News & Events

Lightfastness Test Criteria

(Indoor Display Conditions)

Light Source: Fluorescent Light
Intensity: 70,000 lux
Temperature: 24°C
Humidity: 60%RH
Glass mount: 2mm, soda lime
Fade criteria: Pure YMC 30% loss at OD = 1
Display-life calculation: Total illuminance / (500 lux x 10 hours x 365 days = 1 year)

Lightfastness rating is developed and conducted by Epson using accelerated testing of prints with genuine Epson branded media and ink, under fluorescent light (indoor display conditions) with glass mount without lamination. (Click here for a detailed explanation of the tests).

Temperature, humidity and some atmospheric gases may also affect the rate of fading. The estimated lightfastness period does not indicate the colour changing or the durability of the paper itself. Epson does not guarantee longevity of prints. Epson recommends that your prints be glass mounted or laminated to protect them from atmospheric gases and other contaminants.

After printing, approximately one day will be needed to settle the colour. The colour just after being printed may change as the ink dries. This change is not caused by light.


Taking Care of your Epson Prints

With proper care, our ColorFast Inks used within the Epson Stylus PRO 7500 and 9500 printers will preserve your prints for many years. The Colorfast Pigment Inks for Epson's latest large format inkjet printers, are specially formulated to achieve improved lightfastness for indoor and outdoor applications, when printed with genuine Epson media and properly displayed or stored.

As with all conventional pigment inkjet prints, proper care will minimize colour changes and maximize display life. For indoor display applications, Epson recommends that prints be framed under glass or laminated to protect them from atmospheric contaminants like humidity, cigarette smoke and mis-handling. For outdoor applications, Epson recommend laminating with a U.V. cut laminate film.

(Due to the many applications that our large format inkjet printers can be tailored for, Epson recommends that before you finalise your specific print job, you discuss in further detail, the job specifications with one of our authorized Epson PRO Graphics dealers)

The actual display life of our Colorfast prints will vary in accordance with lighting conditions and exposure to atmospheric contaminants. The following is the estimated longevity of Epson large format printed materials under fluorescent light (indoor condition) with mount glass.

Media Type Estimated Indoor lightfastness
Premium Glossy Photo Paper: 140 years*
Premium Semigloss Photo Paper: 140 years*
Glossy Paper - Photo Weight: 180 years*
Watercolor Paper - Radiant White: 200 years*
Doubleweight Matte Paper: 200 years*
Synthetic Paper: Now Testing
Adhesive Synthetic paper: Now Testing
Glossy Film: Now Testing

Special Notes:

* Under fluorescent light (indoor display condition) with glass mount
* The data is calculated by Epson's accelerated test and it does not mean Epson guarantees periods.
* The estimated longevity does not indicate the colour changing and the durability of the paper itself.

Independent lightfastness testing by Wilhelm Imaging Research, http//, is currently being conducted for both the Epson Stylus PRO 7500 and 9500 printers, using genuine Epson branded ink and media.

Using third-party inkjet media may dramatically reduce your lightfastness results.

History of Lightfast Prints

Since the introduction of the first Epson Stylus Colour desktop printer in 1994, Epson's goal has been to improve our printers (big and small) to the point that prints would have the image quality of traditional silver halide photos. With the introduction of the Epson Stylus PHOTO 1200 desktop printer in 1998, many professionals felt we had achieved or surpassed that goal.

Epson's leading edge improvements in lightfastness generated a greater focus by Epson and others on other potential causes of colour shifts. The effects of ozone and similar contaminants on ink jet prints have not been well understood because ink jet prints were previously so susceptible to light induced fading. Epson is now vigorously investigating the effects of ozone and other contaminants so that we can offer users even longer lasting, more durable prints.

For the professional photographer, the new Epson Stylus PRO 7500 and Stylus PRO 9500 offer revolutionary levels of durability and lightfastness up to 200 years. Testing has thus far found no fading issues associated with high ozone levels with these Archival Ink prints. But again, for indoor display Epson recommends that prints be framed under glass or laminated to protect prints from atmospheric contaminants (such as cigarette smoke) that will damage any paper print over years of display.


Another source of Lightfastness Tests can be found at