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-   -   Display Cabinet Lighting -- Fluorescent vs. Incandescent (http://www.wehrmacht-awards.com/forums/showthread.php?t=552921)

DouglasDwight 11-07-2011 11:00 AM

Display Cabinet Lighting -- Fluorescent vs. Incandescent
From a conservation standpoint, can anyone "shed light" on which type of lighting is less harmful on war booty, and other antiques in general...Fluorescent, or incandescent?

I'd like to outfit my display cabinets properly, and most importantly, safely, without causing any artifact deterioration.

Thanks in advance!

rbminis 11-07-2011 12:13 PM

As far as I know, incandescent gives off no UV but creates heat. Flourescent gives UV, (type depends on which lamp type you are using), but only the ballast creates heat. Halogens run very hot. Paul will be along to inform you of the rest. smilewink

Peter_Suciu 11-07-2011 03:51 PM

I believe incandescent can still cause fading, even without the UV. And according to the model train forums fluorescent is better than incandescent in that it provides a better quality of light. But the downside is the UV.

What I have done is what the model train collectors recommended and that is to use a plastic screen to defuse the light, which reduces the UV considerably.

I'd also advise against having the display cabinet lights on all the time. The continual light can cause items to fade.

Paul R. 11-07-2011 06:44 PM

Most cabinet lighting will fade artifacts. Over the years several good articles have been posted on this topic. One must be careful when choosing the type of lighting used to laminate there collection. Most museums carefully choose the correct lighting and light filtration and monitor the light on a regular base. You never want to leave lights of for any length of time. Some serious cloth collectors have a motion sensor to illuminate when someone is in a room much like museums. All types of lighting will fade cloth, leather, paper, paint. High intensity bulbs like tungsten are bad. Many conservation supply stores offer light filters and shields that is not too costly and hard to install. Yes heat from bulbs and ballast can cuse a lot of heat.

Here is one of many sources that I have used in the past called Gaylord Conservation Supply.
You may want to pick up a few of these fading cards to help protect and spot any fading
http://www.gaylord.com/adblock.asp?abid=14017&search_by=desc&search_for=f ading%20cards&mpc=WW&catalog=&target
Some other companies are Talas Conservation Supply, Light Impressions, and University Conservation Products

bobcam1 11-07-2011 07:29 PM


Originally Posted by Paul R. (Post 4950071)
......All types of lighting will fade cloth, leather, paper, paint.

LED lights emit NO Ultraviolet radiation, and in addition, will NOT fade soft goods at all.

Paul R. 11-08-2011 10:07 AM

My reference was to the already built in older display that use the older style lighting. As of yet not to many build newer cabinates use LED lights, but that is changing. The LED lights are a good source, but if you can buy any or want to buy LED for now. My information supplied is another choice.

bobcam1 11-08-2011 06:47 PM


Originally Posted by Paul R. (Post 4950875)
My reference was to the already built in older display that use the older style lighting. As of yet not to many build newer cabinates use LED lights, but that is changing. The LED lights are a good source, but if you can buy any or want to buy LED for now. My information supplied is another choice.

OOPS....sorry...I'll read a little more carefully, next time...:)

DouglasDwight 03-27-2019 10:33 AM

Good info. I wonder if technology regarding lighting has changed over the last few years, as far as best light source to light a cabinet, but to not put off harmful UV?

jtb1967 03-27-2019 07:07 PM

My cabinet uses incandescent lighting but I only turn it on when I need to show something to a friend or visitor. The rest of the time the cabinet is in an office with no windows, so no sunlight to worry about.

DouglasDwight 03-29-2019 10:43 PM

I suspect that option might work as well. Just worried about cumulative fading over time. But for short periods, that would probably be OK.

Erich B. 04-01-2019 06:57 PM

From what I've been able to find, LEDs emit little or no infrared radiation. Supposedly they don't fade fabric and they give off very little, if any, heat. The color light they produce was originally pretty harsh blue/greenish, but they're now available in warm, cool, sunlight, natural light, etc. Those would seem to be the way to go. Unfortunately they're not very good for your eyes and will there is a growing concern in the scientific world that they will cause retina problems if used exclusively for night-time lighting over time. However, once they're made with filters or restrictions on the blue light they produce, they should be less of a problem.
But for display case light, they would seem to be the best choice available.

DouglasDwight 04-01-2019 11:10 PM

Thatís some great info, Erich. I have a display cabinet that Iíd like to retrofit with LED. I need to find a source online. Like you suggested, however, Iíve always wondered about the harshness of the light on the human eye. But finding an LED with a more warm or natural glow may alleviate that issue.

Din1965 09-05-2019 06:07 AM

Auto Adhesive led light cord
I recently bought and installed an auto adhesive led light cord. I Used it behind the glass door frame of my wooden cabinet in which i have my infantry parade uniform. It was very simply to attach, gives a soft warm light and is hidden from eysight. It is operated with 2 AAA batteries, so, really no cost at all and ultra satisfactory! I attach a photo made with no other lights on or flash.


gregM 09-06-2019 08:55 AM

nicely done

Din1965 09-13-2019 05:48 AM

Thanks Greg!

Originally Posted by gregM (Post 8526810)
nicely done

I tried lots of different lights before i ended up with the led cord.
All other solutions either produced heat or were too strong, or lit up only part of the uniform.
The light now is really soft, doesnt produce any warmth, is out of sight (not blending you) and uses only 2 Batteries, so it is not dependend on electro cords etc.

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