Underestimating the need for art studio lighting is a common mistake of the casual or novice art collector. Too often, an enthusiastic patron returns home with a new work of art, excited at the prospect of displaying it in a prominent position in the home for his or her personal enjoyment and the appreciation of visitors, only to discover that, no matter where it is placed, the piece is masked in shadow, its beauty marred by poor lighting. An art lamp is the solution. Art studio lighting is as important to properly displaying a work of art as a quality frame is.
Quite simply, no matter how well-lit a room may be, no enclosed space can provide adequate lighting for a piece of artwork. Art studio lighting is a must for the proper display of art. A trip to any museum or studio will confirm this fact. One will quickly notice, no matter how brightly lit the display room is, whether it has natural or electric lights, the works of art are invariable lit, individual, by art lamps or other studio lighting dedicated specifically to the task to casting the artwork in full light.
Art studio lighting serves three primary functions. Firstly, it ensures that the artwork is fully lit, so that it can be fully appreciated without being, in anyway, obscured by shadow. Secondly, the art lamp or other light serves to draw the eye so that the artwork is the first thing that a person notices upon entering a room; it makes the artwork a central feature of the room, rather than just a secondary decoration. Thirdly, studio lighting serves to add to the ambience of the room. All other lights can be extinguished and the viewer can still navigate the room easily, while the artwork is left standing out in bright relief, the primary visual aspect of the space.
There are several types of lighting. Track lighting is a popular form of art lighting that is highly functional and versatile. Tracks are usually mounted on the ceiling, but can be mounted on the wall space surrounding the work to be lighted or even on the floor in front of the piece of art. The major benefit of track lighting art lamps is that the lamps are easily repositioned, so the same track lighting can be used for different artworks. The lamps can even be turned outward to light the room.
Cable lighting is a similar method of art lighting. In this method, the art lamps are hung on stringers along the ceiling, rather than on tracks. The result is art lighting that cannot be reconfigured but does, especial when artistic shades or bulbs are used, add to the artistic ambience of the room significantly.
Projector art studio lighting is another popular method of highlighting artwork. This method of art lighting can often be found in museums. It is popular because it allows for remotely controlled adjustment of lighting levels. Projector art lamps can focus light, too, allowing the owner to cast a tight spotlight beam on a piece, which can produce a very dramatic effect, especially in an otherwise darkened room.
Another method of lighting popular in museums and among private collectors is the use of frame lighting. This style of art studio lighting uses small art lamps affixed to the frame of the artwork itself (some high-end frames come with lighting installed, in fact). Frame art lamps are popular because they use less energy and produce less heat, while ensuring that a piece of art is optimal lighted.
Each style of art studio lighting has its own merits and none can be said to be truly better than the rest. Ultimately, the choice of art lamp should be made by considering the optimal light for the piece of art being displayed and the desired environment for its display. Good lighting can transform a space into an elegant, visually pleasing artistic success.
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