Artists know that a well-lit workspace is needed for creative energy and uninterrupted art-making. Inconvenient shadows, inaccurate colors, and glare can all arise in a studio that is not properly lit. Whether you are a painter, a sculptor, or any other kind of artist, being able to see your work well is absolutely essential.
Good lighting starts with good lamps and bulbs. Use this guide to find the best light fixtures for your art space.
Mimic the Sun
Ideally, artists prefer to work under lamp light that imitates sunlight. When shopping for replacement lamps, try to find "full-spectrum lighting" that allows your eyes to see colors as they would appear in normal daylight conditions. Look for bulbs with a high color-rendering index (CRI). The sun's CRI is 100, so any bulb that offers over 80 CRI is a good choice.
The correlated color temperature (CCT) of the light is also significant for your studio. Look for bulbs with a CCT of around 5500 degrees Kelvin, which has about the same neutral warmth as the midday sun. For cooler, blue-tinged light, look for bulbs rated 7500K.
Finally, find a replacement lamp that is bright enough to adequately light your studio. The brightness, measured in lumens, should be about 7000 or 8000 lumens for a medium room. However, if you work in a large gallery or studio space, you'll need significantly more brightness.
Many artists recommend LED style bulbs for your replacement lamps in art studios. Not only are LEDs more energy efficient, but they last longer and tend to be brighter. In fact, LEDs use only 15% of the energy a standard halogen bulb uses, and offer up to 85% more light output. LEDs will be able to mimic the sun well and come in a variety of wattages, sizes and styles to adapt to your art-making space.
Get Flexible Fixtures
Choosing fixtures that can be turned or bent is a huge help when working on an art piece. Flexible fixtures allow an artist to find the right angle to avoid glare from paints and to highlight certain areas they'd like to focus on. For artists who work in their home, a few adjustable floor lamps should do the trick. However, if you have a large garage or other industrial settings for your art making, try shopping online at commercial light fixture websites for large-scale replacement lamps and lighting solutions.
The key to a great project is a great workspace. For artists, a great workspace absolutely must have quality lighting. Use this guide to create a well-lit studio you love to work in.