There are a lot of effective ways to illuminate artwork on your walls. Track lighting offers the most flexibility, both in terms of positioning as well as lamping. With a row of track heads at your disposal you can move the light around, filter it, shape the beam and choose different lamping to fit your needs at the moment.
Usually track lighting is mounted on the ceiling, but there are also wall-mounted options available. You can mount a rail unto the wall and have the individual heads on stems that extend an appropriate length to aim the light back onto the artwork. Or you can choose a cantilevered track or rail, where the entire track is mounted at a distance to the wall.
Don’t need it quite as sophisticated? – A picture light might be the solution.
Picture lights are an uncomplicated way of lighting individual pieces of artwork. You can either get them to be direct-wired or to plug in, to be mounted onto the wall or to the picture frame.
When choosing a picture light it is important to look not only at the design of the light, but how much light it will actually provide.
A lot of the traditional linear picture lights with tubular incandescent lamps primarily illuminate the top of the piece.
With the way the light is positioned (relatively close to the frame) and the amount of watt you are able to use in the fixture, this type of fixture is limiting.
But there are some fabulous picture lights out there with long slender stems that hold single halogen or LED spot lights. These are just like the heads you use on a track and offer the same characteristics. If you choose a halogen head you pretty much determine the light by the lamp (bulb) you choose. There are so many options to play with when you include the use of filters. You can even choose a filter that makes the beam on the wall square or rectangular. LED lights have the great advantage that they run a lot cooler and contain a fraction of the damaging rays emitted by other light sources. This is the reason the Cistine Chapel in the Vatican was finally able to be lit to perfection. For most of their lifetime the incredible frescos by Michelangelo were not illuminated with artificial light. Now 7000+ LEDs are showing them in their best light.