You have questions... We have answers!
In our first "We Have Questions" post, we're going to hit one of the more common questions we receive. While these answers might not be the end all for every situation, they will be generally applicable to most of our customers. If you are a gallery, museum or retail location, please remember that we do offer consulting services for specific needs or requests. Our goal here is not to create extra angst for anyone but just to offer some common sense expertise for how to best utilize your artwork to get the most enjoyment from it. In the event that all you have is a nail, some wire and ambient light, you can make that work too (just make sure the art won't fall off the wall!)
One of our more common ones is... How do I light my print? Here are a couple basic guidelines. Let's start with what not to do. The only WRONG ways to light a print are: 1) With direct sunlight. 2) With Halogen, Spot or UV lights. 3) Directly. So long as you avoid those 3 things mistakes, just about anything else is workable. In all candor you probably don't need to do this, just like your car doesn't need a bra and your windows don't have to be tinted in order for you to get 99% of the use out of your car, you don't need to perfectly light your print.. But lighting the print really does help.
First, let's get some groundwork out of the way. For the average home exhibition, your normal ambient light during the day will be sufficient. If the wall is well lit the print will be too. But for those times where you're concerned with showcasing the print itself, here's 2 suggestions, the "professional, budget doesn't matter approach" and then the more normal one for the rest of us. Second, you might want to take lighting in to account when you pick where the print will hang. Your preferred location may be too far away from an outlet/junction box, in an area of uneven ambient light or just too hard to light well. You might find a second choice spot that saves time, money and effort in regard to lighting and that might make your second choice spot a better option.
The point behind all of this? A well lit print will be able to communicate its message in more vibrant colors as long as the lights are on. If you correctly light art you will find the colors are more vibrant, the details are more obvious and the tone of the piece is likely more pleasant. And for the pieces we publish here at Tapestry, anytime the lights are on, the Gospel Message will be clearly proclaimed to the viewer.
For most in home applications, the best thing in the world to do is go to your local hardware store (The AFA is suggesting a boycott of Home Depot right now for their support of homosexuals so head's up there) and get a some track lighting. You want a minimum of 3 bulbs with a preference to 5+. (If you are lighting a landscape painting like The Resurrection Mural, get 2 tracks). Make sure you have a dimmer switch (in a perfect world you would have a wall dimmer switch but you can also get a track with a dimming knob). For lights, choose non-halogen non-UV FLOOD lights. Do not get spot lights. Mount the light so that the middle light is down the middle of the print. Then what you want to do is create an X on the wall with the outer lights and a flood down the center with the middle light. The goal is NOT to light the PRINT. You want to light the WALL that the print is on. Make sense? That means that print, and the wall on either side for at least 18-24 inches, should be well lit in even pleasant lighting. The X that you create will cast a nice even glow over the entire piece. If you find that your X's are too obvious or cause uneven lighting, move the track further from the piece or lower the dimmer switch. Each location requires a little trial and error adjustment to find that perfect balance. Then.. You're done! Be careful with any electrical work and if you have any hesitation ask an electrician. You can do this for about $75-$150 and literally have lighting as good as most galleries.
If money is no object... go hire a professional art lighting company. Put each bulb on its own channel and get museum grade art lights or better yet dramatic stage lighting with UV filters (like they would have at a concert). You're looking at a minimum of $1000-1500+. Which if you're lighting a $50,000 original in a 40 foot cathedral ceiling makes sense. If it's a $475 print you're probably better off buying more prints!
Last but not least, the concept is NOT to light the ART. The concept is to light the wall the art is on. Hope that helps!
"You have Questions" is a monthly feature of the Tapestry Blog. If you have a question you'd like answered, please send us an email at email@example.com.
This post contains general information and is not to be considered a guide for any specific situation. Please apply the tips and techniques in this post with caution. Tapestry Productions assumes no liability for the use, misuse or damage resulting from the implementation of or deviation from these suggestions. When in doubt, please do not attempt any of these techniques.
Posted on September 12, 2011 10:13 AM
Comments : 0
Join the Ron DiCianni Artists Circle now to receive free newsletters, product discounts and first glimpses at art in progress!