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The Best Artwork & Picture Lighting in 2021: Buying Guide & Reviews

Your choice of artwork lighting product needs to suit not just the artwork and picture it is illuminating but be suitable to install and benefit the whole room it’s going in. These decisions are not just about style and size, but a whole range of specification considerations that allow you to fine tune the optimum method to light your artwork.

Refreshingly simplified but not dumbed down, learn from a lighting designer’s buying guide on choosing the best lighting for artwork & pictures in your home.

For our in depth guide check out our Ultimate Guide On How to Light Artwork & Pictures in Your Home

The Ultimate Guide on How to Choose the Best Lighting for Artwork

There are many ways to light artwork and pictures and your decision on which method is best for will be based upon many questions. So to help you decide we have categorised the methods of picture lighting and answered the most important things to consider

To help determine which methods of lighting artwork could suit you best, learn how to use these techniques: The Best 5 Ways to Light Artwork & Pictures on a Wall

**Best Overall Picture Light Affiliate Link**

Wall Mounted Picture Lights or Remote Picture Lighting: What is the Difference? 

The first thing to consider is where do you have power available for this lighting? It sounds obvious but do check if you can bring power to either the ceiling near the pictures or in the wall that the artwork is mounted on. 

Surface & Wall Mount Artwork Lighting Features

Wall mounted picture lighting concentrates light onto the picture very well creating a pleasing highlight within the room. However the light will predominantly come from the top and spread downwards, so the brightest part of the picture will be at the top. If the picture is not too long then there shouldn’t be too much of a difference between the top and bottom and the eye will assist by helping it look evenly lit.

You can reduce the opportunity for glare to the viewer with wall mounted picture lighting as the light source is neatly hidden and close to the glass of the picture reducing the potential reflectance.

Remotely Lit Artwork Lighting Features

Remotely lit pictures from spotlights or downlights allow the light to spread before reaching the surface of the art, allowing for a more even illumination. However, the installation of remote lighting will need to consider the angle of the light and the beam widths to ensure the light will fall in the middle of the picture. The pay off for a more even illumination of the picture is an increased chance of glare from the reflectance of the light source in the glass and from within the room if you can look up into the light fixture.

Important Features to Consider

Artwork Lighting FAQs

What Size of Picture Light Should You Choose?

The best wall mounted picture lights are the ones that light the whole picture with the minimum amount of light spill over the sides. The goal is for the image to be at its very best, which means an even a light across the surface as possible. 

You must select a width of picture light that is more than half but not any wider than the frame the art sits within. LED picture lighting needs to be more towards the full width if possible as the light created is more directional. A bespoke picture light will be made to suit the size of artwork but that’s appropriate for the very few. 

What are Cordless Picture Lights?

Cordless Picture Lighting runs by battery power requiring no in built lighting power.

A revolution has swept through artwork lighting as the low power consumption of LED sourced light has meant that small enough batteries to fit within a product will light a picture for a decent amount of time. 

However, in our opinion this is a last resort solution as the inconvenience of recharging batteries, the lower output and limited control options are not ideal – but amazing for those areas and old buildings that cannot get power to a much needed space.

LED Lighting for Fine Art

The description of Fine Art, tends to mean valued works of art if not expensive too. The investment emotionally and financially means it should be lit to the highest standards afforded and LED lighting is the perfect solution and a highly recommended source of artwork light.

What are the Best Artwork Lights: Our Top Picture & Artwork Wall Lighting Reviews

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Andrew Orange , the owner of Orange Lighting qualified and worked as an interior designer in 1993 before specialising in lighting working on high profile projects based in London. Since starting Orange Lighting Ltd in 2003 he has been sharing his knowledge and unique teaching style mostly to his designer clients, offering practical real life advice born from running a busy consultancy and lighting supply business. Launching in 2020, his blog has evolved into Quick & Easy Lighting, curating some 25 years design experience into making the lighting choice and design process achievable and easy to understand for all.