Showcase Your Art with Picture Lights
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Picture lights are a great way to showcase your artwork and framed photos. You can also hang them on built-in bookcases to highlight your collection of tomes and favorite accessories. An important thing to know is how to select the right size picture light for what you are choosing to highlight. Here are 3 simple steps to finding the right light for you: Measure the width of your art. If framed, include the frame in your measurement. For best results, choose a picture light that is about 1/2 the width of your artwork If you are using a light with a slim, small profile, you may have to select a slightly larger light in order to illuminate the entire piece. Popular Features and Styles: Wall Mounted Wall mounted picture lights provide a clean and classic look and are mounted on the wall above your artwork and you can choose between a plug-in design or a hard-wired fixture. Plug-in picture lights will typically have the cord hanging down the wall. You can conceal the cords behind shelving or furniture. The hard-wired option has no visible cords or wires and is installed directly into a junction box and is controlled by a switch ( with dimmers, please! ) Frame Mounted This type, as the name suggests, mounts directly on the frame itself and is ideal for artwork that has a wide or large ornate frame. Like wall-mounted picture lights, there are plug-in and hard-wired options available. Battery Powered Picture Lights Battery powered picture lights are perfect for a clean and streamlined look , and, because there are no wires, they can be installed pretty much anywhere. Tip: Even the most efficient models need to have their batteries replaced from time to time, so if you plan on using the light a lot, you should opt for a plug-in or hard-wired design. Track Style Lighting Track lighting is usually mounted on a ceiling, but certain designs can also be hung on a wall. This type of lighting is hard-wired and needs to be installed in a ceiling or wall junction box. Track lighting is composed of a long bar with multiple lights that can be adjusted and aimed as needed; they are ideal for illuminating a large wall or gallery-style area. Plug-In Picture Lights As we mentioned above, plug-in picture lights mount to the wall and typically require brackets or mounting hardware, which is typically included with the fixture. Once mounted, the light plugs into a standard three-prong electrical outlet. Plug-in picture lights are very easy to install , and come in both halogen and LED designs, as well as your traditional incandescent. Bulb Types: After you've selected the size and features of a picture light, you need to consider the types of bulbs available for the fixture. There are a wide range of bulb types available, including energy-efficient LEDs. LED Picture Lights LED picture lights are some of the most energy-efficient lights you can buy . Remember to choose a bulb with a high CRI (Color Rendering Index) of 80+ are best, as they do not alter the color appearance of artwork. The new LED bulbs don't only come in the bright blue-tinged light of the past, there are warm LEDs available too, which resemble the light given off by incandescent bulbs. Remember to shop for LEDs based on lumens (light output), not the amount of watts/energy used. Incandescent Picture Lighting Incandescent picture lighting provides a warm, overall glow , but don't have the lifespan of other options, like LED or halogen bulbs. Halogen Bulbs Picture lights with halogen bulbs provide a bright, white light that is good for illuminating a broad range of colors. There are a lot of options for picture lights out there and now that you know how to calculate the proper size for a picture light and what features and bulb-types are available, you are all set to highlight your beautiful artwork and bookshelves!