cumulative LED lighting damage – no UV or IR output, or low?

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    • #131925
      Charlene Martin

      Hi everyone, I am hoping to get some advice about allowing archival documents to be in museum exhibits for longer than 3-6 month (consecutive) periods. My museum is using LED lights for the exhibit areas, and there isn’t any direct UV light coming in from any windows. The NEDCC states that LEDs do not emit UV or IR radiation, so I am wondering if I still have to worry about cumulative exposure from light. I don’t think these pieces will ever rotate if I agree to let them be part of the exhibit, so I am advocating that we place scans of them out there instead.

      Am I wrong to be worried about this?

    • #131927

      While UV is the most damaging part of the spectrum, and the heat (IR) from hot light sources can also cause damage, visible light can cause considerable damage to light-sensitive material. Fading of documents is certainly a major concern. There are some works on paper that are not especially light-sensitive (e.g. where the image is created with carbon-based ink), but in general works on paper should not be placed on extended (or permanent) exhibition.

    • #131926

      I totally second Barbara. You could make high quality facsimiles and exhibit them instead of the originals (in that case, you should write it is a copy and not the original). But to attract people to the exhibits, it sometimes works to exhibit the originals for a short time first, replacing them afterwards with the facsimiles. If you do so, please pay attention that even if the documents are shown for a short period, the light levels should be adequate, since light damage is cumulative.

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