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Light Damage

George Macy devotees

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1aaronpepperdine
Sep 17, 2012, 5:41pm Top

This has been discussed before on LT, so some of you may have seen it, but this this article on protecting books from light may be of some interest to LEC (and any other press) enthusiasts

http://www.nedcc.org/resources/leaflets/2The_Environment/04ProtectionFromLight.p...

Aside from turning the spines in, does anyone have any good strategies for protecting books from light fading? Mine are all kept out of the sunlight, but that article suggests that standard household lightbulbs can do damage as well. Has anyone thought about putting the new LED bulbs in their libraries?

Finally, the NEDCC has quite a few other interesting articles on protecting books: http://www.nedcc.org/resources/leaflets.list.php

2kdweber
Sep 18, 2012, 1:08am Top

As you mention, I just keep all of my LEC's with the spine in. I don't really care if the slipcase fades.

3tag83
Sep 20, 2012, 4:30pm Top

This is what I'll be putting on the glass areas of the doors to my bookshelves. It both blocks UV light and has a light tint, so I'll still be able to admire my books.

4leccol
Sep 28, 2012, 5:44pm Top

I think it's only incandescent bulbs which cause fading. All the museums I have been to always use fluorescent bulbs. The new low wattage bulbs should solve any light problems since they are fluorescent.

5Django6924
Sep 28, 2012, 9:58pm Top

>4 leccol:

I have to disagree with leccol about incandescent (meaning tungsten or tungsten halogen) lamps. UV rays found either in sunlight or artificial light such as fluorescents act as a bleaching agent. UV rays transform the water found in all fabrics (including book bindings) and paper into hydrogen peroxide, a common bleaching agent that leads to the fading of dyestuffs. High energy photons of light, typically found in the ultraviolet or violet spectrum, can disrupt the bonds in the chromophore (a chromophore is the part of a molecule that is responsible for its color), leaving the resulting material colorless. Extended exposure to UV and visible light is the primary culprit in fading.

People in the clothing, drapery, carpeting, upholstery and other textile related industries know that after fabrics are exposed to fluorescent lighting for a period of time, the color dyes used in fabrics fade. Tungsten incandescent lighting, on the other hand, produces insignificant amounts of UV energy, as the majority of its spectral response is in the green and yellow spectrum, along with significant amounts of infrared energy--heat.

6kdweber
Sep 29, 2012, 12:54pm Top

I've been buying the new LED bulbs which are much warmer (spectrum wise) than CFLs. Does anyone have information on how these new bulbs affect paper and cloth?

7parchment
Sep 29, 2012, 1:25pm Top

I believe that if you want to play it really safe, you ought to forget about LED bulbs and get one of these instead:

http://www.gofoto.se/luna-lnebg1-p-2971-c-208.aspx

:-)

8leccol
Sep 29, 2012, 5:26pm Top

Django knows much more about lighting than I do, so I accept his analysis. I only know that since installing the compact Fluorescent bulbs I have noticed no discernable fading of books.

I have blocked all sunlight from my library room by installing light-tight shutters which allow zero unlight,

There are probably many factors which enter into book fading, including heat. A 26 watt CFL produces the same light as a 100 watt incandescent bulb.

The color of the bookcloth used seems to affect fading. Before installing CFL bulbs, the majority of books which faded were my HP books. Those covered in a red bookcloth seem to fade more rapidly than other colors.

From experience, I do know that art museums, the older ones anyway, seem to always use fluorescent bulbs.

In any event, the problem seems to be under control. All of my LECs will be going to my college library, so at age 77 I wont have the problem too much longer.

9Django6924
Sep 29, 2012, 10:00pm Top

All visible light can cause some degree of fading. Since the bleaching chemistry (as I described above) is primarily caused by UV, tungstens have the lowest probability of causing fading. Since all visible light and, as leccol points out, heat do contribute to fading, even LED lamps, which emit no infrared nor UV radiation, can be culpable, but at a rate much, much less than sunlight, which is the primary source of UV radiation in our environment.

Incidentally, though some art museums may use fluorescent fixtures, most of the ones I've been in use halogen lamps and many are switching to LEDs; the primary reason?--art museums need to have lighting which can be dimmed, which is not an option with fluorescent lighting but is with incandescent lighting and LEDs. The ones that use fluorescent fixtures must have done so for cost reasons due to the greater efficiency of fluorescent lighting, though the environmental dangers posed by the manufacture and disposal of fluorescent fixtures is rapidly changing that desirability factor. For your libraries, I strongly advocate LED lighting, and as leccol suggests, rigorously shutting out sunlight.

Incidentally, leccol, don't count too much on not having long to worry about such things: my late wife's uncle said something like that on his 75th birthday, and he didn't shuffle off this mortal coil for another 19 years! His son said he only did then because he was embarrassed to have been so far off in his prediction (which I believe to be true).

10tag83
Sep 30, 2012, 12:11pm Top

I just realized that I didn't include in the link to what I was talking about in a post above. This is what I'm installing on the glass: http://www.homedepot.ca/product/light-heat-control-window-film-3-feet-x-15-feet/...

It blocks 99% of UV light, reduces the amount of total light that passes through and acts as a bit of insulator.

11aaronpepperdine
Oct 5, 2012, 2:36pm Top

Leccol - I approve of your plan of passing your books on to your college library. I just discovered that the special collections room at my university has the complete Barbarian Press catalog, which has given me something to do between classes.

12leccol
Apr 11, 2013, 6:54pm Top

Django says: All visible light causes some degree of fading. this must have been what happened to my ex-wife.

13eastonlionel
Apr 11, 2013, 8:29pm Top

>5 Django6924: "UV rays transform the water found in all fabrics (including book bindings) and paper into hydrogen peroxide, a common bleaching agent that leads to the fading of dyestuffs."

This is incorrect. The OH bond energy in water is very high. It takes light of wavelength 260 nm to break the OH bond. This high energy UV radiation is blocked by the earth's atmosphere. If 260 nm light made it to the earth's surface we'd have much larger problems than color fading!

"High energy photons of light, typically found in the ultraviolet or violet spectrum, can disrupt the bonds in the chromophore (a chromophore is the part of a molecule that is responsible for its color), leaving the resulting material colorless. Extended exposure to UV and visible light is the primary culprit in fading."

This is correct, and completely depends on the chemical formula and structure of the dye itself. As we've all seen, reds tend to be the most susceptible to fading, which is due to the low energy bonds in red dye molecules.

14aaronpepperdine
Apr 11, 2013, 8:36pm Top

>13 eastonlionel:

This is precisely why I love this forum.

15Django6924
Apr 12, 2013, 9:48pm Top

>13 eastonlionel:

"'UV rays transform the water found in all fabrics (including book bindings) and paper into hydrogen peroxide, a common bleaching agent that leads to the fading of dyestuffs.'

This is incorrect. The OH bond energy in water is very high. It takes light of wavelength 260 nm to break the OH bond. This high energy UV radiation is blocked by the earth's atmosphere. If 260 nm light made it to the earth's surface we'd have much larger problems than color fading!"

Hmmm, you just can't trust scientific articles on the internet. What you are saying flatly contradicts the following:

"Hydrogen peroxide was produced when samples of lake water were exposed to direct or filtered sunlight in which UV or UV (B+C) light was selectively removed. In all cases, the concentration of hydrogen peroxide increased linearly with time-integrated irradiance. While both visible and UV light can induce the formation of hydrogen peroxide, the contribution from the latter was disproportionately large as it was responsible for about two-thirds of the formation of hydrogen peroxide."

The authors, Andrea Y.L. Wong, George T. F. Wong, should be apprised of their error. They can probably be reached at this website where their paper, The Effect of Spectral Composition on the Photochemical Production of Hydrogen Peroxide in Lake Water, is located:

http://tao.cgu.org.tw/index.php?id=439

16eastonlionel
Apr 13, 2013, 11:26am Top

>15 Django6924:

Thanks for providing the source of your comments on hydrogen peroxide formation from sunlight. With all due respect, I think you did not actually read the article, but just read the abstract. On page 2 of the article, it states that "Hydrogen peroxide is produce in the aquatic environment primarily by the interactions between dissolved organic matter and sunlight through the following reaction scheme..." Thus, it is not photochemical splitting of water that results in the formation of hydrogen peroxide, but rather the photochemically initiated reaction of dissolved organic matter with dissolved oxygen. Quite different from the photolysis of water producing hydrogen peroxide. I doubt the makeup of book covers and slipcases is similar to dissolved organic matter in lake water.

However, for relevance to this discussion, you are quite correct that sunlight and artificial light directly interacts with the dyes in all man-made and natural materials. When the wavelength of light corresponds to the bond energy in the visible spectrum, that bond can be photochemically broken, thus altering the dye's interaction with light in the visible spectrum. Some dyes will end up appearing white (no absorbtion in the visible spectrum) and some will end up appearing a different color (reflecting in other parts of the spectrum) as a result of "fading".

That article also reminded me that plate glass blocks all wavelengths of light below about 320 nm, thus removing the most harmful UV radiation (of which there is very little making it through the atmosphere anyway.)

Sorry, I'm an atmospheric chemist, and just had to reply. :)

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