CeeLite® LEC Panels: See the light!
By Erin L. Kelly, M.A., C.A.S., M.Ed.
Art Conservator / Educator / Outreach
As a painting conservator who works in a tiny studio and frequently needs a portable light source at home and on the road, lighting convenience is essential. It's a pleasure to share one of my favorite "secret weapons" for lighting my work. Conservators, we know the challenges of examining that tricky, flaky painting with transmitted light, making that complicated mend, attaching those paper inserts you've been perfecting, or just trying to limit exposures to heat and UV radiation.
Have you heard about the CeeLite®? Whether you simply want to backlight an object or carry out a complex treatment under transmitted illumination, this flat, flexible UV free light sheet is up to the task. It’s available in varied sizes and shapes and offers adjustable brightness (to 200 candela), along with a range of practical uses. Pricing starts at $135 and the LEC panels are available from Larson-Juhl/ Conservation By Design-North America at 1-800-645-1536.
No matter what your conservation specialty, the CeeLite® LEC panel is a versatile and easily portable addition to your studio. Only 1mm thick, its smooth, flexible polyester surface offers myriad solutions for examination and documentation, and despite its slim appearance, CeeLite® seems resistant to scratching or wiring damage. In addition to general backlighting and transmitted illumination, the light sheet is able to slide easily under almost any surface with minimal movement and disruption of the artwork, from paper documents to paintings on canvas. The panels remain cool, offer a balanced, neutral light, and are easily used in any space with a power source. Take it from this conservator: they’re ideal tools for a multi-bench lab or a small studio, and their quick, easy setup makes them equally ideal for site work and “road show” conservation clinics.
While there’s no doubt that the slim flexibility of CeeLite® offers book and paper conservators a convenient, non-damaging examination tool for bound texts, the light sheets are equally versatile when used in other disciplines.
I have been giving CeeLite® a test drive for several months, and these are only a few of the ways it has saved the day in and out of the lab:
● These LEC light sheets offer a great solution for examining fragile or damaged works of art on paper, paintings on canvas, and textiles. The sheets slide smoothly and easily under almost any surface, with minimal movement and disturbance of delicate areas or fragments.
● CeeLite® is a star performer during consolidation and mending almost any time transmitted light is needed. It’s heat-free, facilitates easy edge alignment, and offers adjustable brightness. Best of all, it can be turned off but left in place for later use during many treatments due to its thin structure. The light sheet may be wiped clean with a damp cloth or paper towel.
● The flexible panels not only bend, they can also be suspended, rolled, or draped and are easily held in position or attached to one another with small binder clips or tape, avoiding contact with the artwork. Clips can also be used to hold the power cord close to the side of the sheet and out of the work area.
Last but not least, although the standard sizes perform well for most projects, it’s even possible to order a custom-built CeeLite® if a size or shape modification is necessary. Recently, the George Eastman House commissioned a CeeLite® LEC panel with a custom aperture that fits on a microscope ocular.
So, how will you use your CeeLite®? We want to know! Send your questions, ideas or images to firstname.lastname@example.org.