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Designer FAQs: Picture Lights and Art Lighting
What is art lighting and why do I need it?
Art lighting—also called a picture light—is any lighting that is selected and installed to highlight your wall décor. At Ethan Allen, we offer gallery-style picture lights: wall-mounted bars of light with decorative hardware that are meant to be a part of your décor.
Try options like:
- Fyn, our modern, minimalist take on art lighting
- Hauxley, a classic art light inspired by pharmacy lamps
In our shortest terms, art lighting creates a dramatic, gallery-like vignette. It’s an easy way to make your wall décor pop by enhancing its best features—or shining a light on the beautiful details you might not have noticed!
Want a quick preview of how one of our art lights will look with the artwork you already love? Download our EA inHome® app.
What artwork looks best with picture lights?
Any artwork or photography can benefit from the spotlight-like glow of a picture light! Art lighting is meant to draw eyes toward your décor and highlight its details.
Our designers especially love to use art lighting to:
- Highlight the shine in artwork embellished with metallic leafing like Hybrid Annuals
- Emphasize the dimension and shadows in sculptural artwork like Unbroken Ground
- Brighten the colors in bold, realistic artwork like Red Heron
Do you have a blank wall in mind that would look beautiful with new artwork and a picture light? Read our artwork buying guide to find the décor that speaks to you.
How do I hang art lighting?
Depending on whether you choose hardwire or plug-in installation, you will follow different instructions for installing your light. For hardwire installation, we recommend consulting an electrician for safe and correct installation. For plug-in installation, ensure that your artwork is hung with a wall outlet nearby.
You can hide the cords by purchasing cord covers and painting them to match your walls. Our designers also like adding additional décor—a console table with a back, ottomans, a large potted plant—underneath artwork to conceal the plug and create a coordinated look.
Here are some general guidelines from our lighting buying guide:
- Center the light above the artwork.
- Position the base of your light 1" to 2" above the frame of your artwork.
- Use a bulb no brighter than 40W (450 lumens). The soft glow invites people to step in for a closer look.
Looking for more lighting tips? Read our lighting buying guide to learn more about picture lights and other types of lighting.
Do you have more questions? Click the Designer Chat icon, or contact your local Design Center—we’re happy to help!