Read Our Blog

How to Light Artwork: The Quest for Perfection

Jun 20, 2023 | Architect, Architecture, Art, Custom Lighting, Featured Professional, Featured Projects, interior designer

Spread the Word

How to light artwork seems to be the ‘it’ question because there isn’t one definite answer. It’s all up to that specific piece of art.

When considering how to light artwork, first and foremost, consider the type of artwork you are lighting, such as paintings, photographs, sculptures, or maybe you’re lighting a mixed media type piece. Each type of artwork uses different materials, has different textures, and requires extra or additional lighting. 

The following section gets more complicated because now we delve into a few techniques available for brave souls who want to do it themselves. Taken into account is the direction of the lighting. For example, a painting with a textured surface, such as an oil painting or acrylic painting, could benefit from a light source angled at 30 degrees to reduce glare and enhance texture. 

Next in technique is the intensity of the lighting. If the artwork’s lighting is too weak, it can lose its beauty and appeal. If it’s too bright, it can damage the painting and certainly won’t add to its beauty.

Also consider the type of lighting you use. LED lighting is always a good option and won’t cause damage such as fading or deterioration to your most valuable artwork pieces. 

There are other lighting types, such as track lighting, which alone deserves a case study. In conclusion, the how to light artwork dilemma involves carefully considering lighting type, direction, and intensity. Remember, the perfect lighting will display the artwork’s true brilliance.

So unless you are a lighting expert or hobbyist, consider hiring the professional lighting experts at ADG Lighting for your artwork lighting – and just sit back and enjoy your beautiful artwork. Check out a past artwork lighting project of ours with our thin-nickel pendants for featured artist Abby Jacobs!

Learn more about our custom lighting design services! Email us at for more information.


From the Jobsite

Midnight mock-ups. That’s what we do for a fabulous client at the new space somewhere at the L.A. music center.

TBA…client and place to be released soon.



by Gerald Olesker, CEO, ADG Lighting