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Illuminate your piece of art with the right light

If you are passionate about art, you probably need to light an artwork on your walls. Here are our tips on how to do it.

illuminated wall art


Every choice in an artistic space implies careful consideration of every piece of decor and fine furnishing. Whether it’s paintings, sculptures in a niche or particularly beautiful details on the wall, lighting can make the difference.

In order to illuminate an artwork on a wall such as a painting, you need to know the different temperatures of the LED lights (so that they do not spoil the delicate painting) but also to establish a certain balance between lamps and other elements. Those who love art know that beauty is obtained through harmony: so how to illuminate the wall art to make the entire space more harmonious?

Illuminate modern art pieces: start with colors

Whether they hang on the wall of a living room, fill the hallway of an elegant hotel or occupy the wall of a restaurant, modern art pieces must be contextualized. This is why the choice of the wall colors are the first step to illuminate a piece of art. Study the ideal background, which lights up the contrasts of the painting without diminishing its beauty.

Dosing the intensity of the color will also help you when it comes to understanding how to illuminate wall art with the right lamp. Often high CRI (color rendering index) lamps are the most suitable for this task: they are also used in museums. A CRI higher than 90, in fact, allows the real colors of the piece of art to be enhanced in the best possible way.

In lighting the paintings, however, the angle must also be taken into account. The ideal inclination for enhancing a pictorial work is of 30°, which can be achieved through recessed lamps or with special spotlights to illuminate the modern art pieces.

Axolight solutions for illuminated art on your wall

Some lamps created by Axolight designers are particularly suitable for illuminating paintings and other pieces of art. Think, for example, of LED integrated lamps, which usually have a high CRI and therefore enhance the colors of your decor and modern pieces of art.

If you prefer spotlights to illuminate wall art, you could choose between:

  • the modern purity of Orchid, which you can install in order to hit the picture at the right angle;
  • the simple and essential curves of Dodot, also perfect for lighting up a niche with a sculpture;
  • Pivot, the modular system you can attach Urban Mini to;
  • the industrial elegance of Ego, which with its coppery reflections is suitable for a flexible setup.

Are you looking for a more original idea, which gives the right importance to your piece of art? Learn how to light a painting from below with models like Polia and Lik, which create the right balance of light and shadow on the wall.

illuminate art

Three-dimensional modern art pieces

Lighting a painting is complex, and lighting a sculpture or a three-dimensional design object even more so. Here you will have to pay particular attention to how the light hits every surface, every curve and every corner.

You may need more than one lamp or a series of spotlights to illuminate paintings and other pieces of art. By placing them in strategic positions, they will be able to hit every detail with the right intensity.

If you have doubts about illuminating wall art or other designer pieces, follow the advice of an interior designer and let yourself be inspired by your personal taste as well. Remember that properly lighting an element of decor can make it stand out or perfectly immerse it in its environment.

illuminate an artwork

Multifunctional solutions: how to illuminate art on a wall

If the space to be illuminated takes on different functions during the day or the year, it is good to look for a multifunctional solution. The spotlights to illuminate paintings, in fact, are generally fixed and don’t allow much changes to the lighting design.

You may need bright, direct light during the day and softer, more suffused light to illuminate a piece of art in your living room or conference room. In these cases, dimmable lamps come in handy: their intensity may vary according to your needs.

If, on the other hand, you need to illuminate a painting or a sculpture that is in a space for a short period (for example during an exhibition or a particular event), choose mobile solutions. Floor lamps, modern and large, are perfect, because you can move them to another area when you no longer need them to illuminate the piece of art.

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