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Cordless Picture Lights

Feb 4, 2008
Any number of cordless picture lighting fixtures may be employed to highlight the quality of photography, prints, and oil paintings. The actual type of cordless picture light you select really depends on the nature and price point of the art. It is also a matter of budget, as some fixtures for picture lighting require an electrical contractor for installation, and other devices represent museum-quality lighting effects reserved for rare and exquisite masterpieces.

Before making an investment, it is necessary to obtain a sound understanding of how the different types of picture lights operate and what specific advantages they offer the home and commercial decorator. This simplifies shopping for the end user, who is simply looking to find the best equipment for his or her dollar. This also adds value to the professional installer or artwork lighting expert, who can take a consultative approach to sales and offer clients multiple options and choices rather than hard absolutes and fixed price points.

Cordless picture lights of any variety offer more placement options. Because they are either battery operated or install in the ceiling, there is no wiring to conceal. There are also literally thousands of different cordless picture lights to choose from, a good number of which are very affordable and ideal for smaller households on a budget. These fixture types include battery powered over the picture lights, recessed lights, projectors, and even certain types of strip lights.

These fixtures work well for illuminating prints and photographs when high performance is not an issue. Battery powered lights are very popular for people living in small town homes and apartments. They are relatively inexpensive and do not require a technician to install. Almost every major manufacturer such as RiteLite and House of Troy distributes a full array of battery-powered lights in innumerable sizes and finishes to match interior design, genre, and home color schemes.

Battery powered cordless units are ideal for lighting any type of print or photograph housed in non glare glass panel frame. They are also ideal for smaller pictures and fit conveniently over the top of the frame, becoming almost a part of the picture themselves.

The only drawback to these lights is infrared light and ultraviolet light can damage certain forms of art. As a general rule, avoid using them over watercolors, acrylics, and oils that are sensitive to heat.

Another avenue you might want to consider taking is lighting your pictures with recessed ceiling lights. Recessed picture lights are categorized as cordless picture lights because they wire directly into the home or office electrical system as opposed to operating from a power outlet or a battery.

These fixtures require installation by a professional electrician, and they also involve cutting into ceilings.

If this is affordable and acceptable to you, then recessed picture lights are an ideal source of illumination for larger works of art that require a special spotlight. Multiple recessed lights or track lighting fixtures can be used to light entire collections of prints, photographs, or paintings along an entire wall.

Recessed picture lights can either be low voltage or high voltage, depending on your budget for power costs and the need for lighting intensity. They can also be controlled with dimmer switches that allow for precision adjustment of lighting levels.

Low voltage recessed lights tend to feature pinhole apertures that produce minimal glare. They work very well for any collection where glass panes cover the artwork.

Incandescent bulbs produce a white light that is ideal for illuminating black and white photography. For color photographs, halogen low voltage lighting produces a low wattage, high intensity light with superior color rendering capabilities.

Normally, a art lighting company licensed to install recessed lighting also consults with either a lighting design company or certifies its electricians in lighting design. If you have questions about which lights will work best with your collection, your installers should be able to give you sound, professional recommendations on the best fixtures to use.

Comparative online searches on the term, "cordless picture lighting" will immediately return a plethora of results focused on achieving optimal effects in fine art lighting.

When it comes to lighting anything on canvas, it becomes necessary to consider higher price points and more sophisticated technology than battery powered and recessed cordless picture lighting fixtures normally feature.

The primary challenge to fine art lighting lies in the absolute necessity to eradicate all ultraviolet light and infrared radiation. UV rays will degrade both paint and canvas and literally ruin a masterpiece.

To ensure the integrity of your art, and to give an original piece the proper spotlight it deserves, consider the benefits of recessed projector lighting with a ceiling-mounted, art projector like the Phantom Contour Projector.

Contour projectors utilize a complex system of lenses and filters to strip the light beam of harmful wavelengths. Like recessed lights, they install above the line of sight into the ceiling of a room. Phantom has both invasive and non-invasive models available, so if your art is housed in a location where cutting the ceiling is not an option, we have surface mounted projectors that can be installed with no damage to the interior whatsoever.

Perhaps the most innovative way for lighting small pictures with cordless fixtures, and a method some may have not considered, is to house them in standing frames within display cases and use linear strip lights to illuminate them alongside of curios, sentimental objects, and antiques.

Linear lighting strips fit directly onto display cabinet shelves and use existing metal shelf standards instead of traditional wiring to conduct electricity. Their low profile position makes them almost impossible for the casual viewer to see, and they can be fitted with incandescent, xenon, and LED bulbs to accommodate any level of lighting and special effects your artwork requires.

These cordless picture lighting strips are also dimmable, so you can accrue additional savings on power costs by turning the lighting levels down when visitors are either absent or asleep.

An extensive network of Phantom Lighting Agents works throughout North, Central, and South America to answer questions, customize orders, and offer technical support to professional designers and individual lighting enthusiasts.
About the Author
Phantom Lighting manufactures proprietary art lighting projectors and linear display and under cabinet lighting fixtures. For more information visit http://www.phantomlighting.com/cordless_picture_lights.htm and http://www.phantomlighting.com
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