The Best Lighting for Your Art

Hi Friends,

It’s been a crazy week for me! I wasn’t expecting such a wild response to last week’s art giveaway, and I spent several days just getting everything packed up and shipped out. I’m grateful that so many paintings have found new homes, and I thank you for your enthusiasm. My studio feels so much more spacious now! There are still some pieces left if you’d like to nab one.

Today I want to share some tips about lighting from Ann Whitehead, a collector of my art. Ann recently revamped a small guest bathroom and sent me pictures showing how she used my paintings in the room. Here’s her description of the revived space: “I figure even a tiny, utilitarian space can use dashes of color. And since you paint with latex, your art is perfect for the occasional steamy environment.” That’s one of the advantages of latex paint — it holds up well in high humidity.

Cassandra Tondro Art

You may have noticed that the art in your home looks different at night than it looks during the day, due to the color of your lightbulbs. Ann sent me an excellent explanation of how she lights her home so that everything looks the same, day and night.

For those of us who grew up with incandescent lights (when a light bulb was just a light bulb) the newer technologies can be confusing, costly, and many times disappointing.

I think the color of lighting is super important because it affects how we feel. Personally, I like the colors of my walls, furniture, and art to look the same at night as they do in natural daylight. It makes me feel content.

But an LED bulb has more going on than just the color of the light it emits. An LED with a high color rendering index (CRI) of 90+ dramatically improves how we see colors, especially warm colors like reds, tans and yellows. Conversely, a lower CRI number in the 70 range will drastically “gray down” and mute those colors in your home.

A good LED manufacturer will print the CRI number right on the box. I steer clear of brands that do not state the CRI number.

And for those of you who are technically inclined, here are Ann’s specifications for the color of the lighting:

After these pics were taken, I changed all the lightbulbs in my home to 4000K LEDs with a color rendering index (CRI) of 90+. I’ve found that a CRI over 90 keeps the colors from washing out (graying out is more like it) and the 4000k keeps the colors from yellowing (2700K is too yellow, and 5000K is too blue). The 4000K is more like indirect light from the sun, similar to having light through a skylight. Now, no matter the time of day/night, your art always looks stunning.

What are your tips for displaying art? I’d enjoy hearing your thoughts. You can share them with us in the comments section below.


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