" Pure-white, stone-cold fiber optic lighting sytems "
A fiber optic system is made up of a projector + fiber + luminaires.
Install a projector. Screw this piece of high-tech equipment down with four screws, because it is already vibration-isolated mounted and ready to go. Plug its 6-foot cord into a grounded outlet. Or hardwire the power supply ordering a conduit version.
You need 1 amp. That’s all. Outlets usually work best, 118V, grounded. The power goes through a separate, durable core-and-coil power supply that operates the projector at 18V.
Turn the projector on and off by turning the outlet on and off…or use a remote control extension cord or controller like Christmas tree lights…or the switch on the projector itself.
Run the fiber. Pull any length from a few feet to 50 feet from a roll, cut with a hand cutter and polish with a solan nail buff. Install 32 fibers in one projector. Put the other polished end of the fiber in a luminaire. Choose from lots of different luminaires.
Or order ready-to-use fiber bundles from NoUVIR. But note you can change things in the field. You can shorten any fiber. You can swap a fiber for a longer one. You have this flexibility during installation. You have this ability 10 and 20 years later. The fiber is easy to handle, durable and glows when lit. But you can jacket with a cloth jacketing or a plastic jacketing as you wish.
Luminaires are where the fun really begins. There are all sorts of choices. One case can be lit with spots in a track while some fiber runs up into the ceiling to eyeballs to light things outside the case while yet another fiber runs to a kerosene lantern to establish a time period.
Three Ways to Do Fiber Optic Lighting Design
THE MUSEUM WAY.
Museum curators, museum conservators, exhibit designers, fine artists, private collectors, antiquity galleries, etc.
drive their fiber optic lighting designs by the objects.
Already they have planned where objects go.
They know the layout. They know what the storyline is. They know their educational goals.
They know what they want every visitor to see.
#1 What Are You Lighting?
Museums can skip ahead, but others may need to know that the museum industry has long established rules for light levels for each type of artifact.
Professionally, it is never good to break these footcandle recommendations. Documents are lit very differently than jewelry.
Need help finding what museums say about light levels for each type of object? See the one-page pdf chart of recommended footcandle levels. Pick the light levels based on the most fragile object x2.
Do not exceed doubling these footcandles. Why? People see very well at twice a light level and then dropping down to half what they just viewed. But people physically have problems when overexposed. Colors get washed out. Detail is hard to focus on and see. Show someone an object or a light source that 3x instead of 2x as bright and expect a delay of 15 to 20 minutes for the ability to see to stabilize back down so visual data is enjoyed.
For signs, props, graphics and anything that is not an object, cut the lowest light level by half. These items will be seen, but not compete with the artifacts. If you light brighter, the lowest light level object will be harder to see AND NOT STAND OUT.
One of the biggest problems is someone missing the most important thing in a collection. But lighting it well will mean no one fails to see it. Remember, the eye always is attracted to the brightest things in its field of view. It is where the mind focuses.
Use that physiology to better tell your story.
Show off your best objects. Direct people using the amazing aim and zoom control of NoUVIR fiber optic lighting. Studies show people will stand 2x longer in front of a case lit with NoUVIR. No one should miss your key treasures, because of the volume of the collection. Everyone should see the very finest pieces.
For example, recommended footcandle limits in the museum industry for a costume is 10 footcandles. The rules mean no object, even jewelry, should be lit more than 20 footcandles in the space (10 x 2). Signs, backgrounds, graphics, props, etc. should be lit at half. So the limit is 5 footcandles (10 ÷ 2). Walls and floors can be lit at 2.5 footcandles. ADA prefers 3 footcandles to prevent stumbling.
Confused by lux? One footcandle is 10.7639 lux. Just add or subtract a zero. So 1 footcandle equals 10 lux by adding a decimal as a zero behind the 1. Or 30 lux is equal to 3 footcandles taking away a zero by adding a decimal. For lighting, it is usually accurate enough instead of calculating.
Photometry will tell you beam sizes and footcandle levels. Where are the lights mounted? What is the rough distance from where the light is mounted to where the objects are? To scale, draw circles on the artifact layouts showing light beams.
What beam size do you want? What beam intensity (footcandles) do you need? Pick from floods, spots or pinspots. But remember, every beam will adjust. Light the most key artifact even in a crowded case with just 10% more light and no one will miss seeing it. The ye is always attracted to the brightest object in the field of view.
Need more help? Call NoUVIR. Also see the popular paper, Museum Lighting: Pure and Simple.
#2 How Are You Lighting?
THE BUILDER WAY.
Exhibit builders, construction people and case builders tend to start with the structure.
Where will the lights be installed?
Lights are picked based on how they are installed and how the fiber is run to each light.
Where Are the Lights Mounted?
Will you mount through a hole?
All NoUVIR downlights, eyeballs, aimable pinspots and AZ-EL downlights are simple to install.
Drill a hole. Case top. Light attic. Ceiling tile. Does not matter.
Unthread the ring from the body of the luminaire. Put the luminaire’s body through the hole. Screw the ring back on trapping the gasket against the hole’s edge, so the luminaire seals. Use your fingers.
Will You Mount Using a Bracket and Screw? Floods, spots and pinspots all come as luminaires with 90° brackets. These lights are so small, they easily hide behind mullions, edges, drapes, diorama foliage, furniture lips, on top of cases to aim down, on top of door molding in historic rooms, under shelves, in light attics and under stair wells.
Screw the bracket down to a surface. Do not like where it is? Unscrew and install again.
Not sure where a luminaire goes?
NoUVIR is STONE-COLD light! It is bright light with no IR. Hold the lit luminaire in your hand, aim it at what you are lighting, move the luminaire around until you get the angle you want. Then screw it down.
Bracketed luminaires come with the bracket tucked up close to the luminaire’s body. But if you need more height, the bracket will reverse.
Do you need to snap lights into a track? NoUVIR’s spots and floods come in a “headless” track version that looks like a line as the lights are hidden inside the track. All the 8-foot long tracks are easy to mount. First, unlike other lighting tracks, there is no electricity, no electrical connections, no elbows or T’s…the aluminum track miters just like wood molding. Use a chop saw with an aluminum cutting blade.
Second, NoUVIR tracks have an internal guide groove for a drill bit. Place a drill bit between the two grooves, push and the drill will not wander, but cleanly make a hole for a fastener.
Third, NoUVIR tracks have an internal C-shape for a roll pin. Pick a roll pin that fits finger tight and perfect line up another piece of track. It works as an automatic guide. Pick a roll pin that is slightly oversized for the C-shape and mechanically hammer two pieces of track together. They become tightly held as one longer piece.
Fourth, NoUVIR tracks have as an accessory a snap-on clear 4-foot-long lens (2 needed for a standard 8-foot piece of track). Most installations never need a lens. But if there is a problem with people trying to touch the fiber and luminaires, the lens blocks access.
To install a light is easy. Take a track luminaire in the hand, line-up the body of the light on the centerline of the track. Push. The luminaire will spring inside the track on its clip. Removing a light is easy too. Take the luminaire’s body and turn the light sideways with a twist. The track clip will fold and release. Move lights anywhere along the track. Feed fiber anywhere along the track. Make 90° mitered corners with the fiber sweeping inside the track around the bend.
Do you need to snap lights into a bannister? NoUVIR offers 2-inch diameter bannisters that also beautiful match brass bar railings and 4-inch diameter bannisters that match common architectural rails. Aim a beam. Just move and bend the mirror. The beam angle will lock.
Once the mount is picked, choose from floods, spots and pinspots. Most builders use spots. They are versatile. A spot can always be converted to a flood by removing the threaded-on lens.
A spot will zoom to a tight 15°. The pinspot can go down to a 5°. That is remarkable. A tight 5° with the all the light inside that 5° beam. But spots will usually do the job.
#3 How Rushed Is the Project?
THE QUICK DESIGN WAY.
NoUVIR fiber optic lighting is so flexible with every beam having aim and zoom (change the beam size), that some standard designs crop up over and over again.
People pick these designs, because they are fast and work. But they are also concerned about design time and budget.
These are designs for those who haven’t the luxury to plan.
How To Do a Quick Light Design
Do you need to light a case?
If you are lighting a generic case OR CASES with changing artifacts, pick all spots.
Typically 16 fibers will light one good sized wall case.
The favorite mount is to screw bracketed spots to the inside top and side mullions of the case.
If there are no mullions, lighting from the top of the case using rows of eyeballs is popular. And eyeball is a spot. The extra rows helps reach angles as an eyeball can only aim off-axis by 30° maximum. An AZ-EL mirror can produce far steeper angles for aim, but the small mirror does hang down into the case whereas the eyeballs are flush mounted. Often, however, the AZ-EL mirror is hidden by the case construction of the door.
If the cases are full of documents, books and other objects with very low recommended footcandles requirements, using 8 fibers powering 8 light is a typical design. This means 32 fibers light four cases. Beware of table top and library cases. Glass tops can reflect light. Book cradles can also be a problem. If you make a mistake, lights are easy to move.
If the case is tall and quite wide with a lot of artifacts, use all 32 lights and modify the design. Use 10 floods and 22 spots. Use the floods for fill lighting to light signs and graphics. Use the spots to light artifacts.
Costume cases light well using 4 to 8 spots for each costume. A uniform jersey can be light with just 2 lights. Full length Hollywood costume gowns do better with 10 spots. Costumes always look better in a case lit from a proscenium arch with lights mounted at the top of the case and down the inside mullions. The reason is that fancy wear is designed to reflect light back into the viewers eyes to create sparkle and drama. This is true for the metallic embroidered vest of a Colonial to the fabulous stage dresses of a famous singer on tour.
If you have the budget and can spend a little more time in placing and lighting the artifacts, one of the most flexible designs is to use 8 floods, 22 spots and 2 pinspots.
If you are building cases and have control over the design, a 6-inch or 8-inch deep lip at the top of the case will hide FLAT-TRACK and allow floods, spots and pinspots to be moved at will. Mount lights on two tracks on 8-inch to 14-inch centers depending upon the density of the objects in the case.
Retrofitting cases with lighting attics is also easy. Use AZ-EL spots on brackets. Mount the lights to the front of the attic where they are unseen by visitors or mount them on a set-in-place board aiming the beam down into the case. If the attic is shallow, set a piece of black cloth over the lights and fiber. The lighting hardware will disappear.
Do you need to light a room or a gallery? Bannisters are the easiest way to light historic rooms. Galleries vary too much for a standard design to work as a quick design. But again, spots will often do most lighting jobs.
How Hard Is Fiber Optic Lighting?
Here is an example of a common retrofit method for head-height to tall cases with a glass top.
A thick piece of black or charcoal foam core is cut that fits the top of the case.
This “lid” can also be a piece of wood. Holes are drilled as windows.
Or you can use bracketed spots with azimuth-elevation mirrors are hot glued perpendicular to the foam core’s edge with the head and mirror far enough into the window space for the foam core’s edge not to slice or block the beam if the light is aimed back onto the wall of the case. You make a window at the case’s front edge. The light beams aim through that slot-like window. If a piece of wood is used, the brackets can be screwed down. Fiber is installed into each luminaire. The fiber lays flat. The projector can be on top of one of the cases. But is can be in the ceiling, a closet, screwed to the wall above a case or in a case’s base..easy. O n top of this assembly, a black felt or black cloth is laid over the lights. The lighting disappears.
Hot glue? Foam core? Is it really that simple? Yes, and VERY SUCCESSFUL too.