Tips For Lighting Artwork

track-1A good piece of art can bring life and interest to a room. Shedding light on this piece of art can get a little tricky. The temperature of the bulb or the proximity of the fixture can damage the artwork or alter the look of the colors. Whether you want to use in-frame lighting, track lighting on the ceiling, or wall sconces to accent the area around the art, keep some of the following tips in mind.

Oil paintings can be especially difficult to light up because of the way the oil reflects direct lighting. Spectral highlights are created when intense light is directed towards the painting. Using a fully broad based light fixture is best for illuminating oil paintings.


If your painting is larger in scale, in-frame lighting may be a good option. There are many different options for in-frame lighting, some just light up the top of the frame, or the sides, and others light up all the way around it. This type of artwork lighting is a good option for encased paintings that have a glass barrier. It minimizes the glare caused by lights shining on the glass.


Track lighting is the most common type of lighting used in galleries across the nation for illuminating artwork. Track lighting is nice because it typically is adjustable and you can switch the angle the light is pointed to create different moods. Track lighting fixtures are great for photos and other pieces of art. The adjustable units allow you to illuminate one or more pieces of art at a time.

Overhead Light Fixtures

Overhead Light Fixtures are lights that are very common and are directly above the painting or photo on the ceiling. These fixtures can be recessed or a mounted fixture suspended or flush mounted to the ceiling. This type of artwork lighting is best used on frames that don’t have a glass covering because they can cause a glare. Some of these types of fixtures are adjustable and the bulbs can be tilted to angle correctly towards the art.

sconce1If you need help finding the right light fixture for your next art piece in your home, give Harold’s Lighting a call today or stop on by our stores in Bellevue and Seattle. We have tons of artwork light fixtures to choose from and can help you find the right fixture for your home or gallery.