DIY Planning for Lighting Artwork at Home


Light can accentuate a piece of art hanging on a wall, or do the opposite. Yes, that is true. Different types of artworks need to be lighted differently. While you’ll need to rely on an art installation service in New York City for professional installation of all artwork you’ve gathered over the years, you can plan lighting on your own and let a local NYC based electrician do the rest.

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Choose Lighting Depending upon Whether a Piece of Art has a Frame or Not

Not just the type of artwork but frame too is important when deciding on lighting.

While a recessed light, spotlight or mantel light can do the trick for a wall sculpture, a small frame or any other artwork without a frame, a bigger artwork with a frame can have an attached light unit.

Do consider the weight of the light unit before taking a final call. The artwork should be able to comfortably support the weight.

Choosing the Right Type of Light for Your Artwork
Fluorescent, halogen and incandescent lights can be chosen depending upon the kind of illumination you need.

  • Halogen lights –
  • These light units will produce peaceful, white light but they also generate heat. So, keep them as far away from the artwork as possible.

  • Fluorescent lights –
  • These lights are not generally recommended. Expert art installers in NYC or elsewhere do not recommend florescent lights because they distort colors and may also damage delicate pieces due to prolonged exposure to UV rays. Using these lights for lighting photographs or regular posters, however, is not a problem.

  • Incandescent lights –
  • These lights produce warm colors that accentuate certain artwork, especially those with yellow and red colors.

Choosing the Right Fixture Style for Lighting Artwork

Among all other options including recessed lights, picture lights and mantel lights, track lighting is most preferred in and around the city. If you’ve got many pieces installed on a wall, track lighting will offer the best solution. You can either choose to accent just one/two pieces or highlight the entire wall evenly.

Final Words

While choosing the position & intensity of light, it is absolutely necessary to aim for the lowest possible glare and negligible or zero heat damage. Most art installers know the basics of lighting and they can advise you well. At times, they may not be able to install the lights themselves and that’s when you’d need the assistance of a professional electrician. At times, you may not even need to install additional lights. In many cases, adjusting the existing light fixtures, changing their angle or replacing the bulb, for example, can do the trick!

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