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Using LEDs to Preserve Artwork And Illuminate Museums

August 8, 2017

Powerful LEDs are revolutionizing the way museums operate and maintain expensive artifacts. The luminary’s compact size and non-invasive properties allow curators to illuminate artwork in the building without affecting sensitive elements. By comparison, some traditional light sources emit harmful UV rays, which could cause discoloration on paintings, when exposed for long periods of time.

Keep reading to understand how museums leverage LEDs for illumination, inspections and preservation.

Narrow Spotlight Configurations

When illuminating a small artifact on display, curators typically use very narrow spotlights, suspended in the air or mounted very high on the ceiling. The narrow beam stays tight and focused, as it lights up the piece. Narrow lighting configurations are preferred, because of their ability to keep beams within a specific range, without affect nearby paintings. Furthermore, it keeps the general area dim, maintaining a comfortable ambiance for conversations and discussions.

Utilizing a wide flood beam to illuminate multiple pieces on a wall is not recommended, as it could cause unsightly glare – especially if the light source is very close to the wall (and if the color of the wall is bright). Flood beams would be an exception for very large museums, focusing on very large pieces (such as a dinosaur statue) or for dark-colored walls.

Detecting Inconsistencies (Infrared Light)

Behind the scenes, museums curators rely on infrared LED to streamline the detection of inconsistencies, origin of artifact and fraudulent applications. For instance, infrared light could be applied to uncover hidden touch ups in old paintings. In other industries, like law enforcement, infrared LEDs are also being used to detect counterfeit banknotes.

To conclude, the advantages of LEDs have made museums more efficient, authentic and grand. Without needing to invest in costly UV filters and outdated fixtures, such establishments could improve the overall mood and experience of viewers in the area.

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