Fine art lighting can refer to one of two types of lighting. In decorative accent lighting, the lights themselves are custom light fixtures designed to lend to a designed look in a room. Another type of fine art lighting, also called picture lighting, is used to illuminate paintings at art galleries. Types of lights for picture lighting can be classified based on their lighting technology and design. Custom fine art lights for decorating can usually be classified by the type of lighting and the type of fixture design.
Types of fixtures for fine art lights can include floor lamps, table lamps, and hanging lamps. Lighting technology in these varies depending on the setting and purpose, but it can include compact fluorescent lighting, incandescent lighting, and LED lighting. Custom lights are often used to put out light that is neutral, cool, or warm to give a room the intended lighting feel.
Custom interior fine art lights come in many shapes and designs. These designs are usually meant to stand out and add to the design of a room. Hanging lamps can be sparkling or chandelier-like, or they can have large, ornate lampshades that color and distribute the light. Table lamps and floor lighting are usually designed to match the ornate style of the hanging lighting in a room.
In a gallery, lights can be designed to draw attention on the picture or to blend in with and enhance the look of the featured image. They are often designed by a museum or gallery lighting designer. Lights used for lighting fine art and pictures can be adjustable track lighting or recessed floodlights mounted above or below the picture, or they can be specially designed light fixtures affixed to the frame of the work of art. Generally, each gallery uses one type of lighting for all of its pictures, but in some galleries, the artists have license to install custom lighting fixtures chosen specifically for each artist's body of work.
Lights illuminating work in a gallery are made using lighting technology that is the least likely to damage the work on display. Any heat or ultraviolet (UV) radiation that emanates from the lighting can damage the art. This type of lighting can also be used to light framed family photos and heirloom artwork in private homes.