Not all light bulbs are created equally. Those three letters I mentioned earlier refer to a not-so-new type of light bulb that is starting to become more relevant as the technology gets better. LED lights (short for light emitting diode) use a fancy process called electroluminescence to create light. This is different from your “old style” light bulb which uses incandescence to produce light. The former uses electricity and electrons to produce photons, while the later just heats up a material until it glows. There are strong benefits to electroluminescence. One of those benefits is the absence of large amounts of heat. Since UV radiation is produced by both light and heat, reducing heat in the light emission technique also reduces the amount of UV radiation. Therefore, LED light bulbs are much, much safer for the artwork we display. This allows us to adjust the balance between too little and too much light within the gallery and ultimately create a brighter and easier to see gallery space.
So there you have it: a science lesson wrapped in a conundrum and stuffed into an art gallery. I just explained the tip of the iceberg. I haven't covered the color of light, quality of light, electricity cost, return on investment, or implementation. But now you have a deeper appreciation for the little things here at MOCA Jacksonville. I know that our decision to switch to LEDs will make your experience more comfortable and will help to protect the art for a long time.
Consider yourself “illuminated.”