Showcase Your Best With Picture Lighting

Art picture lighting

Art picture lighting

By Clarissa Allison | June 19th, 2015

If you’re like us, you are proud of the artwork you’ve chosen to adorn the walls of your home or business. A framed movie poster, an original oil painting, or even a stylish wall hanging all serve to bring color, and life to a room. Make sure that the images that have been so carefully selected are seen in their full splendor with the right lighting.

The right lighting scheme can make all the different in how your artwork appears. In many cases, a picture light can be a welcome addition to any decorating scheme. Picture lights are designed specifically to accent any type of artwork or wall display. They can be mounted to avoid unattractive shadows and so that the heat from the light does not cause any damage to your artwork. Read on for some of the great picture lighting options available on the website.

Styles of Picture Lights

Picture lights are available in many different styles and can suit a wide variety of rooms. The main difference between the different styles of picture lights is how the lights are affixed. Some picture lights are attached to the wall above the picture, others hang from the ceiling above the picture, and still others can be clamped directly to the picture itself.


Bruck Lighting Scorpio Display Picture LightWall Mounted Picture Lights

Wall mounted picture lightsas the name suggests, are attached to the wall near the artwork that is to be lit. Usually, these lights are affixed just above where the picture hangs. The benefit being that the artwork can be exchanged easily and the location will remain beautifully lit.

In order to use a wall-mounted picture light effectively, there will need to be room between the picture and the ceiling for the light to be attached. Because of this, wall-mounted lights are a good solution for very high ceilings, where mounting a light to the ceiling would not be practical.

Wall-mounted lights will generally have a base that is attached firmly to the wall and often sport an arm that extends from the wall with the light attached. Sometimes the arm will extend just enough to provide light for the picture, but others will be stylized so that the arm protrudes a great deal from the wall and can snake back around to light the artwork. The right choice for you depends on the space and personal preferences for your decor.

Jesco Lighting Low Voltage Picture Light

Jesco Lighting Low Voltage Picture Light

Ceiling Mounted Picture Lights

When a piece of art or a picture is hung near to the ceiling, or is large enough to reach from floor to ceiling, it may make more sense to purchase ceiling-mounted picture lights. Ceiling-mounted picture lights are available in a few different styles. One of the most popular styles is recessed lighting that actually becomes part of the construction of the room. The result of installing recessed lights can be very modern and attractive. A similar effect can be achieved with track lights that are attached to the ceiling rather than built into it. Depending on the height of the ceiling, choosing this type of picture light may mean they are difficult to adjust or reposition when the picture is changed out and a new lighting scheme is needed.

Tiella Cable Kit 800CBL5PN Matte Nickel

Tiella Cable Kit 800CBL5PN Matte Nickel

Clamp On Picture Lights

Some picture lights can be attached to the picture itself. These lights may simply secure to the back of the picture frame and then arc out over the picture to light it from the front. There are also styles  that actually clip over the edge of the frame and rest on the top of the picture. These lights add their own statement as they actually become an integral piece of the art they are lighting. This is probably not the best choice for very expensive frames or artwork to avoid any accidental damage.

Picture Light Sizes

When shopping for picture lights, it is important to keep in mind the size of the artwork or wall hanging that is to be lit. The size of picture light that will be required to light the picture will depend on the size of the picture itself. The following table can be used to determine what picture light will be necessary to light a picture of a given size.

Width of Picture Frame

Size of Picture Light Required

8 inches to 14 inches 4.5-inch light
12 inches to 18 inches 5.5-inch light
16 inches to 24 inches 7-inch to 9-inch light
25 inches to 37 inches 14.5-inch light to 16-inch light
more than 35 inches 30-inch light


Bulbs For Picture Lights

It is important to choose the right light bulbs for the most flattering effect. Museums, which are tasked with lighting all manner of precious objects and artwork, typically use bulbs which mimic the look of sunlight indoors, and without the same damaging effects. The bulbs used should have a color temperature between 3500K and 4100K for the best results.


Lighting pictures may seem like a luxury that is only appropriate for stately homes where invaluable portraits abound. However, giving proper light to any piece of art, whether it is a family photo, a movie poster, or an original painting, makes it that much more elegant.  Purchasing a functional and stylish picture light does not have to be a complicated or expensive endeavor. By following the aforementioned tips, it should not be difficult to illuminate your favorite work of art in a way that brings new life into your space.

For questions or comments on picture lighting, please call or email us at 1-877-385-2104 and


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