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Subject: Fiber optic lighting

Fiber optic lighting

From: Paul Himmelstein <aandh>
Date: Monday, September 16, 1996
Zu-Chun Liao <zchun [at] nmns1__nmns__edu__tw> writes

>My museum is considering to set fiber optic lighting in the exhibit

We have had some experience with three companies who supply fiber
optic lighting:  NoUVIR uses acrylic fibers and has a variety of
end-fixtures that include small spot and flood fixtures, and ones
with zoom lenses; Lighting Services, Inc. uses glass fibers and a
series of small fixtures with plastic lenses (the fixtures are
mounted on a support so that you get a series with fixed intervals);
and Absolute Action, which also uses glass fibers and a variety of

All systems have their advantages and disadvantages.  Glass fibers
are more flexible than acrylic ones. I have found the NoUVIR
end-fixtures to be the most useful in lighting exhibition cases.
Unless you are experienced in using fiber optic systems, the choices
may seem overwhelming, and it is easy to produce a rather spotty
result, with small circles of light on each object.  The proper
selection and use of filters and lenses is an important part of the

Obviously, fiber optics lighting can help in important ways to
preserve artifacts - UV and IR can be completely eliminated from the
light, there is no heat build-up within the exhibition case
(assuming that the projector is mounted outside the case), relamping
is easy, and there is no way for the relamping to change the
lighting scheme within the case, and it is possible (and easy) to
control the amount of visible light on each object within a case
with the use of different size fibers and neutral density filters.
This last makes it possible to exhibit objects requiring very
different light levels within a few inches of each other.

Paul Himmelstein

                  Conservation DistList Instance 10:28
                Distributed: Tuesday, September 17, 1996
                       Message Id: cdl-10-28-001
Received on Monday, 16 September, 1996

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