Tammy's Tips

What You Should Know About Light And Your Artwork

Part 3

Proper Lighting Techniques

  • Choose subdued lighting effects that will not reflect into the glass, especially when you are not using a reflection control product.
  • Add a sense of atmosphere by using wall lights or sconces on either side of your framed piece.
  • Add emphasis to framed pieces by adding individual picture lights--see your framer for details.
  • Do not hang your valuable artwork in direct sunlight. Even with protective UV-blocking glass, prolonged exposure to the suns heat can destroy your art.
  • Use incandescent bulbs to light your artwork. Incandescent lights have only 4% of their rays in the damaging UV range. (Fluorescent lights, on the other hand have a high concentration of UV rays and should not be used to light your artwork.
  • Illuminate your art at the lowest light level possible for enjoyment.

Unfortunately, the sun is not the only source of harmful UV light. ALL light sources, whether natural or artificial have some of their components in the ultraviolet range.

The most dramatic visual effect of exposure to UV light is the dramatic fading of colors--especially those colors that contain red. Other effects include the yellowing and/or bleaching of paper fibers, sizing, dyes, brighteners and fillers. Some pigments may experience the opposite effect and actually darken to black when exposed to UV light. The materials that make up your artwork--the paper or fabric on which the images is displayed, may become brittle. Photos may appear yellow or stained with ghostly silver deposits rising to the surface.

Once damage from ultraviolet light has occurred, it can never be reversed. That's why it is important for you to understand what you can do to prevent this type of damage in the first place.


This Tip Courtesy of

� 1999 Tru Vue, Inc.

Check Back For More Tips!

Previous Tips