The light fastness of print is predominantly governed by the pigment type used. Print exposed to high levels of sunlight such as on posters and compost sacks require a high degree of lightfastness.

Smithers performs accelerated artificial daylight testing to assess the light fastness of paper, print and pigmented plastics using a chamber fitted with a xenon arc light source.

Xenon arc lamps are filtered to simulate UV and visible solar radiation more closely than any other artificial light source. They provide the best method for assessing the accelerated light ageing of products.

With appropriate filters fitted, direct sunlight, sunlight through window glass and in-store lighting conditions can be reproduced. A series of Blue Wool standards are included with every set of test samples to ensure that results are reliable and reproducible.

Accelerated weathering includes a simulated rain cycle which can introduce an element of thermal shock to the test sample.

Standards and accreditation

There are many international standards applicable to lightfastness testing, including ISO 105-B02, ISO 4892-2 and ISO 12040.

The Blue Wool standards included with each set of test samples conform to ISO 105-B08.

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