What does a lightfastness rating on an Epson inkjet print or paper mean?
Epson ink and media technology
All prints, whether produced by an ink jet printer or a photo lab, are susceptible to fading when exposed to light, especially direct sunlight. To protect your ink jet prints, they should be displayed under glass or stored properly in an archival sleeve.
The key to lightfastness lies in the combination of inks and paper. Third party inks may not yield the same lightfastness as Epson's inks. You will also get different results on different papers. Other factors that affect the longevity of ink jet prints are humidity, ozone, and other airborne pollutants, and their effects can also be reduced by framing a print under glass for example. A paper's storage characteristics will also affect the longevity of a print.
The range of Epson inkjet printers offer long-lasting and durable prints when combining genuine Epson ink with Epson media. Epson offers a variety of ink solutions, including 6-colour EPSON Claria ink, as well as pigment-based EPSON DURABrite Ultra ink and EPSON UltraChrome ink. A wide variety of media is also available, including Matte papers, and you can be confident that prints will be long-lasting and offer superb lightfastness, particularly when printed onto EPSON Premium Photo Papers.
For example, prints made with Claria Photographic Ink can last 98 years in a photo frame or up to 200 years in a photo album*; and photos last over 200 years in a photo album* when printed with DURABrite Ultra Ink. Our UltraChrome ink types are designed to suit and print on a wide variety of media while maintaining outstanding lightfastness, from up to 75 years for colour to over 100 or 200 years for black and white.
What is a lightfast rating when quoted for ink jet printing?
A lightfastness or image permanence rating is not a durability claim, but refers to the amount of time it takes for noticeable fading to occur in a print due to light, when framed under glass in normal indoor display conditions.
Print permanence ratings are based on accelerated testing of prints on speciality media, displayed indoors under glass or UV filter or stored in archival sleeves in album storage. Actual print stability will vary according to media, printed image, display conditions, light intensity, humidity, and atmospheric conditions. Epson does not guarantee longevity of prints. For maximum print life, display all prints under glass or UV filter or properly store them. Visit www.wilhelm-research.com.
When lightfastness is a concern, keep prints framed under glass or in an archival sleeve, use genuine Epson inks and papers, and carefully select a printer based on its ink system and the combination of its inks and papers to produce your desired results.
For an overview of Epson inks, refer to the Explore Epson > Innovation section of your local Epson website or www.epson-europe.com. Links to our overviews on Epson.co.uk are also provided below.