Wine Cellar Lighting - The Issue Explained
Issues around the impact of light on the storage of wine are well known and documented. However new technologies allow even greater options for producers to minimise spoilage and discoloration.
Riboflaven (vitamin B2) is a photosensitive molecule present in many wines that can become unstable and cause a chemical oxidisation-reduction reaction when exposed to certain types of light. This can create compounds such as methanethiol, leading to both taste and discolouration issues. Riboflaven’s peak absorption is at 375nm (UV light) and 440mn (blue light), so these are the wavelengths that can do the most damage.
"remember that Champagne is particularly susceptible to lightstrike: that ’taste of light’ that comes from excessive exposure to light and ultraviolet light in particular — what the French call "goût de lumière"
- Union Grandes Marques & Maisins De Champagne
One solution has been to use coloured glass bottles to reduce the impact of light spoilage. However, these glass colours can often impact the visual attractiveness of the packaged product, so there has been a direct conflict between the best way to store the product and the best way to present the product to the market.
Traditionally, sodium discharge lamps have been used to illuminate commercial bottled wine storage areas due to their relatively low UV and blue light outputs. However, they have far higher running and maintenance costs than LED lights, and their longer warm up times often make them impractical for warehouse applications. Europe has already commenced a phase out of these types of fittings.
While most standard LED lights do not emit UV, they are often rich in blue light and can therefore still impact wine quality with prolonged exposure.
Integrated Power has launched a range of LED fittings specifically developed for bottled wine storage. The fittings utilise highly efficient monochromatic amber LEDs. These fittings do not emit UV light or light in the purple/blue spectrum of 440mn but bring all the energy and maintenance savings associated with regular LEDs.
They are weatherproof to IP65, impact rated to IK10 and have 316 stainless components to ensure longevity in damp environments. Another feature is motion control, so they only come on in the area required to further minimise light effects and improve energy efficiency.
There are 20W, 40W and 50W models available and lighting simulations can be undertaken to confirm the correct light levels are achieved.
For further information see https://integratedpower.net.au/collections/wine-cellar-lighting or email@example.com or call 1300 551 942.