“Pin spotlights that direct light onto individual artworks is a great way of illuminating them,” says Mishaan. These ceiling fixtures can be recessed or surface-mounted, and they allow the direction of light to be adjusted. They can also be specified with a range of light-beam spreads, so “you can ensure that the light covers most of the artwork,” not just a small part of it, he says.
As a rule of thumb, adds Russell, ceiling-mounted lights should be placed so that the light beam hits the center of the artwork when the fixture is adjusted to a 30-degree angle. “If you light a piece of art at ten degrees, which means you’re really close to the wall and pointing almost straight down, you’re going to end up casting really long shadows below the frame,” he says. “If you go back too far, to 45 degrees, then you’re pointing too directly, and you’ll get reflective glare.”