Home / Specialty Topics / Sustainability / LED Lighting


LED Lighting

Conservators are asked to provide clearly defined answers to complex preservation questions so often that they may actually start to believe that it is possible to give them. The Green Task Force (GTF), created by AIC to tie sustainability to our conservation profession, has repeatedly confronted this expectation. We find that areas of concern (e.g. environmental set-points) have commonly assumed “standards” based on empiricism, habit, and available technology, rather than adopting a more nuanced approach that might better meet the needs of our collections and institutions. 

Recent postings regarding the use of LED lights for display of museum collections prompted the GTF to dig deeper into the question of whether this developing technology is ready for us to implement and promote.  This presents a timely opportunity to educate ourselves on yet another complex and developing area impacting our profession. The lighting industry will address our requests for safe, efficient illumination with improved products but only if we are forthcoming with the details of what we require, and are willing to engage in an informed exchange. For this reason, a healthy, open discussion is important, and that isn’t possible without a solid understanding of the issues and the science.

We are most grateful to Steven Weintraub, who has pulled together information on this topic in a way that should be directly relevant to conservators.  It is our hope that this will put us on track to talk with industry experts as we work to solve our small scale preservation problems in concert with the world’s big environmental problems.

Download "Comments Regarding LEDs and Risks to Light Sensitive Materials"

Additional Web Resources
A few more web resources provided by James Druzik (Conservation DistList post 04/22/2010) are given below.  Search the Conservation DistList archives for his post and related messages in the discussion thread under the subject line “Caution urged when considering LED light sources for light-sensitive materials”

Color Rendering of Light Sources
Web resource created by the National Institute of Science and Technology (NIST).

LED fact sheets are on the solid-state lighting
Website maintained by the U.S. Department of Energy

The Department of Energy’s Commercially Available LED Product Evaluation and Reporting (CALiPER) program website has a wealth of information on solid-state lighting (SSL):

About the Program

Searchable Database

Benchmark Reports

Round 9 Caliper report (long term testing/reliability) 

Testing Labs Listings
Find qualified testing labs for LED products under consideration.

Color Rendering Index and LEDs

Color Quality of White LEDs

LED Lifetimes 

LED Luminaire Reliability 

Energy Star Criteria for SSL 

DOE GATEWAY Demonstration Reports

Next Generation Luminaires
LED design competition winners for 2009

Quick Links

AIC books for sale