Portrait of Gauguin
The plaintiff, 125-year old chrome yellow paint, claims the defendant, 90-year old LED lighting, is darkening its bright, beautiful color. The discovery was first announced in November of 2012 when a team of scientists ran some tests using LED lighting against chrome yellow paint, specifically from Van Gogh’s work, Portrait of Gauguin. As Post-Impressionist works are featured in museums today, they need to be featured in a light that enhances their best attributes. Essentially, LEDs are best way to enhance the color and the focal points of the pieces; they do not contain infrared or ultraviolet (UV) radiation. However, could it be possible they are damaging works of art from some of the great masters?
The Plaintiff: Chrome Yellow Paint
To Post-Impressionist artists, like Vincent Van Gogh, color was an important feature in their art. They believed in contrast, making bright colors pop while enhancing the subtlety of dark colors. The chrome pigment, at that time, was popular as it created bold, bright colors. Discovered in 1797, chrome yellow pigment came from the mineral crocoite, lead chromate. It was used in the 1800s, but on a strict basis; the pigment would oxidize and darken over a period of time after being exposed to air. Naturally, the fact that the paint contained lead did not allow for a great reception either, leading to its early demise.
The Defendant: LED Bulbs
We praise LED bulbs; they are efficient, economical, and most of all, safe. They are frequently used in art museums, as the crisp, white light allows colors to pop. LEDs do not emit harmful UV rays, eliminating the risk of color degradation, nor do they emit heat from infrared radiation, removing the possibility of damage; nevertheless, it appears the bulbs seem to be slowly dulling the chrome yellow in these works.
The Surprise Confession: Xenon Bulbs
Breaking news in the courtroom! Upon further investigation, it has come to light that xenon bulbs were the culprit of this heinous crime; xenon bulbs do create heat as well as emit UV rays. While they make for bright, white light, these characteristics of xenon bulbs are not a pleasant companion for the chrome yellow paint featured in Post-Impressionist paintings. These traits do, in fact, speed up the oxidation process of the paint, thus causing the discoloration of the paintings. While some xenon bulbs have UV protection, a small amount of UV rays will still pass through.
While LED bulbs caught a bad rap for a short time, they escaped the guillotine of the lighting world. These green, energy efficient bulbs will continue to light the way for our world and our museums. Unfortunately, chrome yellow paint is destined to continue to oxidize, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still enjoy the beauty of in these masterpieces. Imagine how beautiful and bright it was when it was first used.
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Dec 17, 12
In volume 2 of Enlightenment, we will discuss a variety of new, and diverse, items added to our site, from contemporary antique light bulbs to hydroponic horticulture nutrients. With an assortment of products such as these, you won’t be disappointed with this article, so sit back, relax, and be enlightened.
Light your home Edison style! These unique, tubular antique light bulbs are the perfect way to give your home a vintage look. Beautiful for interior and exterior lighting, the spiral tungsten filament of the bulbs creates a warm amber glow that sets a welcoming and peaceful ambiance in any room. With a candelabra base, they are perfect for chandeliers, pendant lighting, and more. Give your home an antique feel; shop our selection of antique light bulbs!
Leviton Combination USB/Receptacle Charger
Leviton’s new combination USB and receptacle chargers can charge two electronic mobile devices synchronously via the USB ports, while leaving the receptacle free for any other power needs. The USB receptacle is perfect for use in residential spaces such as kitchens and home offices, as well as light commercial spaces such as airport cafes and office cubicles. Pair it with the USB receptacle with the Leviton Mobile Device Station for added convenience. Visit our site to see if the Leviton combination USB and receptacle charger is right for you!
LEDnovation GEN2 EnhanceLite A19
The LEDnovation GEN2 EnhanceLite A19 omnidirectional bulb is perfect for any multi-purpose lighting needs. Considered as one of the world’s most efficient LED light bulbs, this dimmable, warm white bulb uses only 13.7 watts and is the perfect replacement for a 75 watt incandescent. It has a color rendering index of 90 and does not contain mercury or lead. This LED bulb has a life expectancy of 50,000 hours and comes with a five-year warranty. Check out the EnhanceLite A19 and see if it suits your lighting needs!
RAB Slim Wall Packs
The new RAB LED slim wall packs are sleek and elegant, perfect for any indoor or outdoor lighting decor. Functional as a downlight or uplight, the wall packs come in a variety of wattages, with either a bronze or white finish; you choose the one best suited to your needs. They are UL listed for wet locations, IDA Dark Sky approved, and include a five-year warranty. Give any location that crisp, clean fixture it needs; browse our assortment of RAB LED slim wall packs!
Horticulture Nutrients & Supplements
In Enlightenment: Vol. 1, we mentioned that grow lights were new to our site. Now, we have added horticulture nutrients and supplements. The Bloom Blaster by Grotek is a hydroponic plant nutrient powder that helps plants mature properly. Effective in all growing media, it helps your plants to develop beautifully. Mighty Wash by NPK Industries aids to rid your plants of insects and spider mites and can be used in all stages of the flowering cycle. FloraBloom by General Hydroponics functions as a bloom development stimulator to improve the quality of plants during the flowering stage. See your plants grow to new heights with our new horticulture nutrients and supplements!