Best Practices for Gallery and Museum Lighting

Proper lighting makes an enormous impact when displaying art in galleries and museums. Lighting showcases the artwork and makes it more appealing to visitors. Likewise, appropriate lighting increases the longevity of pieces by protecting them from harmful UV rays. As a result, managers of museums and galleries need to know the best practices for lighting. 

Evaluate Each Exhibit

Before illuminating an area, evaluate each piece. Different exhibits will require varying types of lighting based on color and texture. For example, some paintings look best in natural light, but metal artwork often looks best in warm lighting. Similarly, sculptures may require different lighting angles to showcase texture and dimensions. 

Experiment with a range of angles as you add light. Moving section by section makes this easier, as you've likely sorted pieces according to similarities. When you've reached the best light angle for a certain exhibit, mark the floor with masking or painter's tape so that you know where to install lights.

Pick the Right Types of Light

The type of lighting fixture used can also make a difference in how the artwork appears. Many museums use adjustable fixtures to customize angles based on specific exhibit needs. Depending on the exhibit, you may also need to use color filters to modify light temperature and color balance. Each room within the museum should use the same type of light, as it's easier on the eyes. Cool and warm lights clash, which increases the risk of eyestrain. 

You should also use LED light bulbs in galleries and museums since they mimic natural light. With these bulbs, artwork looks as close as possible to how it would look if seen outside in natural daylight. Moreover, LED lights are known to last much longer than incandescent bulbs, making them more economical for a museum or gallery purchase.

Keep Lighting Balanced

The final best practice for gallery and museum lighting is to find a proper balance between light and dark. Too much light can cause glare and highlight distracting elements. If it's too bright, visitors may need to squint or experience discomfort due to the brightness. 

On the other hand, dim lighting can make it challenging to view the artwork. Curators should balance lighting levels to ensure a comfortable viewing experience for visitors. 

Shop at Stylighting

The right lighting can transform an exhibit and make visitors appreciate and remember the art more. Stylighting sells various types of light bulbs, fixtures, and more. Keep your galley and each display looking amazing with the best lighting options!

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