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Light can cause damage due to overexposure which, in turn, can cause a loss in historical or aesthetical value. Different types of objects are more sensitive to light than others and managing light exposure is a core principle of collections management. The Alliance has compiled this set of resources from amongst its own offerings as well as those throughout the nonprofit and museum sector.

Alliance Resources

LED Lighting in Museums

Museum magazine discusses LED lighting and how using them promotes sustainability for a museum’s operations. The article also discusses color quality, safety around life-sensitive artifacts, glare, and balancing preservation with operations.

Other Resources

The following resources were compiled from organizations throughout the nonprofit and museum sector. AAM reviewed and approved each one based on the organization’s authority and expertise and the resource’s usefulness related to the topic. Clicking the links below will take you off the AAM website.

Agents of Deterioration: Light, Ultraviolet and Infrared

The Canadian Government provides a number of resources on agents of deterioration including this webpage dedicated to ultraviolet and infrared light. The page includes information on sources of light, damage, and control of these types of light.

Light Levels for Storage and Exhibition

Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts’ (CCAHA) Connecting to Collections resources includes this helpful 1-page PDF with recommended light levels for different types of objects on exhibit.

The Northeast Document Conservation Center (NEDCC) has a technical leaflet on protecting paper and book collections during an exhibition. It discusses how light affects paper objects and provides practical tips on how much time a paper object should spend on display and goes into framing and loans. The leaflet includes suggested further readings.

Protection from Light Damage

The Northeast Document Conservation Center (NEDCC) has a technical leaflet titled Protection from Light Damage. It discusses different types of light, practical tips for estimating light damage, and ways to control light. The leaflet includes a bibliography and a list of suppliers.

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