Cheap Painting Light Setup

One of the simplest and biggest improvements you can do to make your painting life easier is investing in proper lighting for your painting. Your eyes will thank you!

I’m going to go over the system I use myself, no guarantees it’s the best but it is pretty damn cheap and it does a wonderful job on a budget.

I use a dual light setup featuring two Ikea swing work lamps and 2 LED daylight bulbs. The biggest and most important part of the setup is the daylight bulbs with a temperature range of 5000K – 6500K, getting the temperature of light that best reflects natural light is what you are aiming for here. It lets you keep on painting into the night and keeps the colours you’re looking at stay their true tones. One of the big reasons I switched over to this setup from a cheap LED Ikea lamp (HÅRTE) was I found my eyes were straining to see details from the single light source and the paint colours weren’t appearing correctly under the lamp. The dual light setup gives you two adjustable lamps that lets you move each lamp around to get rid of shadows that might be obstructing details while you work.

An additional benefit to this setup is the daylight bulbs are fantastic for taking photographs under, giving you a nice colour balance.

Everything I got from IKEA:
Work lamp

LED bulb E26 1000 lumen
Cool daylight (5000 Kelvin)

I went with the 1000 lumen E26 LEDARE (5000 Kelvin) bulbs but if I was to do it again I’d probably go with the 600 lumen E26 LEDARE (5000 Kelvin) bulbs, the 1000 lumen are extremely bright and probably a bit overkill for the proximity and the 600s will also save you a few dollars.

Let me know in the comments below what your favourite paint setup is or if you have any questions!

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