We’ve talked a lot about the types of art you should choose for your homes and offices, but we haven’t yet discussed how to best display that art. This article focuses on lighting, an important aspect of interior design that can make or break the aesthetics of your room.
How Lighting Influences How We See Art
Temperature, source, and brightness are all factors that influence the lighting. When you change any of these factors, your perception of color changes. This, in turn, influences your perception of the art in the room.
The Influence of Light Frequencies on Art
The frequency of the light source and the frequency of the reflective surface on which it falls influence how we perceive color. If the surface of a painting is incapable of absorbing light, all colors are reflected, and we only see white. If the surface can only absorb reds, the reflection will be blue or green. These are two examples of how light frequencies influence what you see.
When used to enhance a painting, incandescent bulbs will highlight the warmer colors. These colors, such as red and green, are highlighted because incandescent light contains more of them. Similarly, fluorescent light will reflect and highlight the object’s cooler tones, particularly blue.
Colors not only change slightly when exposed to different types of lighting, but they also differ between natural and man-made light sources. In the daylight, an artwork will appear one way, but in other light sources, it will appear differently. Mesmerism is a scientific term for this occurrence.
Incandescent lighting is widely preferred over other types of lighting, particularly indoors where natural light is unavailable. Fluorescent lighting is never used near fruits and vegetables in supermarkets because it makes objects appear harsh and reflects back blue light.
The Effects of Glass on Art Lighting
Many people frame their paintings in glass to protect them from wear and tear. Framing glass, while an excellent way to keep the painting intact, has an effect on the clarity of the artwork. Because some of the light focused on the painting is absorbed by the glass, it becomes a hindrance, making the original piece appear less vibrant than it is. The percentage of reflection produces a harsh glare and has an effect on the visual quality of the artwork.
Even completely clear glass obscures 20% of the image beneath it. Only 2% of the light will be absorbed, while the remaining 8% will be reflected back. To address these concerns, paintings can be framed with a special type of inorganic glass that has low iron content. This type of glass, known as “art glass,” preserves the natural appearance of the colors.
Consider the type of room when selecting a light for your interior, especially if the goal is to highlight specific objects or art pieces. Commercial and hospital applications frequently use light that is warmer, softer, and gentler on the eyes than light that is warmer, softer, and gentler on the eyes. When displaying art in a room, both the light frequency and the glass used to frame your painting should be taken into account. This principle applies to your personal, and residential design as well as your office design.