Does light affect wine? Light affects wine. Normally, it depends on the type of light, the strength of the light, the duration of exposure, the type of wine, and the type of wine bottle the wine is in.
Light can re-arrange a wine’s chemical compounds and cause wine faults. The resulting wine is referred to as light struck.
This essentially means that the wine is prematurely aged and its taste, aroma, color and mouth feel have been irreversibly changed for the worse. Light causes sulphurous compounds to form at an accelerated rate in wine thus destroying it.
While all types of wines are affected by light, the lighter the wine, the more easily it is likely to be affected by light exposure. Red wines absorb more radiation from UV exposure. They also have a higher concentration of tannins that minimize the impact of this exposure. This concentration reduces with aged red wine.
Types of light that affect Wine
It is the worst light source for a wine cellar. There is nothing as bad as unmitigated rays of full spectrum light for fine wine. All wines need to be protected from the sun’s heat and the ultraviolet rays inside normal sunlight.
2. Fluorescent light
The tubes pump out a lot of ultraviolet light waves which make them terrible options for wine cellars.
3. Halogen light bulbs
Incandescent and halogen bulbs are too hot to be used in a small space that stores wine. Also the tungsten pot lights leak cool air through the tops of the pots when unprofessionally sealed thus unsuitable for wine cellar lighting.
Any change in temperature is considered a threat. Therefore the lighting installed in your wine cellar should be as cool as possible and totally free of ultraviolet rays. You can also use protective coating such as neutral density gels, paints and screens that will remove the UV light sources including daylight from windows.
Attributes of proper wine cellar lighting
Wall scones together with LED track lighting is one of the most used methods of illuminating large wine cellars. Low Voltage LED spotlights work well as linear fixtures on a continuous track rail which is electrically charged as compared to the need of routing electrical wiring to individual light positions.
Light Emitting Diodes or LED lights are the very best for wine room lighting. They do not emit UV light and the amount of heat they emit is minimal. It also stays cool unlike the halogen, fluorescent and incandescent bulbs. They really are the best for wine room lighting since they provide very good lighting without adding heat.
LED lights cost more but are still economical since they have a lifespan twenty five times longer than the lifespan of incandescent bulbs. They also use 75 percent less energy than other bulbs. Due to the minimal heat emission, LED lights don’t cause the wine cooling system to work harder and drive up the energy bill.
Cool LED lighting is good for backlighting and illuminating wine cellar archways, corners, wine racks and presentation shelving. The good thing is that the LED lights in your wine room can include a variety of moods, such as relaxing, romantic or dramatic vibes.
Tiny sconces and LED runway lights can be used to highlight wine racks, shelves, bottles and even the architecture of your wine cellar room. They can be tucked in the background to add another layer of light and reflect on aesthetically pleasing areas of the wine storage space.
Strip lights can run along the shelves and offer illumination just enough for wine collectors to read labels. Puck lights can be used to spotlight individual bottles in the rack. Dimmer switches can be used to adjust brightness. Light timers can also be installed and made to turn lights off automatically when they’ve accidentally been left on.
Other ways to protect your wine collection from light exposure
You can store it in a dark and temperature-controlled environment. Wrapping the bottles of wine in cellophane to obscure light rays or keeping the wine in cardboard or wooden containers may also help.
If your wine room is designed to show off your collection, consider looking into wine bottles with improved light-filtering properties.
The purpose of a wine cellar goes beyond wine storage. An ideal wine cellar is homage to your wine collecting prowess and the collection itself.
A wine cellar must be practical and provide the ideal ambiance for you and your guests to experience your collection. When done right, you can proudly showcase your wine collection and its full glory. But when it’s done wrong, you can turn an expensive bottle of wine into cooked cabbage within no time…
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