While the exterior of a space is the first thing that people see, it’s the interior that establishes a lasting impression in terms of the ambiance created by pieces of furniture, art, decor, and more. As an interior designer, you strive to create beautifully designed and decorated interior spaces in your commercial and residential projects. Like magic, you can transform an empty or outdated space into an alluring, stylish work of art.
You invest a lot of time, effort, and of course, money, into revamping your clients’ spaces, and with large investments comes a great onus to protect your work. With that being said, if the right precautions aren’t taken, your designs may be in harm’s way, even if they’re indoors in a locked and secured environment. The culprit? The ultraviolet light that enters interior spaces through the windows.
Natural Lighting: A Blessing and a Curse
It is no secret that lighting can completely transform the look and feel of a room. Now more than ever, people value expansive windows that welcome the sun’s light as a key feature in both homes and offices. Natural lighting can potentially eliminate the need for artificial light during daylight hours, boost the morale and well-being of occupants, and is even used by architects to make a space appear larger and more open. While natural lighting brings feelings of elevated happiness and increased productivity among many other benefits, it also welcomes ultraviolet rays — the number one cause of fading in furnishings, floorings, and artwork.
Many materials are susceptible to damage from ultraviolet (UV) rays, including oil, watercolor, acrylic paint, dyes, inks, wallpaper, wood, and more. Some, if not all, of these materials are utilized in interior decorating, whether through artwork, photographs, or furniture. Unfortunately, damage from ultraviolet rays has potentially become more significant for a few reasons, according to the Florida Solar Energy Center. Due to pollution laws, many materials, such as fabric dyes, wood stains, and paints, have been formulated to be more environmentally friendly, changing from solvent-based to water-based. This makes these materials more susceptible to UV damage. Furthermore, the depletion of the ozone layer means that higher levels of UV rays are penetrating the earth’s atmosphere. While we know it is important to protect our skin from ultraviolet rays, what does that mean for objects such as art, furniture, and floorings?
Ultraviolet Rays: The Invisible Enemy
When it comes to artwork, prolonged exposure to UV rays can cause photolysis, a process in which the chemical bonds of color molecules break apart causing colors to fade. Additionally, UV rays may cause photo-oxidation, in which photographs can become yellow and brittle over time. Not only can UV rays cause significant damage to photographs and artwork, but they can also cause furniture and hardwood flooring to fade over time.
The solution seems simple: fewer windows results in less exposure to UV rays. However, UV rays aren’t the only thing that can cause harm to pieces of art. In fact, fluorescent lighting is a close second to UV rays in terms of the damage caused to art and photographs. Not to mention, the elimination of windows and the use of artificial light can lead to unsatisfied occupants. How can you achieve a beautiful, naturally-lit space, without essentially ruining the effort you put into decorating it? Damage from UV rays, although irreversible, can easily be reduced with 3M Window Film.
3M Window Film: Your Space’s Savior
Although UV rays can cause significant damage to items inside a space, that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice natural light or eliminate it altogether. With window film, you can allow sunlight to flood your space without worrying about the safety of your designs. 3M Window Film blocks up to 99% of ultraviolet rays and 97% of infrared light (900-1,000nm), slowing the fading process of artwork, flooring, and furniture over time. Not only does window film protect against ultraviolet rays, but it can also increase the energy efficiency of windows and create a more comfortable indoor environment through the reduction of glare and solar heat gain.
As an interior designer, your hard work doesn’t go unnoticed. However, over time without the right technologies in place, your work can be destroyed due to preventable damage from UV rays. With 3M Window Film, you can let natural light flood your space without worrying about UV rays harming your designs.
Energy Products Distribution (EPD) offers a tremendous breadth of 3M window film products and architectural finishes to address a variety of challenges encountered by architects and designers. From heat mitigation or enhanced energy efficiency to improved security or elevated aesthetics, EPD provides a product to meet your needs and delight your clients. Contact us at 410-844-7993 to learn more about how window film and architectural finishes can add value to your projects.