Exhibit display categories
• three-dimensional objects
• flat displays on vertical surfaces
• realistic environments
• display cases
• Use light from different directions to accentuate the shape and texture of the artwork on display. Diffuse light luminaires should be set first, at 10 feet from the centerline of the object. The distance of the directional light source should always be greater than the distance of the diffuse light source.
•Use directional light to add shadow and express depth, and diffuse light to add further detail in the shadows.
• Place object 3 feet above the floor plane on a high-reflectance pedestal. In plan, the edge of the pedestal should be set 5 feet from the placement line for diffuse and directional lights. A backlight lamp should be set back 12 inches from the pedestal edge.
• For small, low objects, the main source of illumination is best employed at a 30-degree angle.
• For large objects, use ambient diffuse light in combination with narrow-beam light to highlight the object on display.
• Aim luminaire downward, to minimize direct glare.
• Keep the light within the mass of the display object.
• Use indirect ambient light, such as a cove uplight, to provide an ambient light source to fill in shadows.
• Use recessed uplights to highlight and minimize shadows.
• Luminaire placement for lighting objects hung on a vertical surface is preferred at a 30-degree angle.
• A steep angle will emphasize texture, but in turn mute color and cause shadows if the artwork has a deep frame.
• Shallow angles enhance color, but flatten textures and may cause reflected glare.
• Use of a framing projector can make objects look internally illuminated. With framing projectors adjust light cutoff to precisely match the illuminated image.
• With adjustable fixtures, adjust beam spread to cover object.
• Include identification labels in spill light.
• Use light filters and glazing to reduce UV light on displays.
• Use cool light sources (fiber optic or fluorescent lamps) to reduce heat. Incandescent lamps generate too much heat for this type of installation and proximity to objects.
• If sparkle is desired in the display, use point sources.
• Cases can be lit internally two ways: either by a shielded source secured at the case mullions; or with a 'light attic,' a top section of the display that contains diffusing and/or directional sources, and louvers or diffusing glass to control the light. Both scenarios require ventilation to remove heat.
• Cases can also be lit externally. In this instance, the light source should be located behind the viewer and surroundings kept dim to minimize reflected glare; case mullions should not shadow objects; and ventilation should enable heat dissipation.