Lighting is important for museum and gallery display and is a fundamental element in shaping the visitor's experience. However, lighting is also a key issue in preventive conservation and collection care that needs to be managed delicately as it can cause degradation to materials.
The design of lighting for museum and gallery display involves intertwined necessities for visual satisfaction and well-being of the visitor and the livelihood of presented cultural material. The complexities of visual perception, the care required for preserving cultural heritage, the environmental performance of lighting systems and technologies, and the particular curatorial needs and circumstances of individual collections all necessitate attention to a myriad of comfort and performance factors. These factors require a holistic evaluation to address them in a balanced manner.
This research questions the commonly referenced museum and gallery industry guidelines and practices, examining their relevance today. It further produces practically relevant experimental data and mathematical iteration that supports improved industry guidelines for lighting design in museum environments.