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Art Gallery Lighting Guide

Art Gallery Lighting

Illuminating artwork its a science and an art within itself. 

We have designed our series of lighting with artists and art curators from around the world in mind. 

Which L’Art Is Right For Your Art Gallery?

Fixed medium beam angle
Dimming at wall
CRI 90
Adjustable beam angle (very narrow to very wide)
Dimming at wall
Anti-glare lens
CRI 95
Includes 7 swappable filters
Anti-glare lens
Dimming at wall
CRI 95
6 click in lenses to adjust beam angle
Anti-glare lens
Onboard dimming
CRI 95
Frame artworks
Soften / sharpen edges
Onboard dimming
6 lenses for spot and wall wash effect
CRI 95


Art Gallery Lighting Guide

Lighting is one of the most crucial components of an art gallery. That is because lighting can have a dramatic impact on the appearance of the artwork.

It is also very important to make sure you choose the right installation for the kind of artwork you are displaying. Lights with a high CRI make all the difference – without these it is difficult to be sure that the colors in the artwork are accurately represented.

For gallery owners looking to illuminate their artworks in the best possible light, our product range offers maximum flexibility. We go the extra mile to ensure our customers get all the information they need about gallery lighting; that includes everything from mounting methods to the dimming options best suited to your gallery.

Fortunately, art gallery lighting installation guidelines are not too complex. You simply need a track light or light fitting, around 3 foot 3 inches (one metre) of track and a suspension kit for every 3 foot 3 inches of wall space to be lit. However, this does depend on the kind of ceiling you have, and its height.

It is likely that some more technical information will be needed if your setup is to be optimized. That is because the perfect lighting will be different for various types of artwork on display. This also applies to the kind of atmosphere you want to create.

The following aspects should be considered so you can make the right lighting choice:

  • Which artwork will you display? For example: illustrations, canvas, glass, or oils.
  • Which colors are present in the artwork? Is it mainly white, or black?
  • What size is the artwork you are displaying?
  • How high is your ceiling and is it open, closed or made of plaster?
  • Do you need individual controls for your dimming, or another kind?

It helps to have a think about these aspects before you contact us, so we can be ready with the right ideas for your gallery. We can then get straight to work on your project! We pride ourselves on surpassing our clients’ expectations, and always aim to bring galleries to life as quickly as possible.

In order to do the artwork justice, it is necessary to choose the right kind of track lighting to complement each piece. There is actually a lot to consider when choosing lighting for your gallery.

You will need to take into account the effects of wall art lights on your paintings if you wish to optimize their appearance. The effects can vary, depending on the materials used to create the art; there will be variations due to the colors used, as well as the tone, shape and size of the paintings.

We have a selection of spotlights and will be happy to help you choose the right ones for your gallery. Our range starts with entry-level lights and extends to superior, high-end quality lighting – there is something for every gallery.

One thing we absolutely guarantee is premium quality. Every lighting system we have is designed to bring out the best in your artwork. That is why we are a leading supplier of lighting for a diverse range of galleries, catering for all styles of art

Configuration Options

Depending on your ceiling height, you will have the choice of a few different mounting methods. As art galleries can vary so much in size and shape, it is necessary to examine these factors to determine the right lighting configuration. This decision is also affected by the location of your artwork in the room. For instance, there may be art on the walls as well as in the centre of the space.

One of the best things about track lighting is that it is so versatile. Users are able to create customized layouts for whichever kind of space they are working with. They can specify exactly how the light should be distributed, focusing it in various different directions.

You can opt for installation of suspension mounted tracks, or you might need surface mounted tracks. Gallery lighting works best when positioned at a height of 9 foot 2 inches to 9 foot 10 inches (2.8 to 3 metres).

Mounting Methods

Surface Mounted

If your ceiling height is between 9 foot 2 inches and 9 foot 10 inches (2.8 to 3 metres), it is wisest to go for surface mounted tracks. The process is uncomplicated: the track will be screwed into whichever ceiling material is present, whether that is concrete, plasterboard or any of the other common materials.

Suspension Mounted

For ceilings that are 9 foot 10 inches to 19 foot 6 inches (3 to 6 metres) in height, a suspension mounted track is the best possible option. This allows you to hang the track from your ceiling. We recommend hanging it at a height of between 9 foot 2 inches and 9 foot 10 inches (2.8 to 3 metres), so that the lighting will sit at the optimal distance from the artwork.

Recessed Mounted

Color Temperatures

Cool White

Cool white lighting (3100K – 4500K) has an intense and vibrant white color that is best suited for areas where task lighting is needed, such as technical work environments. This is because the temperature gives off a natural white light and does not distort the appearance of color.

Warm White

Cool white lighting (3100K – 4500K) has an intense and vibrant white color that is best suited for areas where task lighting is needed, such as technical work environments. This is because the temperature gives off a natural white light and does not distort the appearance of color.

Color Rendering Index (CRI)

To give some perspective on CRI, natural daylight has a CRI of 100%. This means that color is represented in its truest form. Obviously when lighting is artificial, the CRI can’t reach 100%. However, it is still possible to achieve a very high CRI when illuminating objects inside a gallery, thanks to high-quality products like those at Banno Lighting. Our lighting systems have the highest CRI you can find, so the colors in your artwork will be almost as true as they would be in natural daylight.

CRI 80

A CRI of 80 works well in establishments such as supermarkets and retail shops, but it does not allow for authentic vibrancy in colors. As this is all-important in an art gallery, we usually recommend that you opt for something higher.

CRI 95

As a CRI of 95 is so close to natural daylight, you can expect true vibrancy in your colors. Our technologies have been carefully designed to achieve this high CRI, which is why they bring artwork to life in a very real way.

Dimming Options

Another important aspect of a properly lit gallery is dimming. As there are plenty of dimming options available, you will need to decide on the correct technology for your space according to the following factors:
  • Your lighting configuration
  • The characteristics of your space
  • The way you intend to use your space

It is possible that you will need to frequently adapt your lighting to optimize the different displays in your gallery. Every piece of artwork is different, so it is necessary to ensure the lighting is both timely and static.

Below you can find the most common dimming methods:

  • DALI & C-Bus Dimming System

    The DALI & C-Bus Dimming System is a flexible option that is often installed in bigger galleries; Australia’s national galleries installed it between 1988 and 2012. This operates through a centralized computer system and has an on and off function; you can control color change between cool and warm whites of between 3000K and 6000K, as well as group control dimming. Please bear in mind that this system is expensive to buy and install, plus it can take a lot of time to program the function of each light.
  • WiFi Dimming

    WiFi dimming is the newest and most advanced technology in lighting system control. It is very simple to set up, and your light fittings are connected to your central WiFi network. You will be able to control the lighting through a smartphone or tablet app, and it is a more economical option than other dimming methods.
  • Traditional Manual Wall Dimming

    Traditional manual wall dimming gives you control over your lighting levels via a wall dimmer. With a single-circuit system, you are able to synchronize the dimming of all your lights. If you have a three-circuit system, you will be able to control more than three separate groups of lights.
  • On-board Dimming

    ​On-board dimming means that you can manually dim the lighting via a knob on the light fitting. It is possible to get a light fitting that has a small on-board dimmer.

Other projects

One Space Gallery

Studio Gallery Melbourne

Paul Arnold Gallery

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