> Artificial Lights
|Lighting, floor, study, first floor, Château sur Mer
|Historic light bulb exhibit, basement, The Elms.
|Reproduction historical light bulb, basement, The Elms.
|Period lighting, second floor, The Elms.
|Period lighting, pastry room, basement, The Elms
|Lighting for events, balcony, The Breakers.
The exhibit lights as used in Green Animals and Rosecliff provide
another source of illumination that needs to be monitored and evaluated.
Fiber optical lighting is the preferred method for lighting case
interiors and is recommended as a goal for all house exhibits. While
working towards this goal, a stepped plan to cover existing fluorescent
light tubes with a UV absorbing film/sleeve is recommended. They
eliminate light spectrum emissions from 400 mw and below and maintain
the ultraviolet emissions at the high range of an acceptable level
of 75 mw. In order to insure correct levels are maintained, light
fixtures need to be checked with every change of bulb for UV emission
levels. A warm color temperature as opposed to a standard cool
white tube is aesthetically pleasing for the visitor and enhances
exhibition features. When seeking new fluorescent tubes, consider
different vendors. For instance, Phillips manufacturers a fluorescent
tube (Phillips 37) with a built in UV absorbing film. These are
the only maker of non-specialty fluorescent tubes that offer this
as a standard feature. Other manufacturers such as GE and non-name
brands do not.
Specialty vendors offer more expensive products that often have
built in UV shields and emit a specific color spectrum that enhances
exhibits. Should brands without UV shields be substituted in the
future as bulbs burn out, a UV filtering plastic sleeve must continued
to be used. They can be purchased from a museum supplier. They must
be checked for emissions as with all light sources on an annual
basis. A UV monitoring device can be purchased for $1800+.
Traditional interior case mounted light fixtures also emit a level
of light that is too high for prolonged exposure to collections
as proscribed by current professional standards. The most effective
means is to remove the light sources from the cases where feasible
and to substitute museum quality spot lights positioned more than
10 from the face of the case. This has the added benefit of
removing a heat source from the case and allows the case environment
to become more stabile.
Throughout the individual houses seasonal dark days make viewing
difficult for the visitor. While houses such as Kingscote utilize
stronger wattage bulbs during the winter season, another option
to consider are specialty exhibition spot lights. Spot lights set
a minimum of ten feet from the objects with heat deflectors and
diffusing covers, often augment a room lighting scheme quite successfully
when part of an overall room light plan. These lights are available
in different wattage, beam width formats, heat shields and diffusing
filters that enhance an exhibition.
Even lighting within an exhibition setting is difficult to achieve
when combining daylight with artificial light because of the variable
spot levels for which the eye must compensate. The eye
has an extraordinary ability to regulate itself from a very bright
20,000 fc. to a dim 3 fc. if given the proper transitional timing
and setting as the visitor comes from the bright outdoors to the
dimmer indoor setting. With this in mind, as a medium term goal,
plan to initiate a lighting assessment with a professional exhibition
or lighting designer, working towards a goal to redesign gallery
lighting systems. Many of the exhibits are suited to fiber optic
lighting design. Fiber optic lights are recommended especially in
the period rooms and enclosed casework.