Whether you are displaying paintings or photography, in the home or in a gallery or studio, track lighting can help show artwork at it’s best. Track lighting for artwork offers a versatile lighting solution, which allows multiple lights to be used with simple installation.
Track lighting can be ceiling mounted, suspended or recessed depending on the setting and preference. As artwork is typically mounted on the wall around eye level, ceiling height is also a key consideration.
If the space has high ceilings or vaulted ceilings, suspending track lighting would help lower the light level bringing it closer to the artwork. In a painting studio with a cathedral ceiling, for example, track fixed to the ceiling would not illuminate wall art hung several metres below very clearly.
For regular height ceilings, surface mounted track lighting for artwork offers the simplest installation. If a minimal, modern look is preferred, recessing track keeps the ceiling clear and uncluttered. Recessed track is more complex to install and is not always suitable, for example, it is not suitable for a concrete ceiling.
Track is available in a variety of lengths and adding an extension to a track piece is simple. By using joiners, track can be fitted together in any shape and configuration required. A simple guideline is that track should usually be mounted about a metre away from the artwork, however in some spaces such as a hallway this might not be possible.
Illumination is provided by spotlights, known as track heads, mounted to the track. These can be moved up and down the track to place light exactly where it is required. When using track lighting for artwork, fixtures should be positioned directly in front of pictures. A benefit of track lighting is that if you update your decor and move artwork around, you can simply move the track head to where it is needed.
Track heads may use halogen or LED bulbs. LED globes are popular as they are energy efficient, provide excellent quality of light and they offer options for customising your track solution. A variety of beam angles allows you to decide how widely or narrowly focused the beam of light from the LED is spread. Some track heads can be fitted with attachments known as barn doors which can direct the light so the piece on display can be framed.
There are various colour temperatures available, from a warm colour which is closer to fire or candlelight, to a cool light, similar to natural daylight. Many LED spotlights will be dimmable, giving you the flexibility to dim the lights depending on the time of day and ambience you want to create.
If you are installing track lighting for artwork in a professional or commercial environment such as an art studio, you should use LEDs which have a high CRI or colour rendering index. A high CRI means that colours will be rendered accurately, showing them at their truest.