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Storage and UV protection

paul_mertonpaul_merton UKMember Posts: 2,963
I love storing loose Lego in clear transparent "Really Useful Boxes", simply because it's easy to see what's in them - but do these boxes offer any protection from UV light? (Just wondering, as I'm moving some shelves around at the moment!)

Would there be any benefit in using transparent blue, green, smoked, etc., or is a solid black box the only way to ensure safe long term storage of bricks?


  • piratemania7piratemania7 New EnglandMember Posts: 2,111
    I would assume black is the best? But cheapest is probably the clear depending on size, brand, etc. But this is not scientific! :)
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 18,585
    They will offer a little amount of protection as a small fraction of the UV will be absorbed by the box. The colour of the box will have little effect. For example, camera UV filters are "clear" in the visible range - they are designed to absorb UV light. Without knowing exactly what wavelength of light they absorb, you cannot guarantee anything on the blue end is better at absorbing than on the red end of the spectrum.

    The best protection is a cupboard door.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 18,585
    If they are stacked on shelves, an alternative is to cut a piece of card the same size as the end of the RUB, stick it in the box and write what is in the box on it.
  • cycoduckcycoduck Member Posts: 22
    I think CCC just came up with another acronym. May I nominate RUB for the list?
  • paul_mertonpaul_merton UKMember Posts: 2,963
    RUB already seems fairly common amongst AFOLs, and - strangely - people who keeps snakes. Apparently RUBs are ideal for keeping them in!
  • paul_mertonpaul_merton UKMember Posts: 2,963
    Aha, from the manufacturer:

    The boxes can be supplied in a clear transparent material. This is our most popular option and allows you to quickly and easily identify the box contents. Solid colours are also available and suggested for security and protection against UV light.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 18,585
    Yes, solid colours will block all light with the downside you cannot see in them. The transparent colours allow you to see in them, but still let through light.

    Which is why a preferable option is to keep them in clear boxes, but inside a cupboard. That way, they are in the dark most of the time but you can also see inside when you need to.
  • paul_mertonpaul_merton UKMember Posts: 2,963
    Well, it's nice to have a definitive answer - I don't think it was obvious that UV light gets through the transparent boxes (after all, as you pointed out, UV filters on camera lenses appear totally clear and transparent to the eye!)

    I wonder if there'd be much demand for UV-filtering transparent boxes...
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 18,585
    I'm sure there are others that could do with them too, not just AFOLs. No doubt they would cost more than the bricks though.
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