Art & Decor Trends

The Right Light

Lindsay from Eden Prairie, Minnesota had a question about lighting her oil paintings. Lighting is a very crucial part of the presentation of the oil painting, with the right light the texture and brush strokes will make the painting immerge out of its frame. I compiled all the different lighting options that would be considered and listed the pros and cons of each. Hope you find it useful and helpful. If you have any remarks please share. If you have any other interior design or wall d├ęcor related question, remember to Just Ask Brei!

Your artwork is something to be proud of! The right lighting will draw attention to your painting and bring individuality to your home. The following options briefly describe different lighting sources which work best with the sensitivity factor of an oil painting.

Recessed Lighting

Is built into your ceiling or wall and usually casts downward or side lighting.. It’s an inconspicuous way to light your painting and can be angled any way you want to create the right mood. This can be a fairly expensive method, but the results in your home really pay off.

Portable Floor Lights

Cast light up and are common in many homes and offices. They are versatile and if you change artwork around frequently then they can be a good solution. As well as being cost effective, the owner can really add a sense of personality as there are many different models and sizes.

Picture Lights

Are specifically used for artwork. Usually in the form of pin lights, spot lights, or flood lights, these can be attached directly to the frame of a painting, or mounted to the wall above, below, or beside. These have become very popular recently and distributors are continuously creating very unique styles.

Track Lights

Are usually used to illuminate a set of artwork along a wall. Tracks can add a lot of lighting to a room, so if you want mood lighting, be careful with these. Although they are typically mounted in horizontal strips on the ceiling, the lights themselves can be placed anywhere on the track and can be adjusted to face different directions.

The following are bulb options to be incorporated into your lighting source.


Bulbs cast warm and soft light. These are beautiful in the home and easy on oil paintings, but the bulb will burn out more quickly than others.

Compact Fluorescent

Bulbs last up to ten times longer than incandescent while using 1/3 of the electricity. They are great for the environment and come in many different colors and sizes. Compacts have become very popular, and it’s easy to see why!


Bulbs burn very hot, so be careful in your placement! These bulbs last thousands of hours, and are fairly cheap. They cast a very brilliant light, so use them in a dark room without many other lighting sources.


Bulbs are available from many different lighting distributors. You can purchase these in a wide variety of color, size, and texture. They come frosted, as sunlight mimics, or custom made to your needs. Remember, when going with colored bulbs, cool lighting enhances blues and greens and warm lighting enhances reds and yellows.

About the Author

Amitai Sasson of is an art world traveler on a mission to seek out the beauty and passion of the art world. As an avid enthusiast of art and oil paintings, he contributes to as Chief editor and writer.