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Can LED lights fade artwork?

Displaying works of art in a long-lasting LED lighting space. Can LED lights fade artwork? This is a question that many people wonder when their showroom uses too many LED lights. Please follow this article to get the most accurate answer.

Things you should know about LEDs 

LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes) have become popular in recent years due to their energy efficiency, longevity and versatility. Unlike traditional incandescent or fluorescent lights, LED lights produce minimal heat and emit very little ultraviolet (UV) radiation. These properties make them a popular choice for lighting works of art because they minimize the risk of damage from heat and UV exposure.

Do LED lights fade artwork? 

LED lights do not fade artwork when used within the specified brightness and duration. While LED lights are considered safer for artwork, it's important to note that no lighting solution is completely risk-free. Over time, prolonged exposure to any light source, including LED lights, may cause the artwork to fade or discolor. However, the degree of fading depends on many different factors, including the material, pigment, time and intensity of exposure to light of the artwork. Factors affecting color fading:

UV exposure: Ultraviolet rays are known to cause the most significant damage to works of art. Although LED lights emit minimal UV radiation, they are not completely UV-free. Therefore, it is important to ensure that your LED lights have a UV filter or use UV filters or museum-grade acrylic glass to protect the artwork. 

Light intensity: Light intensity, measured in lux, can affect fading speed. Higher light intensities can accelerate the fading process, so it is essential to strike a balance between proper lighting and minimizing possible damage. Consider dimmable options or use dimmable LED fixtures to control light intensity and avoid overexposure.

Colorants: Colorants react differently when exposed to light. Some pigments fade more easily. For example, watercolors, pastels, and some dyes tend to fade more easily than oil paintings or prints. Understanding the characteristics of your artwork's medium can guide you in choosing appropriate lighting and protection measures.

Read more: Custom neon signs

How to protect artwork from fading? 

Protecting works of art from fading is an important factor in preserving and maintaining their value. When we invest time, effort and dedication into creating or owning a precious work of art, protecting it from the effects of light becomes a top priority. In this context, applying appropriate and effective protection measures is necessary to ensure your artwork remains intact and vibrant over time.

Display location: Place your artwork away from direct sunlight or any other strong light source. Indirect or ambient light is often safer for preserving art. 

Conservation frame: Choose conservation frame materials including UV filtering glass or acrylic glass. These protective glasses significantly reduce UV exposure and help maintain the vibrancy of your artwork.

Rotate regularly: Consider rotating your artwork periodically to minimize prolonged exposure to light. This practice ensures that different sections receive the same amount of light exposure over time. 

Control your lighting: Use dimmers, timers, or smart lighting systems to adjust light duration and intensity. This allows you to enjoy your artwork while minimizing the risk of potential fading.

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