Direct Wire / Hardwire Art Lighting

Hardwire Art Lighting

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DT36-61 This elegant 36” wide fixture is polished brass Hardwire Art Lighting at its finest. For large paintings up to 70” wide, the traditional shade is supported by three arms and a substantial rectangular backplate. Make sure to have your electrician install it on a dimmer switch for optimum control of your picture lighting.

 Distinctive hooping arms elevate the profile of this DXL36 curved arm direct wire art light.

Other options include the direct wire slim line picture lights. They have flatter, more angular arms than the XL style. This DSL36-51 features a 36” wide shade in satin brass finish. The DSL style modern direct wire picture lights come in many sizes and many beautiful House of Troy finishes. If you want it made in a finish it is not standardly produced in, just call us at 800-792-4457 to ask about custom finish options for the DSL style.

 DT24-81 A traditional style shade in mahogany bronze makes this direct wire traditional art lighting unforgettable in any formal setting.

DSLED14-71 another option is the 14” slim line mounted picture light in antique brass or 7 other fine House of Troy finishes. DSL or DSLED look like the same style, but DSL is incandescent, and DSLED features an LED array.

Remarkably well designed, our many styles of direct-wire picture lights are styled in a traditional as well as two stunning modern styles: contemporary and Slim-Line. Depending on the style, direct wire picture lights use either fluorescent or incandescent bulbs. Of course they are available in many fine finishes including Polished or Antique Brass, Oil Rubbed or Mahogany Bronze, Satin Nickel or Chrome.

When wired directly into the wall a picture light establishes a presence in the room that is undeniable and conveys a sense of permanence, assurance and confidence. Our House of Troy direct wired Traditional picture lamps mount to standard 2" x 4" or 4" x 4" octagonal electrical junction boxes. Best thing about a direct wire is there are no wires whatsoever in sight.

Many hotels, concert halls, museums and office buildings rely on direct wire picture lighting not only to illuminate their framed artwork, portraits, menus or signage, but also to unobtrusively light up hallways, corners and other areas. Another advantage to the permanence of direct wire lighting is its relative security, stability and immobility.

The House of Troy Direct Wire Contemporary style (such as our popular DC9-62 directwire contemporary 9" in chrome) has a sleek modern line that is more pronounced and rectilinear than the Slim-Line style. Seamless end caps are one sign of the flawless craftsmanship throughout. You can purchase this style in two different versions - one that supports fluorescent bulbs, or the one that uses incandescent.

House of Troy Slim-Line lighting is a category unto itself. One of our outstanding best selling Slim-Lines is DSL14-52 - the Direct Wire Slim-Line 14" Shade in Satin Nickel, with a 2 3/4" x 4 ?" backplate and 7 ? inch stationary horizontal arm extension. The stunningly slim light shade seems to float exactly in front of and above the frame, swiveling at a touch to direct the light. The slender 14" tube shade holds 2 specialized T4' -- 15-watt incandescent bulbs with candelabra base and clear finish. Other, longer, Direct Wire Slim-Line models use more bulbs depending on length of the shade (they can be up to 36 inches long and use six T4 bulbs).

The Direct Wire Traditional Lamp features 7-1/2" arms with smoothly operating swivel joints to allow incremental shade swiveling to target light precisely. The Switch is a small turn-knob located on the backplate. Backplates are proportionally designed depending on the length of the shade, so for example the DT36 style (Direct Wire Traditional with a 36-inch long shade) has a backplate that is 4 inches tall and 26 inches long, with 3 slender 7.5 inch arms securely anchoring the elegant 36 inch shade. Each shade also features a polished metal reflector and seamless end caps to create a sleek look. A long shade like this is mounted with five T10 bulbs, each up to 40 watts. So a picture up to 60 inches wide will be illuminated with 200 watts of incandescent light, plenty of light for a painting of such imposing size. Some of our direct wire models can be made to order in custom sizes, but the standard sizes run the gamut from 4" to 36".

Direct Wire Lighting for Artwork

Using a picture light to highlight your artwork is a great opportunity to pick a fixture that gives your whole room a style upgrade.  What about a direct wire fixture?  Yes, the price will be higher than a plug-in fixture, but direct wire lighting adds a sense of permanence and gravitas that will be worth the higher price.

A benefit of direct wire fixture is that you can rotate artwork in and out of your room to change things up whenever you want.  Hanging your art beneath the direct wire fixture means you don’t have to bother with reinstalling the brackets that attach the plug-in style picture light to the back of your framed artwork.  The permanence of a direct wire fixture can add value far beyond its actual price to your home as well, as any high quality direct wire fixture would.

When you use a direct wire picture light your electrician will install it to the power source by connecting the wires to a juncture box behind the sheetrock or plaster of your wall.  An LED picture light uses the same 120 v power source that your whole home runs on, but it only draws a tiny fraction of the power that an incandescent picture light normally would.

Positioning Direct Wire Lights for Installation On Your Wall

 To calculate the placement of the direct wire fixture, a direct wire customer should consider the dimensions of the backplate related to the width of the shade along with the height of the room and the intended placement of the artwork.  The best way to gauge what light to get is to calculate that the shade of the picture light should be within an inch of the top of the image (shades generally are held by arms connected to the backplate, check the fixture diagram to see how many inches the shade is held below the bottom of the backplate).  The best way to highlight your art is to have the shade within an inch of the top of the artwork.  Knowing where the shade will be can help you determine how high up the wall the backplate of the fixture will be at installation time.  This can help you gauge whether or not the direct wire picture light will be suitable to the height of the ceiling and show to advantage on your wall.

Before shipping display lighting our customer service staff actively participates to educate the customer as to how to choose an appropriate direct wire picture light.  Considerations of power source are usually one of the main reasons that customers gravitate to direct wire lighting for artwork; the electrician installation has a price, but the ease of use and cordless, plugless, effortless light make direct wire lights quite worth the product and installation price.

When it comes to commercial or public venue display lights for artwork, the latest word in display is led picture light.  No matter the style of the product, an led picture light will never get hot to the touch and will save on energy consumption while delivering art quality dimmable LED light onto the display.

Whether or not you use led bulbs or incandescent bulbs, you have more options with a non-led slim line picture light.  The same rule of thumb applies: the 2.5w replacement bulbs effectively transform the ordinary slim line picture light into an led fixture.  So you have many more sizes of shade to choose from.  As well, you can order 45” custom sized slim line picture light custom made as a direct wire picture light.  As well are other sizes such as 50”, 55”, 72” and all the way up to 130” wide direct wire lighting for artwork.  To turn this into an LED picture light simply use 2.5w LED replacement bulbs.

Metal Finishes of Wall Display Lights

Choosing a metal finish for your custom direct wire lighting for artwork can be challenging.  While the many finishes, including brass, weathered brass, antique brass, and oil rubbed bronze as well as satin brass, satin nickel, black, white, and chrome, are all striking in themselves, it is the job of the customer to determine which metal finishes they already have in their home, and then take their best guess as to which finishes will play best with the others.  Other considerations for determining metal finish of your shade and style would be the colors in the artwork itself, the metal finish or color of the frame, the position of other similar shapes such as metal curtain rods, in relation to the shade of the artlight.  

While Brass and Antique Brass are the classic favorite finishes, many people are amazed at the golden illumination possible when they choose Weathered Brass.  While Weathered Brass is a live patina finish that constantly gets more richly golden, the Antique Brass finish never ages and does have a greyish green oxidation overtone that is the hallmark of antique brass.

Just so you know, even if a lamp is not offered in standard open stock in a particular finish, the customer service at Perfect Picture Lights is happy to order your lamp in your chosen metal finish as a custom order.  It never hurts to ask us for what you want!

Power Source of Wall Display Lights

To have a well lit wall, art piece, or even a bookshelf display you need to tap into the most consistent power source in your home, either by plug-in style or direct wire style of picture light.  There is also a custom direct mount option – see more about that here.  

Why Not Rely on Battery As A Power Source?

Although there are two different styles and sizes of battery-operated wall art lights these cannot truly be considered comparable in any way to either plug in lights which plug in to a standard outlet as their power source, nor to direct wire wall lights either.  The BTLED Traditional Style Battery lights and BSLED Slim Style Battery lights have a great style, but their lights are not any where the power of a light built in to the 120v power source of your home.  

If you need to shop for travelling display lights, the power source can be meaningfully interrupted when lighting a booth or travelling tradeshow display.  In this case consider battery operated lights like the product styles bsled and btled.  These styles actually look like they are wall lights mounted to the display wall.  But their power source is still batteries cleverly held against the wall in a faux backplate.  

Product Review

While we have many direct wire picture light styles to recommend, as well as customizable direct wire picture lights of many sizes, this product review will focus on three of the most popular direct wire picture light style families:

Direct Wire Horizon LEDZ Style Picture Light (DHLEDZ Style)

This angular shade is emblematic of an urban design line, and the Horizon style family is going strong for the top selling direct wire LED picture light.  Even more distinctly than this sharply tailored shade defines the art space, the direct wire 4.5” square shaped backplate aligns in stylish standing out.  Most popular in dark oil rubbed bronze – finish #91.  One drawback of the Horizon style is that it only comes in two sizes – 12” wide and 26” wide.  But you can get this lamp in any finish – even nonstock item (or custom) finishes.  In most cases the 12” or the 26” wide will be suitable, but unfortunately there are no other customizable size options for the Horizon.

One of the delightful benefits of falling in love with the direct wire horizon style is that there is a beautiful plug-in version of this lamp!  The Horizon plug-ins are here.  Notice their angular Horizon style shades projecting from the distinctive metal arms arising from behind the frame.  It is far easier to mix and match picture lights that look strikingly similar except for minor technical details like power source.  

Direct Wire Mendon Style Picture Lights

The Mendon adds a nod to the Victorian era although its lines have details that evoke the scientific and modern at the same time.  The Mendon might define the lights used by a collector to showcase his most highly prized items.  Museum, science museum, Victoriana, steam punk, all these decorative nuances are held in style notes put finely into the metal design.  

The Mendon direct wire style comes in 43”, 29”, and 15” shade widths.  They are beautiful lamps and will enhance your home gallery or collection style.  This style is only available as a direct wire lamp.  It is an LEDZ style which means it has over 50,000 hours of usable life, and a five year warranty.  See all the Mendon style lamps here.

Direct Wire Slim Line Style Picture Lights

The Slim Line is hands down the most popular modern style for the longest time period.  The line of the arm that holds the shade from the backplate has assumed classic profile status that only classic items attain.  This is the style that you see in movies because their powerful style is the hallmark of a well-designed home.  

The Direct Wire Slim Line (DSL Style) comes in three sizes: 14”, 24” and 36” wide shades.  If you need a custom finish color that isn’t a stock item just call our Customer Service so that we can order up a custom finished item for you.  We are happy to do this!  The Slim Line style will never let you down!

In some cases we even recommend a custom arm length or for a different downward angle to the shade.  These requests can be managed, for the most part, by calling customer service, signing off on a cut sheet, and awaiting your custom order.  While custom orders are not returnable or refundable, they are covered by a manufacturer warranty and we can help the entire custom lamp process along.

The Slim Line LED Direct Wire Art Light Style is called the DSLEDZ style family.  It comes in slightly different sizes than it’s incandescent style cousin (simply called SL for Slim Line).  The DSLEDZ style comes in 14”, 28” or 43” wide shade sizes.  It cannot be made larger or in different sizes, but we can do custom finishes if you don’t find the finish you want offered for general sale.

The Unfortunate Limitations

Sometimes there are issues when using display lighting or lights designed for highlight of artwork.  Glass over an image can reflect glare, shades that contain removable bulbs can be tiny, replacing bulbs can be annoying.  LEDZ shades come with a nifty deflector covering the LED array, but those shade elements are not separable, i.e. there are no bulbs to replace but after 50,000 hours of use the LED arrays themselves will gradually wear out, necessitating replace of the entire fixture.  But there is an ironclad five year guarantee on these lamps, so their quality and ease of use is far worth their price and value.

Finally, Please Call Us When You Shop!

Shop wisely and ask many questions because there are many parameters to consider, from bulb replacement frequency to saving on shipping by stocking up on additional items you might need like extra brackets.  Remember when you shop that shipping items back and forth can be expensive and disappointing for both the seller and the consumer, so we take our point of pride on answering all your questions while you shop.   Before shipping many items we sometimes even call to make sure you don’t need another bulb or two.  About half of the hundreds of styles of art display lamps we sell do not come with bulbs, but most that require a hard to find bulb such as 15T4 bulb will arrive with the correct number bulb of the correct type.  Sometimes we can recommend an alternative bulb, like an led bulb, with art quality light effects.  When we can we will do so, as our goal is providing the best inspiration for you lighting your art!