HOW TO LIGHT YOUR PREMIUM FINE ART PRINTS

Seattle, Washington

BEST WAYS TO PROPERLY LIGHT YOUR FINE ART PRINTS

Now that you have purchased a fine art prints and hung it on the wall, how should you add light to make the prints stand out? You could stand there and shine a flashlight on the art but your arm will get tired and the batteries may die. You could have one of your kids hold the flashlight. It will keep them busy for a while. Maybe the best way to light your fine art print is put up track or recessed lighting. Not as fun as holding a flashlight but much better.

sunset over reflection lakes in mount rainier national park.
Transform your home into an art gallery with fine art prints from Randy Bott. Mount Rainier Sunset Glow. Limited Edition of 100 prints available.

Back in another life, I was an autobody technician. Painter, body and frame repair, etc. The thing about that industry (especially on the paint side) is that you want the paint booth as bright as possible. The whole thing was painted white on the inside with really bright fluorescent lights on the walls and ceiling that had a bit of a blue tint. This was because the midday sun was around 5000 kelvin which is slightly blue and it made color matching much easier. However, if you put up really bright, slightly blue tint fluorescent lights on your fine art prints like the ones in my fine art galleries, they would look horrible. Colors would look weird, terrible reflections, and a good chance the image would fade fairly quickly.

farmstead in the golden light from sunrise in the Palouse
Enjoy premium fine art in your home or office from Randy Bott. Palouse Light. Limited edition of 100 prints available.

TRACK LIGHTING

Track lighting is the best way to go. The lights can be angled and moved on the track to illuminate the prints in the proper direction. The system is mounted to the wall or ceiling and you put individual lights fixtures in the track. The track has the power for the lights.

WASH LIGHTS

Wash lights cast a broad "wash" of light on the wall or ceiling but the light does not travel very far. Wash lights create an even distribution of light on the wall. If you want to highlight something on your wall such as a premium fine art print from one of my galleries, move the lights closer to the wall. If you want a smooth soft wash of light, move farther from the wall.

gold light washes across the Palouse wheat fields during the summer.
Fill your home with premium fine art prints from Randy Bott. Harvest Granary. Limited Edition of 100 prints available.

BULBS

So what are the light bulbs you should use? LED bulbs offer the best solution as they do not emit UV or infrared light that can damage your prints. You also need to think about the temperature of the bulb. Temperature ranges from 1000-10,000 kelvin. The Kelvin scale goes from yellow (1000) to blue (10,000). The optimal temperature is around 3500 kelvin. The light at 3500 Kelvin is not too yellow or blue. Aside from the Kelvin, the CRI (Color Rendering Index) is also important. The higher the CRI number, the better the bulb will render natural colors in the premium fine art print. If you can find a bulb with a CRI index of 100, that would be awesome for your print. If you use a bulb that is closer to CRI 70, well, the print won't look good. When you spend good money on a fine art print from one of these galleries, it should look good hanging on your wall to show off to all your friends.

mount rainier in 720 nm infrared photography.
Turn your home in to a fine art infrared gallery with infrared images from Randy Bott. Mount Rainier 720. Limited Edition of 50 prints available.

WHAT ABOUT LIGHT ANGLE?

Yes, you need to angle your lights. This goes back to the first part of the blog with lights in a paint booth. Direct light will cause a lot of glare and the image will simple look terrible. I don't think that is what you want after purchasing one of my awesome prints. So what is the correct angle? You want to try to stay around the 30 degree range for the best light on the print. The higher the ceiling, the farther the lights need to be from the wall to reach the proper 30 degree angle. The center of the cone of light should be at the center of the fine art print.


downtown Seattle near the train station in black and white
Enjoy deep black and white fine art prints for your home or office from Randy Bott. Seattle Lighting. Limited Edition of 100 prints available.

The moral of the story is, make. Sure you properly light your premium fine art prints after hanging them on the wall. Show the off, impress your friends with print. You spent good money on it, now have it shine and be the center of attention. Unless you want to be the center of attention, then you should walk around with a light on your head shining on your face at a 30 degree angle. Make sure the bulb is LED unless you're trying to get a tan, then make sure it is a UV bulb. I should get back on track here with a track lighting system, an LED bulb with a high CRI index. Quality lighting is essential for your art work to both look amazing and last for a very long time.

Japanese maple in Kubota Gardens in seattle
Enjoy fine art prints in your home and office from Randy Bott.l Japanese Maple Landscape. Limited Edition of 100 prints available.
sunrise from pier 66 on the Seattle Waterfront

Sunrise of the waterfront in Seattle taken from the Pier 66 rooftop. One of the best photography locations of Seattle. During the winter, shooting sunrise from this location is the best way to get color in the sky. WIth the park not opening until 7 am, sunrise photographs aren't possible in the summer. Limited edition of 100 prints available.

sunrise from image lake with glacier peak.

Glacier Peak Sunrise

Glacier Peak reflected in Image Lake during the sunrise. Glacier Peak is is over 10,000 feet and is one of the few volcanoes in the state of Washington. We spent 3 days and 2 nights at this amazing location on a backpacking trip. The ground around our camp was mostly blueberries and we had a black bear hanging out eating the berries for about 5 hours. Limited edition of 100 prints available.