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Special Fall Home Design Issue | Lighting

Tips from the experts

September 28, 2003|Barbara Thornburg | Barbara Thornburg is senior home design editor for the magazine.


Avoid incandescent light. It gives art a yellow cast and makes it look dingy.

Reevaluate your lighting system if it's more than a decade old--you could be using too much heat and damaging your artwork, or simply not enhancing it to its fullest potential.


Bruck Lighting Systems' Flex-Line has tracks that can follow unusually shaped walls and features high-quality fixtures.

LSI (Lighting Services Incorporated) is popular with collectors who want museum-style lighting. Offers a wide range of accessories such as dimmers, light-blocking screens and state-of-the-art lamps.

The sleek rails of the Tobias Grau Name System are for lighting systems meant to keep a low profile. Available with hanging pendant fixtures.

Bruck Lighting Systems Via is a low-voltage track-light system especially good for pitched or average-height ceilings.


The Wendelighting Projector has a brass template that is cut to the exact size of the art; the resulting halo of light makes it appear as if the artwork is floating.

Use a fiber-optics system with a 3,000-degree Kelvin quartz halogen illuminator when lighting sensitive textiles. It filters out harmful ultraviolet and infrared light and gives off no heat.


Choose MR16 low-voltage halogen bulbs for lighting most artwork.

Illuminate very small artworks with an MR11 low-voltage halogen bulb.

When lighting from high above an artwork, use an AR111 low-voltage halogen bulb.

To wash an entire wall in light, employ a 300-watt T3 halogen bulb.

State-of-the-art fluorescent bulbs should be used for archival lighting because of their low heat and ultraviolet light.

Eliminate harsh shadows between artworks with a soft-focus lens.

A linear ribbed lens can create a narrow beam of light ideal for artwork that is an exaggerated vertical or horizontal in shape.

Control glare with a honeycomb louver on the light.

Use a UV lens to cut down on ultraviolet light.


Resource Guide

Wendelighting Projectors, from $2,716, at Plug.

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