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There lies a collective awareness on the urgency in getting involved with and influencing current environmental issues and climate change in today’s society. This phenomenon is known by the general public as: Greening. It is important, for museums to participate in this occurrence any way possible. To be able to sustain the quality and quantity of our cultural heritage, museums must take matters into their own hands. Visitors (and sponsors) will start demanding it from them. But the real reason museums should start Greening their museums has less to do with a demand from the outside world and far more to do with two essential aspects: an ethical and a financial essence of sufficient and sustainable museum management practice.
The Light of the Future
The European Union has stated that LEDs are ‘the light of the future’. This means that our museums and monuments will be illuminated with LEDs in the mere future, if we like it or not. Although manufactures claim that the LED is adequate for museum exhibition purposes, many museums remain resistant. Museums have a large responsibility in taking care of our cultural heritage. They must constantly find a balance between preventive conservation and presentation of all its artifacts to the best interest of the artifacts on display and their audiences.
Illuminate the Worlds Cultural Treasures in a Sustainable Way
With the current doubts on the effects of sustainability of museum artifacts using LED as an illuminator for museum purposes, you ( especially as a heritage specialist) may start to wonder: If manufactures, such as ERCO, Proliad and Philips state that LED is a qualified lighting source for museum exhibition purposes, then why haven’t more museums invested in LED yet? Can LEDs really live up to museum standards and guidelines? Can museums really finance the LED?
And an even more intriguing question, to my opinion is, is it possible that when using LED in a lighting design you will be able to contribute to a new collective perception of cultural heritage in ways we never even thought possible?
“In 2011 Dutch society invests more money, time, energy, and creativity in lighting their cheese and meats (with LED) than they do their cultural heritage“, states Scott Geffert ( a visionary during our interview.
It is therefore perhaps time to combine technical innovation with aesthetical skills to illuminate the worlds cultural treasures in a sustainable way.
More information about LED for exhibition spaces can be found in the research paper A vision on LED. The research done for this paper consists of the following topics: Finance, New Technology, Sustainability, Pre-conservation, Presentation/Aesthetics and Health issues.