Enhance Your Artwork with LED Framing Projector Lights

Enhance Your Artwork with LED Framing Projector Lights

Good lighting on artwork is essential – it’s not just about brightness, it’s about how light enhances the elements of the art. The look of artwork changes dramatically when properly illuminated so that all the nuances and details created by the artist are highlighted and displayed.
However, lighting artwork and collectibles can be tricky. Artwork comes in a great variety of shapes and sizes, including two–dimensional art such as paintings and photographs, and three–dimensional art featuring sculptures and carvings. Lighting artwork poses challenges from both the technical application and design aspects.
In lighting design, lighting artwork properly helps to create a dramatic, subtle or surreal effect in your room or environment. Consider not just the piece, but how the piece is represented in the surrounding space.

General Guidelines for Lighting Artwork

When creating your lighting plan, generally use a light source for your artwork that is three times the intensity (brightness) of the ambient (room) lighting. This helps to accent your piece without the light appearing too dim or overwhelming. In lighting design, techniques can also be applied to reduce the general lighting level within the space where the artwork is being displayed to achieve this 3:1 contrast.
First, assign the light level that is appropriate to the artwork and then adjust the level for the rest of the room to create the right visual contrast. The two major types of artwork, 2-D and 3-D, both deserve the same lighting considerations however, techniques will vary. The viewing angles, shadows and reflections are different and unique to each piece of art. 3-D artwork can be accented, but 2-D artwork, in general, is lit evenly. Proper lighting needs to have a good balance of visual performance, energy conservation and preservation of the artwork. Visual performance requires different design considerations, to achieve a good balance of brightness and contrast while producing the optimal color rendering.
When positioning your lighting in relation to the piece of artwork consider several variables. To help reduce glare, place the light at a 30-degree angle from the piece. Add 5 degrees to the angle for a larger frame, which helps to avoid casting a shadow. Reduce 5 degrees from the position if you are trying to accent the texture of a painting.

New LED Technology: Framing Projector Lights

One solution for properly lighting artwork is to use new LED technology found in framing projector fixtures, which shapes illumination so that a collection is showcased exactly as planned. Offering a sophisticated way to display artwork and objects, LED framing projector lights transform a space by contouring light beams using high-performance LED optics.
These powerful lighting tools are used in various settings, including home art galleries, theater productions, concerts, professional art installations and to illuminate art or architectural elements in businesses. A hidden LED with a focused beam of illumination provides precise control of the beam angle, focus, and shape, allowing users to create custom projections, patterns, and designs. In this blog, we’ll explore what a framing projector light is, how to use it, and its benefits.

What is a LED Framing Projector Light?

A framing projector allows for more precise control of the light beam than a traditional spotlight or wall wash light. It includes adjustable shutters used to shape the light beam into specific areas, creating a crisp edge and sharp-edged projections, shapes, and patterns.
LED framing projectors are available as accessories that attach to a linear lighting system or as a ceiling or wall light. It consists of a lens system, an LED lamp, and a set of adjustable shutters or shims, which can precisely shape and focus the beam of light. The adjustable shutters create exact cuts, frames, and shapes, which can be projected onto a wall or other surfaces. The lenses can also be adjusted to change the beam’s size and the focus of the light.

Benefits of Using LED Framing Projector Lights

Here are some of the advantages of using a framing projector light:

  1. Precise control over the beam angle, focus, and shape, allowing users to create custom projections and designs with accuracy and ease.
  2. They are versatile, making them ideal for a wide range of settings, from theater productions and concerts to art installations and architectural lighting.
  3. LED framing projectors offer high CRI illumination, which means that reproduce colors accurately which is essential when illumination collectibles and art.
  4. Framing projector lights offer endless creative possibilities, for unique and innovative lighting designs that can transform any space or performance.

Types of Framing Projector Fixtures

There are two main types of LED framing projector lights: those designed as an accessory on a linear lighting system and those developed as a ceiling or wall mount light. Here are some advantages of each type.

Linear Lighting

A framing projector light that is an accessory on a linear lighting system is a flexible option for many spaces. Because it is attached to a lighting system, the user can easily adjust and move the framing projector around to illuminate different areas or objects.
Linear lighting systems use a ceiling-mounted support channel to provide electricity to individual luminaires. They often utilize multiple fixture styles to deliver general or accent lighting, so the framing projector can be used with other fixtures to create various lighting effects.

Ceiling and Wall Mounted Downlights

These framing projector lights are installed into the ceiling or wall. This type of framing projector has a small, sleek design which can be advantageous in smaller rooms or areas where a linear lighting system may not be practical.
Ultimately, the choice between a framing projector light that is an accessory to a linear lighting system and a wall or ceiling framing projector light will depend on the specific needs and preferences of the space and its occupants.

How to Use a Framing Projector Light

  1. Select a framing projector light appropriate for the size and type of artwork you want to light. Look for a fixture with and LED light source and adjustable shutters or shims to control the shape and size of the light beam.
  2. Various lenses, each with different beam angles and focal lengths, are available. Choose the lens that best suits your needs, depending on the size of the area you want to light and the desired focus of the beam.
  3. Mount the fixture on the ceiling or a wall, depending on the artwork or object’s location. The distance between the fixture and the object will depend on its size of the and the desired lighting effect. Aim the luminaire so that the light falls evenly on the art.
  4. The shutters, or shims on a framing projector light are used to cut and shape the light beam. Adjust their angles to create the desired shapes and frames.
  5. Adjust the beam’s focus by moving the lens closer or further away from the light source to change the size and clarity of the projected image.
  6. Adjust the intensity of the light to ensure that the artwork is well-lit but not overexposed. You can use dimmers or adjust the lamp wattage to achieve the desired effect.
  7. Consider the distance: The distance between the framing projector and the subject will impact the size and shape of the light beam. Generally, the closer the fixture is to the subject, the smaller and more focused the beam will be. Experiment with different distances to achieve the desired effect.

Solutions for Lighting Artwork in a Business

Lighting artwork in a business setting can be challenging, as the lighting must be functional and visually appealing. A framing projector can be an excellent tool for lighting artwork in a business, as it provides precise control over the placement and intensity of the light. Here are some additional considerations when using a framing projector to light art or architectural elements in a business:
Consider the environment: When lighting artwork in a business, it’s essential to consider the overall atmosphere. The lighting should be consistent with the overall style and decor of the space and should not distract from other elements in the room.
Use multiple fixtures: Depending on the size and layout of the space, you may need to use multiple framing projector lights to light the artwork effectively. Be sure to position the fixtures carefully to provide even coverage and not create hot spots or shadows.
By using a framing projector to light artwork in a business, you can create a professional and sophisticated look that enhances the overall ambiance of the space. The precise control over the light beam allows specific details and textures in the artwork to be highlighted, making it more visually engaging and appealing to customers and clients.

Enhancing Light Effects with a Gobo

In the world of lighting and photography, a gobo is a physical stencil or template placed in front of a light source to control the projected light’s shape and/or color. The term “gobo” is short for “goes before optics,” as the stencil is placed in the path of the light before it passes through the lens or other optics.
Gobos can be made of various materials, such as metal, glass, or plastic, and can feature intricate designs or simple shapes. The gobo is placed inside the fixture, between the light source and the shutter system, and can be adjusted to change the projected image’s size, shape, and position.
They are used to create patterns, textures, or logos on walls or other surfaces to create a specific atmosphere or mood. Gobos can also create exciting background patterns or to add visual interest to a piece of art by casting a shadow on the subject. They can prevent light from spilling onto areas of the artwork or object where it is not wanted.
To use a gobo with a framing projector, first insert the gobo into the fixture, typically via a slot or holder. Then, aim the luminaire at the desired area, and adjust the shutters to create the desired shape and size of the projected image. Rotate or adjust the gobo to change the orientation or placement of the image. Use multiple gobos within a single fixture to create more complex or layered effects.
Overall, LED framing projectors can be a versatile and powerful tool for lighting design, offering precise control over the placement and intensity of the light. With a little experimentation and creativity, you can create stunning and visually engaging lighting effects that enhance the overall ambiance of any space.

Stealth Framing Projectors

A sophisticated option for lighting art and collectibles, the VENTRIX Stealth Framing Projector delivers performance-based direct accent lighting in upscale residential, art gallery, retail, hospitality and museum settings. It attaches to the WAC modular system of linear lighting. Or, for wall and ceiling mounted applications, our new for 2024 Stealth Framing Projector Monopoint Luminaire is an ideal option.
Each fixture projects a square, rectangular or circular area of light with crisp lines to frame or highlight art objects, providing maximum visual impact. Like a quality camera lens, the innovative projector contains adjustable lenses as well as shims to frame a sharp accenting light the width and length of the object. It can zoom in for a closeup or zoom out to frame larger pieces of art.
Both the Stealth Framing Projector and the Stealth Monopoint Framing Projector can also use a gobo, a custom cut template, to shape the light in complex light patterns, custom logos, etc. to further enhance your lighting design.

Illuminate Your Artwork with WAC

If you have any questions about illuminating artwork, WAC is happy to help. We pride ourselves in being there for you every step of the way, from determining your lighting needs to purchasing what you need for your clients. WAC provides lighting solutions that combine function and beauty, essential for any client displaying art. For 40 years, WAC Lighting has built long-term relationships with museum owners and curators, artists and related professionals needing cutting-edge technology, and we’re ready to share our knowledge and lighting products with you.
Contact us to learn more about how to light artwork with our quality, long-lasting VENTRIX Stealth Framing Projector Light, our Stealth Monopoint Framing Projector and other fixtures.
Find out where to buy WAC fixtures here.