The selection of the correct picture lights to display artwork at it best is important, to create that focal point or talking point that any home needs. Lighting pictures correctly however does require a certain amount of thought to ensure all details are taken care of well.
Lighting from above is a preferred choice, as it tends not to distract. However, it is important that the fitting does not overwhelm the subject beneath. Mindful of this, the fitting should only extend across two thirds of the pictures width. Centrally placed, this will give an even flush of light.
The lighting used will also need to be in keeping with what method and materials the artwork has been constructed in. For example, artwork painted in watercolors will need a delicate touch, with low light levels, in order the content remains vibrant. Modern acrylics conversely can take a lot of bright light, to reflect back their true colors.
It is also necessary to keep lighting in line with the size of the artwork. Larger sized pictures are the only ones which can really get away with being lit with multi lights. Smaller and even medium sized can be easily overwhelmed in this way. A rule of thumb dictates that if no shadow is cast on the image, the light fall is sufficient.
As important as picture lights are, choosing the right wattage of lamps used and the right type of lights is important. Wrongly chosen and used too often, permanent bleaching can occur. Protection from natural light is most important though; keeping away from all sources of daylight should ideally be the choice.
When artwork is behind glass, there will always be reflections from picture lights. Managing these is a little tricky; relying on the angles used and so forth. To this end, it is good to experiment with the location of the fittings before deciding upon a final position.