Main content


Museum and Gallery Lighting: Theory and Practice

From: Monday 07.10.19
at 9:00am
To: Monday 07.10.19
at 6:00pm

The British Library

96 Euston Road
United Kingdom



Places available: 20

Event type: 
Event language: 

This one-day introductory/refresher course offered by IAP in association with The British Library.

Event description: 

Through a mixture of short presentations and discussions, it will explore how, in everyday practice, the need for light to appreciate objects can be balanced with the potential damage light can cause to some exhibits.
The day will begin with an introduction to the basics of light and colour, looking at how we see objects and how the type of light and the level of light affects what we see before moving on to examine the potential damage caused by light and the extent to which different materials suffer from light-damage.
The next focus will be on the levels of light needed for different types of objects, contexts or viewers and the effect our lighting decisions have on the ‘lifetime’ of objects.
The practicalities of lighting objects to balance conservation and visibility will be explored, looking at choices of light source, filtration, light control methods and monitoring.
The development of lighting policies and guidelines within the context of preventive conservation and other institutional policies and practice will also be discussed. t is aimed at curators, conservators, technicians and other interested parties.

David Saunders was recently head of Conservation, Science and Documentation at the British Museum (and previously in the Scientific Department of the National Gallery London) and is presently writing a major work on Lighting in Museums and Galleries which is expected to be published in 2019


David Saunders