Exhibition lighting has undergone major transformations in the past decade. Museums must now adapt to a revolution in lighting technology driven by pressures to reduce energy costs and become more sustainable. Allowing visitors to view their collections is a core role of museums; however, light can cause damage to some objects, which violates the goal of preservation. This conflict between two fundamental functions of museums creates a lighting dilemma. Situation-specific resolutions to this problem involve careful consideration of many practical issues:
- object sensitivity
- object visibility
- lamps and fixtures
- lighting policy
This workshop touches on each of these issues and the sources of information for making educated lighting decisions.
Upon completion of this workshop, participants will be able to:
- assess the risks associated with lighting and estimate the future fading of objects
- specify the intensity and quality of light required by viewers for various tasks
- analyze the visibility and aesthetic aspects of lighting design
- understand the different lamps and fixtures available
- understand issues related to retrofitting a lighting system
Object sensitivity and visibility issues
Colourants have different sensitivities to light exposure, and visitors have specific visual constraints. A balance is discussed for visibility and preservation.
Prediction of fading
Principles for predicting light fading are illustrated through the use of simple tables or equations and also with a free user-friendly computer program.
A lighting policy is a tool that helps museums determine the proper conditions (light level and exposure period) for their objects.
Lamps, fixtures and accessories: design considerations
An overview of conventional museum lighting systems is presented along with important factors to consider for LED retrofits.
Anyone who installs or contributes to the lighting decisions in museums, galleries and archives. This includes staff responsible for preventive conservation as well as exhibition designers and collection managers.
English and French
Minimum 10, maximum 20
The host institution must provide:
- a meeting room where people can work in groups of about four
- a flipchart or whiteboard for the instructors
- a laptop and a projector (and any electric extension cords needed for their installation), and a projection screen (or white wall)
- a table for the projector (if necessary) and a table for CCI materials
In addition, it would be advantageous to have access to exhibition spaces to view and discuss some of the lighting concepts.
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