Conference on “Reducing Energy Use in Museums Considering Environments for Conservation of Cultural Properties” – LED lighting and reduced energy use

During the Conference (speech by FUJIWARA Takumi)

 Over the past few years, white LED technology has progressed dramatically. Improved color rendering and increased variation in color temperatures have reached the level where installing white LEDs as lighting for exhibitions can be considered. Such lighting requires color reproduction and creation of various lighting effects. That said, many museum staffs have expressed concerns about the effects of such lighting on materials, differences between objects viewed under that lighting and under conventional lighting, and whether power consumption can be reduced commensurate with the costs of installation. Given the need to share information on the development of white LEDs and the current state of exhibit lighting, a conference on reducing energy use in museums was held on Feb. 18, 2013.
 The Conference featured respective talks by two experts on development of LED technologies and two curators from art museums that installed white LEDs as exhibit lighting. One expert on the development of LED technologies, FUJIWARA Takumi, President of Light Meister Co., Ltd., discussed the basic principles of white LEDs and the latest technological trends. The other expert, MIYASHITA Takeshi of CCS Inc., talked about the development of new type of white LEDs, stimulated by violet LED, which emit light that is closer to natural light than that emitted by conventional white LEDs. MIYASHITA also talked about the installation of those LEDs in museums. The Yamaguchi Prefectural Art Museum installed white LEDs as exhibit lighting a while back. KAWANO Michitaka of the Art Museum described exhibits and staging that fully capitalized on the features of LED light sources, such as control of color temperatures. TAKANASHI Mitsumasa of the National Museum of Western Art described reduced energy use based on measurements. In addition, TAKANASHI described the characteristics of white LEDs from the perspective of someone who is constantly in contact with artworks, i.e. differences between oil paintings viewed under that lighting and under conventional lighting.
 Over the past few years, production of energy-inefficient incandescent bulbs has gradually diminished and halted as a step to combat global warming. In addition, the Minamata Convention on Mercury, which is expected to be adopted globally this October, is expected to dictate reduced production of products containing mercury after 2020. Continuing to use fluorescent lighting may no longer be limited. Installation of alternative lighting is inevitable for facilities handling cultural properties. Reflecting this fact, the Conference was attended by 130 individuals from around the country. The question-and-answer portion covered a range of topics, from issues concerning materials conservation such as elimination of ultraviolet radiation and temperature changes to issues concerning color temperatures and staging. In order to deal with issues raised during the Conference and to meet the needs of relevant personnel, we will continue to gather the latest information on organic electro-luminescence, the next generation of lighting to follow white LEDs, and we will continue to study and assess that lighting from the perspective of conservation. We will also convey the needs of museums and art museums to lighting developers and facilitate the use of these light sources as exhibit lighting.

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