The Blessing and Danger of Light
Without light there would be no art, as light is what allows us to see and appreciate color. It is one of the great ironies that the very thing that lets us enjoy color also works to destroy it.
Ultraviolet light rays are the same villains that your doctor warns you about. They cause breakdown whenever they come in contact with organic materials, burning noses, bleaching gum wrappers and ruining your son’s first finger painting. The damaging effects of UV light on artwork are cumulative and irreversible.
UV Protection for Your Artwork
All this talk about invisible UV light rays would seem to spell certain doom for artwork, but thankfully that is not the case.
Proper Lighting Techniques
• Choose subdued lighting effects that will not reflect into the glass, especially when you are not using reflection control products.
• Add emphasis to framed pieces by adding individual picture lights – see your framer for details.
• Do not hang your valuable artwork in direct sunlight. Even with protective UV-blocking glass, prolonged exposure to the sun’s heat can destroy your art.
• Use incandescent bulbs to light your work.(Fluorescent lights, on the other hand, have a high concentration of UV rays and should not be used to light your work.)
Unfortunately, the sun is not the only source of harmful UV light rays. All light sources, whether natural or artificial, have some of their components in the ultraviolet range. The most drastic visual effect of exposure to UV light is the dramatic fading of colors – especially those colors that contain red.
Once damage from UV light has occurred, it can never be reversed.