or hot spots on the image.
A more economical solution to a ceiling fixture is a mount light, these mount directly on the prints frame, or in the case of a float mount, you may need to mount to the wall. This style of lighting works well, an is a good alternative to a ceiling light
Bulbs & Color Temperature
One of the most important things you can do with your new purchase is to keep it out of direct sunlight. Many print mediums will fade over time if kept in direct sunlight. In addition, halogen bulbs can also damage artwork over time if lit from a close distance due to heat and UV. The best choice is an LED bulb. There are a number of choices in color temperatures with LED bulbs. If you add a dimmer to that LED oh boy will you be in for a treat, the different life the print will take at each dimmer interval.
Color temperature of a lightbulb is extremely important to make sure your image appears as it should. A light bulb under 2500k will produce very warm colors whereas a color range above 4500k is too cool and will make most artwork appear blue-ish. You want to shoot for around 2500k to 4000k for your artwork with around 3000 usually being the best.