How To Light An Art Gallery

How To Light An Art Gallery

Art is almost as old as sentience in human beings. It has been found in almost all archeological sites involving human beings. It seems that art is something that we enjoy because we are human beings. So to enhance the beauty of art, people have created techniques to make art look more pleasing and aesthetic. Since most of the art at art expos involve visual art, lighting is one of the most obvious go-to solutions to make the art pop. Here are some of the best ways to make use of lighting to make an art gallery look mesmerizing.

Ceiling Mounted Accent Lighting

Spotlights that direct light right into the artwork is one of the most eye pleasing ways to light a painting or any form of artwork. The ceiling fixtures may have surface mounted or recessed, and have settings for changing the spread of light from them so that the light does not get concentrated on one spot and ruin the feel of the aesthetic.


Track Lights

Track lights are used in places where the displays always keep changing. With the advances in technology, track lights offer the same general aesthetic of a ceiling mounted accent, but with some advantages and scope for flexibility.

Wall Washers

These are probably the ones you have most commonly seen in art galleries. These lights may be surface mounted, track or recessed according to requirement, washing the entire wall in light, hence the name. Wall washers are used when a wall is dedicated especially for art displays. It not only displays the art in a perspective light, but also illuminates the room as well.

Picture Lights

These lights are placed very close to the artwork. They are used to illuminate the artwork in particular. It makes the art stand out with respect to the rest of the wall, enhancing the art work. They can be used to illuminate both small and large art works, with the luminous intensity required differing according to the size of the painting. The walls need not be altered at all, which makes it all the more attractive to install. It also adds to the general appearance of the room.


  1. Surface: If the painting is framed behind glass, it is best to adjust the lighting so that glare does not ruin the viewing experience. The lighting can also emphasize or reduce shadows according to the requirement. It is usually used this way in oil and acrylic paintings.
  2. Frame: The lighting can have an impact on the type of frame to be used on an artwork. If picture lights are used, a substantial frame should be used that can support the lighting equipment. However, if ceiling or wall mounted lights are used, thinner frames can be used.