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Artificial Light & Brick Discolouration

atkinsaratkinsar Member Posts: 4,272
edited November 2011 in Collecting
So we're all aware of the effect that direct sunlight can have on LEGO bricks with respect to discolouration. What I'm less clear about is whether artificial light produces the same effect or not.

I have a display case that has a light in the top, the light is probably 12 inches from the nearest set (my beloved T1 Camper Van). I rarely turn the light on for fear of the effect it may have on the white roof, but am I right to worry about it?


  • LegogeekLegogeek Orange County, CaliforniaMember Posts: 711
    I'm no expert, but I think the discoloration from direct sunlight is due to UV rays.
    Effect of exposure to artificial light probably depends on the type of light & length of exposure... maybe even proximity & temperature?
  • atkinsaratkinsar Member Posts: 4,272
    edited November 2011
    It's a 10 watt bulb like the picture below, not sure on temperature, but it's about 12 inches from the top of the set. Length of exposure, let's say I'd like to have it on for a couple of hours a day max.
  • davee123davee123 USAMember Posts: 810
    I've heard rumor that fluorescent lights can cause damage, but I've never seen evidence firsthand. However (here's the kicker), supposedly the rumor also goes that the discoloration is a catalytic reaction-- so once it's been triggered, it doesn't need sunlight to continue, it just happens on its own. And in THAT case, sunlight can actually help PREVENT continued discoloration once it's started.

    On the plus side, there's always Retr0bright!

  • StuBoyStuBoy New ZealandMember Posts: 623
    edited November 2011
    ^ Ouch! I've always wondered about ambient light too - not directly in the suns' ray but reflected into the room. I have a lot of discoloured white pieces from childhood, but can't remember actually having them sitting in the sunlight. (But could possibly have had a bit of either morning or afternoon sun getting further into the room.) I also have the Tantive IV sitting on my bookshelf....
  • korkor Member Posts: 392
    This is something that I've also been concerned about. I have the windows in my toy room completely blocked. I covered the windows in white cardboard and then bought some "black out" curtains. There's not a drop of sunlight that makes it in so I know I'm good there but I'm not sure what effect artificial light is having. I haven't noticed anything yet....
  • cavegodcavegod Member Posts: 806
    it will still yellow, Jamie Berard said it was something to do with how many times the plastic has been heated , moulded, re heated, moulded again etc, it alters the plastic somehow, i have lightbluish grey bricks that have yellowed and have never seen sunlight. Although some of the LBG that has yellowed in sunlight is the same colour as old grey now.
  • atkinsaratkinsar Member Posts: 4,272
    Right then, I'll continue to use my cabinet light sparingly! Thanks to all the contributors for providing info.
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