Make sure that everyone working in your museum is aware of the damage that excessive light levels can cause and ensure they understand the reasons for any control measures taken.
One of the most important ways of protecting your collection from damage caused by light is to avoid lighting it when no-one is looking. Here are several suggestions to consider.
Storage and work areas
Items that are not on display should be stored in a separate area that is lit only when access is required or when the area is being cleaned.
If no-one is viewing the display, turn the lights off.
Brightness of Light
We recognise that meeting the recommended industry standards for maximum light levels discussed already can sometimes be difficult to achieve. The following tips for planning lighting and exhibits can help to avoid some of the common problems.
Try to group materials of similar light-sensitivity together in an exhibition, then ensure that this particular area has an appropriately low level of light.
Daylight is the hardest of light sources to manage. Some control, however, can be achieved with the following suggestions.
Determine where your ’hot-spots’ are (areas that receive the most light), remembering that these will change over the course of a day, and from season to season when the sun’s trajectory changes.
Eliminating UV and IR radiation
As stated previously, UV and IR radiation are invisible and do not help illuminate items. They do, however, have the potential to cause greater damage than visible light. They should therefore be eliminated where possible by the following means.
Use UV absorbing plastic films on windows and skylights to eliminate UV radiation from the daylight coming into the room.