There are several ways you can incorporate track lighting ideas in illuminating your artworks. Track lights have grown popular over the years, particularly in art lighting, due to the flexibility they offer. Their adjustable heads and ease of repositioning along the track, coupled with the adjustable beam angles in most of the track lighting models allow for a perfectly lit artwork that radiates with a self-illuminating effect. Being able to reposition your art without having to reinstall your light fixture position is indeed a major plus when it comes to art lighting.
Track lights offer a minimalistic lighting solution that fits into every décor. With consideration to factors such as the type of artwork, the colors present on the artwork, the height of the ceiling, the size of the artwork, and the precise beam angle required to illuminate its area, you can find the perfect track light for your art.
Having made the decision to install track lights as the perfect lighting fixture for your artwork, there are many ways in which you can incorporate your track lights to complement your interior design style and décor. Below are some amazing track lighting ideas for illuminating artwork in your residential and commercial spaces:
Subtle Versus Bold Track Lighting Ideas
Track lights come in a variety of colors and finishes, from neutral black and white colors, to metallic bronze, nickel, chrome, and brass finishes. Install your track lights boldly onto your ceiling in a contrasting color to allow them to stand out conspicuously. A black track light mounted on a white ceiling can add a much-needed detail to your décor, while a metallic finish adds a more futuristic and luxurious look.
For those who prefer a more subtle look, select a track light in the same color as your ceiling to attain a subtle, sleek, and minimalist finish that fits seamlessly into your décor. This allows your track light to illuminate your art without drawing any attention to itself.
When selecting the best track light finish to go for in a rather plain room, you can consider the type of artwork, the material of its frame, or the colors in the painting, to find a fixture that ultimately complements it.
Suspended versus Ceiling Mounted Track Lighting
Depending on the height of your ceiling, you may opt to suspend your track lights or mount them directly onto the ceiling. For ceilings heights exceeding 10 feet, it may be necessary to suspend your track lighting system. This allows you to easily attain a 30-degree beam angle aim with your track heads, therefore avoiding glare on your glossy artworks and paintings.
For lower ceiling heights, mounting your track fixture to the ceiling is a great way to attain an unobtrusive layout while perfectly illuminating your artwork.
Extruded or Recessed Lights within the Ceiling
If you decide to mount your track light to your ceiling, you can choose to install them directly onto the ceiling surface, or recessed within the ceiling. While recessed lighting design allows you to create a more diffused lighting source, an extruded track light fixture will showcase the various designs of your track heads. Extruded track heads can come in the form of elegant round or rectangular track heads, or even as pendant lights fixed to the track.
Create intricate patterns and details onto your false ceilings with recessed lighting, placing them above your artwork to illuminate your paintings and vertical walls. You can also hide your track lighting system behind a low beam so that the light heads are not visible, but the light is reflected against the wall.
Warm, Neutral, or Cool Color Temperatures
The best track lighting ideas for art incorporate light fixtures at color temperatures that enhance the colors of the artwork. A bulb with a warm color temperature not only sets a cozy and intimate mood within a space, but also brings out warm colors such as reds, yellows, and oranges, in a painting. For art lighting, this can range from a 2700K light source to a 3000K light source.
A cooler color temperature makes cool colors such as greens and blues more vibrant, causing paintings in these colors to appear bolder. A neutral color temperature strikes a great balance for paintings and artworks that incorporate both warm and cool colors in their color palettes. Regardless of the color temperature you select, always ensure that your light source has a Color Rendering Index (CRI) of 90 and above. A high CRI value brings out all the details, patterns, textures, and colors in your paintings, making them more vibrant.
Frame Projectors versus Wall Washers
Depending on the size and number of artworks you need to illuminate, you might have to choose between a frame projector and a wall washer. In art gallery lighting, wall washers can illuminate gallery walls that contain a large collection of paintings, drawing attention to the entire gallery wall.
On the other hand, if you simply need to highlight just one specific artwork per track head, frame projectors are the go-to track fixture for your artwork. Frame projectors allow you to adjust the beam spread specifically to the shape of the artwork, therefore perfectly framing your artwork with the light. The result is that only your artwork is highlighted and not the area around it, creating a clear contrast from the wall and allowing it to capture all the attention to itself. Therefore, the precise square and rectangular shapes created by frame projectors make them a great selection when it comes to art.
If you want to enjoy the benefits of both spot lighting and flood lighting without having to purchase multiple track heads, you can invest in track lights that come with multiple interchangeable beam angle options. These track lights allow you to easily switch from a narrow beam angle to a wider beam angle simply by changing or removing the film.
Straight vs Flexible Track Lighting System
Track lighting kits exist in both straight and flexible track lighting systems from which you can select. When lighting artwork, you can either frame the room with straight tracks around its perimeter or simply install them running parallel to the wall onto which your artwork is mounted.
Alternatively, you can create creative curved designs with your flexible track lighting kit at the center of the room. The flexible track lighting system gives you the versatility you need to uniquely customize your track lighting in any layout and shape that you prefer. If you are feeling adventurous with your lighting design, then certainly go for flexible track lighting kits.
Light Source Options
When installing a track light fitting, there is a variety of light source selections from which to choose. Compared to fluorescent lighting and halogen bulbs, LED lighting has grown popular in art lighting, accent lighting, and ambient lighting applications due to its energy-saving capabilities and the range of options it offers in terms of color temperatures. LED track lighting has found its application in gallery lighting as well as studio lighting, where they are installed for lighting art, paintings, and framed pictures.
While fluorescent bulbs are still often used for ambient light applications, picture light, and floor lamp fixtures, track lighting systems maximize the use of LED track lights with dimming capabilities to allow for regulation of the accent light throughout the day. A dimming light bulb will allow you to ensure that your art lighting fixture is always at least three times brighter than the ambient lighting regardless of the time of the day, therefore accentuating your art.
There are tons of ways you can incorporate track lighting into your home for your gallery lighting and accent lighting needs. You can borrow inspiration from any of the above track lighting ideas and create a design that fits into your tastes and preferred design style.
Perfect Picture Lights supplies a wide range of quality LED bulb track lighting systems with dimming options that you can invest in to get you started.
Winny Okoth is a practicing Construction Project Manager and Interior Designer. She is also currently pursuing her Master’s Degree in Construction Project Management. Winny Okoth has a great passion for every form of design and has the mastery of principles of design, as well as 3D visualizations skills for architectural and interior design renders.