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Picture Lighting

Jan 14, 2008
Commercial grade, custom equipment is a must to protect artwork whose value continues to skyrocket annually. Truly safe and effective picture lighting requires a higher level of commercial grade technology than standard over the picture frame mounts can deliver. It also requires a means of shielding sensitive canvas, oils, and paints from ultraviolet light and infrared light that can degrade the quality of a painting--and eventually destroy it over time. Serious art collectors in both private and professional arenas already know this and tend to favor Art Projectors for picture lighting as the safest, most optimal source of illumination for valuable paintings and rare documents. Art projectors offer the advantages of UV and infrared shielding and do not mount to the frame. This is crucial to museum aesthetic, where classics look much better when there is nothing over the painting to distract the viewer's eye. However, typical art projectors can be very bulky, hard to adjust, and cause severe damage to ceilings even when installed by professionals. It is also very hard to adjust lighting levels in some projectors, making it difficult to match lighting intensity precisely to color and form. Some projectors also produce a beam that is visible to people standing to the side of the room. This does not look good in a refined setting and therefore offers serious drawbacks that disqualify such a device as an ideal source of picture lighting.

Picture Lighting with Incandescent and Halogen Sources Can also be Hazardous to Fine Art. Infrared heat caused by incandescent and a halogen lighting in standard picture lighting fixtures is also a cause for concern. Heat caused by these lamps will dry out oils over time and lead to cracks in the paint. Museums still using incandescent picture frame lighting have to install special motion sensors to turn the lights on when visitors enter the room and switch them off again when they leave. This is too much hassle for the private collector, and it is also more expensive. A superior level of light is needed, along with a completely heatless source of illumination, is required to produce picture lighting that is optically clear and simultaneously perfectly safe for the artwork itself.

Lighting intensity itself also affects picture quality over time. Lumens per annum, a term that refers to the cumulative intensity of light over long periods of exposure can have deleterious effects on colors, canvases or any artwork. Setting precise levels of illumination intensity safeguards the preservation of pictures, paintings, and rare documents framed in museums. This is difficult to do with accent lighting equipment that offers only two or three settings and little, if any, room for custom adjustment to the piece.

Phantom Provides Multiple Solutions in Six Streamlined, Proprietary Art Projector Designs. To resolve all of these problems, Phantom Lighting took projector technology to a whole new level by introducing the Phantom Contour Projector. Our foremost consideration in this new design was better protection for priceless works of art. While most art projectors carry some form of UV shielding, we have developed fixtures and lenses that negate its power altogether. As artwork lighting experts we have accomplished this without diminishing the ability to fine tune the projector for optimal picture lighting angles and levels.

The name Phantom Contour itself refers to one of the most unique attributes of our art projectors--the ability to shape illumination to the exact dimensions of a picture. Phantom optical design offers the highest level of photometric sophistication currently possible. They can be fine tuned with such precision as to actually hide the beam of light itself regardless of viewing angle. This creates a "lighting from within" effect when the beam strikes the picture and frame. This light is further filtered through custom cut templates or pattern gobos that prevents it from "spilling" over the wall around a painting and thus eliminates resulting shadows behind the frame.

Unobtrusive Physicality and "Ceiling Friendly" Installation make the Contour Projector the Interior Designer's Best Friend. These models mount in the ceiling with a minimum of cutting and are much smaller than typical art projectors. We even have one Contour projector series that is designed for remodel projects where cutting the ceiling is not an option.
About the Author
For more information on how to use projectors for picture lighting, visit http://www.phantomlighting.com/picture_lights.htm and http://www.phantomlighting.com
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