As the operator of a web site devoted to picture light for the last several years, I have encountered questions on just about every aspect of artwork lighting and the methods used to provide it. I have listed the most common questions and the responses that our team of professionals has given to them over that time. The good news about waiting until now to publish a document such as this one is that the answers have been time proven to be effective.
Probably the most common question that we receive, almost daily, is that of addressing the visibility of the cord. The question is always the same and people ask it as a way of determining whether or not they will purchase a picture light. The question of eliminating the cord can be answered best by sharing the multiple ways we have discovered to eliminate the need or to hide the cord leading from the electric outlet up to the picture light.
One of the first and best ways of addressing the cord involves hiding it from sight. By installing a recessed outlet, many times called a clock outlet, directly behind the actual picture the entire cord and circuit can be hidden from sight. Our customers typically take this one step further and then cut the cord to the proper, smaller length and then use a device called a snap on plug to allow for a convenient way to attach an electrical plug to the cord. We then will recommend that the customer install a simmer switch on the circuit.
The use of cord covers can also be very effective. The cord covers can make the appearance of the cord practically disappear. The cord covers are also very easy to install. When people ask where they can get cord covers we recommend that they go to their local home improvement store. The items are usually located in the painting section or the electrical section of the store.
A less expensive and convenient approach to lessening the visibility of the cord is to simply paint it. Just about every cord on lamps that our store sells is paintable. While I am not completely certain for the cords of other picture lights, ours are all paintable. Painting the cord the same color of the wall will allow it to blend in so well that the cord will barely be able to be seen.
Another less expensive alternative that does not involve electricity is to place plants, furniture, display tables or other decor in a position to hide most of the cord. In my house we have taken this approach and it seems to work great in the longer hallway where the picture lights are installed. We have used a larger staple to directly attach the cord to the baseboard. This keeps the cord straight and dramatically improves its appearance.
Finally, we recommend that our customers consider using a battery powered picture light. The lights will provide attractive minimum light and will last up to 45 hours. A few models are even rechargeable.