Characterizing color quality, damage to artwork, and light intensity of multi-primary LEDs for museums

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Light causes damage when it is absorbed by sensitive artwork, such as oil paintings. However, light is needed to initiate vision and display artwork. The dilemma between visibility and damage, coupled with the inverse relationship between color quality and energy efficiency, poses a challenge for curators, conservators, and lighting designers in identifying optimal light sources. Multi-primary LEDs can provide great flexibility in terms of color quality, damage reduction, and energy efficiency for artwork illumination. However, there are no established metrics that quantify the output variability or highlight the trade-offs between different metrics. Here, various metrics related to museum lighting (damage, the color quality of paintings, illuminance, luminous efficacy of radiation) are analyzed using a voxelated 3-D volume. The continuous data in each dimension of the 3-D volume are converted to discrete data by identifying a significant minimum value (unit voxel). Resulting discretized 3-D volumes display the trade-offs between selected measures. It is possible to quantify the volume of the graph by summing unique voxels, which enables comparison of the performance of different light sources. The proposed representation model can be used for individual pigments or paintings with numerous pigments. The proposed method can be the foundation of a damage appearance model (DAM).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)188-197
Number of pages10
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Archaeology
  • Conservation
  • Materials Science (miscellaneous)


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