After my article on the ambient lighting, we continue to talk about types of light, focusing on a different type of light: the accent lighting.
Accent lighting is lighting that allows you to highlight and shadow certain objects within the room, creating suggestive scenic effects. A painting, a sculpture, a series of vases, a fireplace, an object within a niche, are all elements that can be put in evidence right through the choice of suitable specific lights to illuminate them.
There are two prerequisites to consider:
- Choose right what items to put under a special light, keeping in mind that if the points emphasized by the light are too numerous, the impact effect is lost, and the one that was originally to be accent lighting becomes a dim light.
- Provide an individual control of each accent lighting. Each light must be turned on or off depending on the time and the room effect you want to create. If a picture has been taken away from the wall to be restored, it makes no sense that the light positioned to highlight the work of art illuminate the bare and anonymous wall.
But how do I get this kind of light? What lighting devices should I use?
In general we can say that the accent light is obtained through low-voltage halogen spotlights, 12V, positioned on the ceiling, wall, floor or directly in the furnishings, such as in the shelves of a library, whose light beam it is to focus on the object.
Particular attention should be paid when the objects to be illuminated are the paintings. These are delicate, cost money, and a wrong light can alter the color rendering, creating reflections and, at worst, spoil the work.
The paintings can be lit with wall or ceiling fixtures.
If we choose wall fixtures, we will head the light directly on the canvas. They are available in all styles and sizes and usually are mounted to 175 cm from the ground or on a ceiling track. Due to these devices have to be applied very close to the paintings, you should never use a tungsten lamps, which emit heat and can spoil the artwork. Fortunately today there are modern low-voltage halogen lights systems, equipped with long arms in case of very high ceilings, which in addition to direct the light correctly even avoid the formation of reflections.
To illuminate the paintings can also be used recessed spotlights, with beams of different sizes, depending on the size of the canvas. These devices can be applied with opaque lenses that produce a very diffuse light, almost homogeneous, and are perfect for the tapestries and textile works in general.
The halogen spotlights, anti-dazzling and low voltage, offer many solutions. If the ceiling of the room is low, they will be mounted at 35-40 cm from the wall, while if it is high, they will be mounted also at 120 cm from the wall itself. A good idea may be to use contour spotlights. The contour spotlights can be completely hidden, leaving exposed only a small opening in the ceiling, from which the light beam directed on the panel.
Now the question is: how can we illuminate all the paintings purchased later and we had not included in the lighting project?
In this case very simple solutions allow us to have a perfect accent lighting. Set a spotlight, connected to a plug, on a stand next to the wall where the picture has been hung, or place a table lamp that projects light onto the canvas.