Whether you have an entire studio to craft in, a small room, or even just a space at your kitchen table, getting the correct lighting set-up is essential.
Without good lighting, you’re going to find it hard to see details and colors correctly. It’s also important to work in good lighting to avoid eye strain. And, good lighting can also keep us awake and alert for longer.
There is lots of information online about finding the best light for painting, but if you are into other arts and crafts you may be wondering if this still applies.
Essentially, the answer is yes, and so we have brought together a list of the best light for painting and arts and crafts in general.
Let us shed some light on the matter, as we explore some options that might suit your workspace.
You might hear artists talking about the “north light”. What do they mean by this?
Well basically, north light is deemed to be the best light for painting. This is due to the fact that light coming from a north facing window is the most consistent throughout the day.
Many of us won’t be lucky enough to have a workspace beside a north facing window. So how can we recreate this effect without remodelling our house?
Let us introduce these 6000K daylight LED bulbs.
Normal indoor lighting often gives off warm, yellow hues. Step outside, and you’ll notice that natural light has a much more bluish hue. This is referred to as the color temperature.
Natural light has a color temperature of around 5500 and 6500K. Therefore, these 6000K bulbs fall right within this range. They emit a natural light similar to daylight and fit straight into most standard light fittings. These bulbs have a bayonet fitting, but there are other options available too.
If you need spotlight bulbs these will do the same job.
Another alternative, instead of changing the bulbs in your main light fittings, is to use a desk lamp.
Desk lamps are a really useful addition to an arts and crafts workspace, especially if you are a little tight on space or if you are using a space such as a dining table. A small portable desk lamp means you can clear the table when finished, without any hassle. And, they don’t take up much room in comparison to other options.
Depending on the type of desk lamp you go for, you can either fit it with a daylight bulb similar to the bulbs mentioned above. Or you could buy an LED lamp such as this one.
This LED lamp has the all important 6000K daylight setting, which is the best light for painting and crafts. Plus, it has 2 warmer settings if you wish to use the lamp for reading and relaxing as well.
Most desk lamps similar to this one also have something known as a gooseneck. This is simply a flexible neck that allows you to position the light at an angle to suit you. Having this flexibility is great for when you are working on different areas of your painting or craft. And it means if you adjust your seating position you can easily adjust your lighting to match.
This particular desk lamp has a touch and slide dimmer setting. So, if you plan on exhibiting your art, you can experiment to see how it may look in different levels of light.
Many artists and crafters prefer working with light from above. This is because it helps reduce the glare.
So, unless you are lucky enough to own a studio space with a conveniently situated skylight window, then you may want to consider this handy piece of kit instead.
It’s a desk lamp with clamp, however in the arts world it could also be referred to as an easel lamp.
Easel lamps attach directly to your easel and can be positioned to shine down onto your piece from directly above.
The clamp fitting can also be clamped to the edge of a table or workbench, depending on your needs.
A light pad is a drawing board with a light source included. They light an art or craft from beneath. They are commonly used by tattoo artists, arts that involve tracing, or in crafts where detailing is particularly important. Diamond painters often use them to illuminate their pattern and help differentiate between colors.
Whatever, type of art or craft they are used for, lighting a canvas from below can have its benefits. It means that you can avoid some of those annoying shadows that cast on your work from overhead or over-shoulder lighting options.
This featured light pad is portable, so you don’t need to be plugged into a power source while you craft. It is charged via USB and the cable is included.
Also included with this particular set is an adjustable stand to rest the light pad on. You can position the stand at the most suitable angle for you.
Most good light pads, such as this one also come with a feature that enables you to adjust the brightness of the light. This makes them kind on the eyes and versatile to use in varying degrees of surrounding light.
Finally, this light pad is available in 3 size options, A4, A3 and A2. Allowing you to choose a size that best suits your crafting habits.
Magnifying desk lights are not necessarily an all-round lighting option, but they are an added bonus to a workspace.
If you are painting fine details or crafting on a small scale, a magnifying glass can be very useful. It will enlarge small details, helping you to see exactly what you are doing and also avoid eye-strain. The light source adds to this by illuminating the piece and helping you to distinguish between colors.
The trick is to find a magnifying lamp with daylight blubs (5000k – 6500k). And, this lamp delivers on that.
Something else this lamp delivers on is its versatility. The lamp comes with both and clamp and stand. This means if you are happy using it as a desk lamp on a flat surface great. If you prefer to clamp it to an easel you can. All you need to do is switch the base fitting.
Our final option is this lamp and stand combo. Lamp stands are great if you have a large piece to work on, and you need to illuminate a large area.
The lamp featured in this example, has a wide aluminium shade that casts light out at a wide-angle for maximum light coverage.
The stand itself is lightweight, as is the aluminium lamp shade. This means you can move the light-source around depending on where you are positioned. Or to compensate for changes in light angle throughout the day.
The lamp connects easily to the stand by a clamp, and therefore it is easy to adjust the height whenever you need. The 7-foot stand has plenty of space and can support up to 4 lamps should you require more.
Every room or workspace is different, so finding the perfect lighting options for your set-up is not a one size fits all scenario.
You might get lucky and find the best solution first time round or if it might take a little time and experimentation to get it just right.
It is therefore advisable to really do your research and fully understand what it is you and your space needs. Try not to get frustrated if it takes a little rearranging and readjustment before you get it right.
The important thing to remember is that once you do hit on the optimum lighting scenario, your arts and crafts experience will improve considerable.
We hope our list of lighting options has been illuminating, and we wish you a very bright crafting future!