Picture lights ensure that works of art or your favorite photos are staged attractively. You can adapt the picture lights to your interior design style by choosing from classic and modern style picture lights. When choosing, you should not only pay attention to the lighting effect and strength but also ensure that the picture light matches the respective picture frame and the entire interior.
Nickel mat, silver, and chrome-plated picture lamps emphasize the modern style of furnishing. On the other hand, gold, bronze and brass-colored picture lights can be easily integrated into a classic interior design style.
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Picture Light Buyers Guide
What should I consider before buying a picture light?
The staging of artworks with picture light needs space. Check beforehand if there is enough space for your ideas. Also, you should check whether there are already power outlets or if you need to install new cables.
Also, think about image size, decor, and wall color first, especially if you decide to install a power cable.
Where can I buy a picture lamp?
You can buy picture lights in various online shops in all colors, materials, types and price ranges.
Of course, you can buy picture lights as well in the hardware store or specialty stores for interior decoration. If you would like to check first which lamp fits best for your purposes, you should try it once in specialty stores.
Another advantage of this is that you can compare different light intensities, light colors, and models on-site and get an idea.
How much is a picture light?
Picture lights are available in all price ranges. You can choose from the simple model for 20 dollars to the extravagant eye-catcher for several hundred dollars.
To give you a small overview, here are the results of our research:
|Picture light with rod design||About 15-950 Dollars|
|Gripper arm-like models||About 20-850 Dollars|
We found picture lights in rod design in different materials in a price range from 15 to 950 dollars. So you can certainly find expensive models if you want to spend that much money.
The gripper arm-like models are between 20 and 850 dollars. In any case, you should consider customer reviews and factors we mention below in the decision-making process
Which material is available and which is suitable for me?
You can find picture lights in different types of materials. In some shops, picture lamps are categorized according to their material.
- Picture lights in chrome
- Picture lights in gold
- Made of brass
- Made of plastic
Also, you can find picture lights that are mainly made of stainless steel. The material of the picture light has a great effect on its price. However, the material can be decisive for the design of the picture lamp.
For example, if you prefer an antique look, brass could be for you.
If you prefer something simple and modern, you should look at the models made of chrome or plastic.
If you like it more extravagant or want to illuminate a very stylish, possibly old picture, you can choose a golden picture light.
Which light colors are there?
You can select between three light colors:
- Warm white
- Neutral White
- Cool white
The light color is determined by the so-called color temperature and its unit is Kelvin. Each light color has a specific effect and influences the mood in the room.
The light color warm white is particularly cozy and relaxing. It is in the range of 2700-3300 Kelvin. The light appears yellowish to reddish and is ideal for the presentation of old paintings and other works.
Also, light color neutral white or daylight white is interesting for the presentation of your pictures. The physical limit for this light color is in the spectrum up to 5300 Kelvin.
This light color is mostly used in places that demand increased vision and concentration. This is the reason why it is very common for most product presentation. This light is also wonderful for artistic installations.
The light color cold white in the physical color spectrum of 5000-6500 Kelvin, on the other hand, only strains the viewer and should not be the first choice in the picture light.
If you want to put a picture in different shades of red, you should opt for this light, because it is very easy to distinguish between reds.
Normally, this light color is more commonly used in areas such as warehouses or garages, as its high blue content prevents the release of melatonin and thus maintains the awake state.
Of course, you can also use this light for your backlight, but especially in living rooms, we would rather advise against it.
For a particularly pleasant atmosphere in the room, we recommend the combination of warm white and neutral white light color.
What kind of light source is there?
Nowadays, most of the manufacturer relies on the use of LED lights. If you are interested in an energy-saving and environmentally friendly solution, then you should also prefer LED instead of a conventional light bulb.
Especially for the gentle presentation of artworks LED light is perfect. Conventional light sources usually have UV light or infrared light, which causes fading and yellowing of artworks.
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Furthermore, these types of bulbs emit significantly less heat to the artwork, thereby preserving the luster of the image for longer.
Even museums and galleries now rely on LEDs. With regard to halogen lamps, on the other hand, it is said that they distort the colors rather than turn them out.
Did you know that museums and galleries use different lights for different exhibits?
In museums, great attention is paid to lighting for the works of art. These should be optimally set in scene by the lighting. Therefore, many different types of lights are used.
Types of picture lights
The lights can be differentiated according to many criteria. It is difficult to point out clear advantages and disadvantages.
There are two types of picture lights according to the power supply:
- Power supply with cord
- Powered by a battery
Depending on whether a power outlet is nearby, a battery-powered light may make sense. Power supply through a cable – preferably with the integrated switch is also suitable in some cases.
Picture light with cord
Logical is that you can let the light on as long as necessary and you do not have to worry about replacing the batteries. With them, charging time, replacing batteries or diminishing light output will not bother you.
Depending on the model, picture lights with a cord can give a very classy look.
For hiding cord, you can play with the wall color, the cable color or even the lay the cable behind a cover.
Permanent power supply
No battery that needs charging
Once installed you have an impressive setting for the presentation.
High power consumption, if no integrated switch.
Also, make sure that the lamp has a switch. Otherwise, it will consume unnecessary energy.
Picture light with battery
Quick assembling and removing, this picture light is ideal for fast-changing exhibition venues. Also, there is no (visually) disruptive cable that you need to cover.
Also, you don’t need to pay any electricity bill, if you forget to turn off the lamp. In the worst case, you just need to replace the battery.
Lower power consumption through conscious, manual control and limited battery life
No installation of a power supply
Regular charging or replacement of the battery
The lower light intensity with an almost used battery
Depending on the model, the battery installation can also be a bit cumbersome.
If you always want to present bright light, you have to keep an eye on the lamp to detect a fading power supply early.
Another distinction that appeals to aesthetes is the “design”. In principle, you could use any kind of lamp for lighting your pictures. However, picture lights are specifically designed to illuminate images in suitable light intensity, light color and form the correct angle.
This special type of light is usually also referred to as display light since they are part of the visualization of the artwork.
Decisive in the selection of the type is the desired type of presentation, the style of the rest of the room as well as your personal preference.
The rod-like type is probably the more common way of illuminating the picture. You can attach this lamp above, below or also to the side of your picture. For the perfect light, you can also bend them from different angles. Depending on the material, it can look very elegant and simple.
You can find this type of picture lights in many museums and galleries. So if you need some inspiration, it’s best to stop by nearby museums. There you watch out for the color of the light and the intensity of the light to make a good decision later.
The second, arm-like type, on the other hand, is the slightly more conspicuous variant. If lighting and painting are to be presented together as an effective work of art, this type of lamp could be the right one for you.
Depending on the style and material of the picture light you can create a modern or antique impression.
For example, a picture lamp made of brass or chrome can stylishly showcase your pictures.
It does not necessarily have to be works of art of bygone eras. Even modern art can be presented with such picture lights.
Maybe you also prefer a break in the style of image and light bulb? Then present a modern image with an antique-looking lamp or the other way round.
Things to consider in picture lights
In the following, we will mention things to consider for comparing and evaluating picture lights. This will make it easier for you to decide which lamp is right for you or not.
In summary, these are:
- Type of picture light
- Light color
- Other features
In the following paragraphs, you can read about these factors in detail.
Type of picture light
Depending on the room, you can choose between the rod-like shape or with a gripper arm-like shape with flexible orientation.
In some cases, you can also use a ceiling or floor lamp. However, is not ideal for presenting your artwork.
While furniture or other furnishings tend to rely on indirect lighting, we recommend direct lighting for staging pictures.
You should also think about the material of the lamp. So here you usually have the choice between brass, chrome, gold or plastic.
The material does not necessarily affect the quality of the light, but the style and design of the picture lamp.
Picture light made of brass
Picture lights made of brass are probably the classic and also the most popular material. They present the picture in style and make even an eye-catcher.
It is available in numerous designs and colors. In some cases, in the right light, it can even look like it’s made of pure gold.
So if you are looking for an elegant and classic lighting solution, a brass lamp is definitely for you.
Picture light made of chrome and plastic
Chrome and plastic are used primarily in modern picture lights. They are usually kept simpler than a brass lamp.
If you are looking for a simple and unobtrusive picture light that will make your picture shine in the right light, a chrome or plastic lamp is right for you.
Picture light made of gold
Gold picture light is perfect for stylishly displaying your work of art. They are rather daring, but they are especially impressive in older or even antique paintings and pictures.
So if you want to put this kind of picture in the right light or just make a statement, this type of lamp is probably perfect for you.
We also always recommend lights with a dimmer, as these can optimally stage the picture and can also greatly influence the mood in the picture and the entire room.
As already described in the guide you have the choice of three different shades for your lighting – warm white, neutral white and cold white. In any case, we recommend the use of warm white as well as neutral white or daylight white light.
When buying an LED light source, make sure you have sufficient light output. Also, the color rendering index should be for the most perfect and faithful reproduction at CRI> 90.
Of course, you can also pay attention to the weight (especially with the battery-powered lamps) or the dimensions. Whereby there are not too great differences in the latter.
The battery capacity can be an important point for you or even which light source you can use. Some lights only work with one type, others may use different bulbs.
Any seals or test certificates strengthen the confidence in the manufacturer and can make the difference for you between otherwise equivalent lights.
Similarly, an on / off switch is useful, especially for individuals who operate their lamps individually and not turn off all the lights at the end of the day as in the museum at once.
Are picture lights dimmable?
You can certainly find models with the dimmable feature. For some models, however, the light color can be changed. This too can decisively influence the mood in the room.
How do I attach a picture lamp to the wall?
Most manufacturers provide picture lights with the bracket for attachment to the wall. All you need is a screwdriver.
It is best to hold in the desired position beforehand and mark the points of the wall with a pencil which you would like to use for the screws.
Then you can drill the holes in these very places and fix them with dowels. This will later ensure a better and more stable hold of your picture light.
It is best to use a spirit level to attach the picture light to prevent the lamp from being slanted at the end and losing its charm.
How do I attach a picture light to the ceiling?
The other way to stage your pictures is the lighting by lamps on the ceiling. The process is the same as described above.