11 Oct Best Lighting For Fine Art
Displaying fine art safely can be a challenge. It’s sensitive to heat and UV radiation, it’s difficult to bring out every detail, and you don’t want anything distracting from the art itself.
Given these obstacles, it’s also a challenge to find the right light and fixture to make your art stand out. That problem has been solved, though. In terms of aesthetics, preservation and concealability, no other art lighting fixture can outperform a framing projector.
Framing Projectors Are The Ultimate Art Lighting Option
There are multiple options for lighting fine art, but most of them are limited in some ways. Frame-mounted fixtures, for example, are so close to the art that they can cause heat-related damage. Track lighting is a popular option, but they lack framing ability. Then there are floor-mounted uplights or recessed downlights, but they sit at extreme angles that distract rather than accentuate the art.
You could go back and forth with these options, or you could get the best of all worlds and go with a framing art projector. Here’s why homeowners, museums and art galleries are choosing projectors:
- Framing projectors can be completely concealed – You don’t want your art lighting fixtures to stick out and distract from the artwork itself. That’s not a problem with framing projectors, as they’re designed for in-ceiling installation. Once placed, the fixture itself has no presence in the room. It takes up no space and produces no visual clutter.
Overall, it’s a sleek, minimalist look that can fit in any type of setting, whether it’s a home, business or museum.
- Framing projectors can be positioned nearly anywhere – Unless you’re hanging a painting inside a closet, there is room for a projector. In difficult spaces where layout, architectural features or furniture would interfere with the lights, a projector will fit.
Because framing projectors take up a minute amount of space in the room, you can place one wherever it works best. They’re designed to work optimally when placed at an angle relative to the subject, so don’t worry about reserving ceiling space.
- Framing projectors illuminate the subject only – One of the most compelling features of a framing projector is its ability to frame the artwork using illumination. What this means is that the projector can be adjusted so that its beam only strikes any piece (or pieces) it’s aimed at. Everything else around the subject, including the wall it’s mounted on, is left untouched.
The effect is impressive. The subject is brilliantly illuminated compared to everything around it, and the contrast in brightness brings out the subject’s beauty like no other lighting technique can.
Also, because the projector is placed at an angle and not aimed at the subject’s center, there should be no glare from any standard viewing angle. If desired, the projector can be angled so that shadows are minimized as well.
- Framing projectors are safe to use with delicate art – Framing projectors are typically installed at a considerable range from the subject. Exactly how far depends on how the projector’s optics are calibrated, but these projectors are designed to throw a beam a long way without a drop in lighting quality.
Because they are positioned so far away, framing projectors do not pose a heat risk to any paintings or sensitive subjects. They are also well out of reach of anyone, so they cannot be tampered with or cause injury.
There’s a lot to like about framing projectors, but that’s the fixture. What about the light engine powering everything inside the projector? What lamps do lighting professionals recommend?
Is LED Lighting Good For Fine Art? Museums Use Them, So Yes!
As time goes on, LED bulbs are replacing legacy lighting technologies in one application after another. Now, LEDs are lighting art better than any other source available. While halogen has long been the world art lighting champion, an LED lamp is now recommended for art lighting fixtures, including projectors. Here’s why:
- LEDs produce high quality illumination – Halogen was the first choice in art lighting for so long because of its color rendering capabilities and lighting intensity. LED lighting lagged in these areas for a while, but the engineering behind LED lighting has improved greatly in the last couple of decades.
Now, there are plenty of LED lights available that score well on the color rendering index (CRI). CRI measures how well a particular bulb is at rendering colors accurately. The closer to 100, the closer the lamp is to natural sunlight. Lamps rated 90 and above are considered good choices for art lighting, and there are plenty of LEDs that exceed this score. With their excellent color rendering capabilities, LED art lights present their subjects accurately and vividly.
- LEDs emit minimal heat and UV radiation – LED lighting is extremely efficient and uses almost all of its power on emitting within the visible spectrum. In other words, heat and UV emissions are minimal, which is good, because both will cause damage to the artwork with time. Compared to all others, LED lighting emits low levels of both.
- LEDs last longer than all other lighting options – Once your projector is in the ceiling, you probably won’t want to mess with it much. Set and forget, ideally. LED lamps fit into this approach perfectly because they last much longer than other lighting options, especially halogen.
With halogen, you’ll only get 2,000 or so hours of light before the lamp needs to be replaced. An LED lamp, on the other hand, will last 50,000 hours or so before replacement is required.
For collectors who want to keep their art lighting on as much as possible without having to constantly switch out bulbs – LED art lights were made for you.
A Projector Will Show Your Artwork In A New Light
Framing projectors are purpose-built for displaying artwork, so it’s no surprise that they do it better than any other fixture. With their concealability, flexibility and high-quality performance, framing projectors make sense for everyone, from casual collectors to world-class museums.
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