2017 was our 20th year online!

Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 3 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments.
Over 100,000 members from around the world.
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

Shop our online store for music lovers
SEARCH
Piano Forums & Piano World
(ad)
Spring Into Sound Sale
(ad)
Best of Piano Buyer
 Best of Piano Buyer
(ad)
Pianoteq
Steinway Spiro Layering
(ad)
Wessell Nickel & Gross
PianoForAll
Who's Online Now
66 members (Beowulf, 24000rpm, 36251, brdwyguy, AndyOnThePiano, Beemer, anotherscott, 15 invisible), 527 guests, and 326 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad)
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Hop To
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,283
1000 Post Club Member
OP Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,283
Short version: Not caring about sun-fade, will heat from the sunlight hitting just the backside of an open lid of a grand piano during winter months affect the tuning and internal organs of a piano as much as I am worried about? (There is a house and foliage there, too, so it isn't like a sun spotlight.)

Long version: My wife and I are trying to figure out if we are over-reacting about a grand piano in the sunlight. We had the perfect spot for that previously-mentioned Seiler ED186 in the dining room in front of two bay windows. It is the perfect piano for me in terms of sound and feel, and it's perfect for her to just look at. Win-win, right?

Except it all came to a screeching halt when we realized that the piano more or less would be in the sun from dawn until late-afternoon. But here are the parameters:

We are in Minneapolis, so for the summer months the sun would hit the keys in the morning, then it would be indirect sun the rest of the day and evening as the sun passes over the house. In the winter, the piano would be in mostly-sun all day long with the sunlight only ever hitting the lid, never inside the piano.

I don't care about sun-fade. What we are worried about is the heat affecting the tuning and internal organs with the heat changes from sunny days (when we have them) vs night. Keep in mind that the sun would never, ever hit the soundboard at all. And the piano would always be open, either on the first or second stick, so it would never be closed to cook like an oven. The sun would hit the keys from sunrise-11am in the summer months, and hit only the backside of the open lid from sunrise-3pm during the winter months.

The temperature doesn't FEEL that different to a human, but would it be that drastic to a piano, especially only hitting the lid and being open most of the time? I assume pianos are more sensitive than humans like that. Humidity is under control, so this is literally just a "heat from the sun hitting the backside of the open lid" issue. And it's not even THAT much sun: there is a house and foliage filtering a lot of it, so it isn't like a spotlight shining on the piano anyway.

We freaked out at the idea at first, then we realized that pretty much every grand piano we see is in a window in the sun, so aside from sun-fade, the topic never really comes up. Maybe we are over-reacting and there is a spot for a grand piano after all?


I do music stuffs
Yep, I have a YouTube channel!
Charles Walter 1500 in semi-polish ebony [2017]
Kawai 602-M Console in Oak [1991; previously owned]
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 29,577
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Online Content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 29,577
I think the general opinion is that sun is bad for the inside and outside of a piano. One has to make compromises to take care of a piano. I suggest shades or blinds or a piano cover. I think it's also possible that keeping the piano open might make things worse. As far as the case goes, you might get worse than sun fade.

Last edited by pianoloverus; 02/05/21 12:16 PM.
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,283
1000 Post Club Member
OP Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,283
It's tricky for sure, but after typing out my original post, it gave me inspiration to go back to the possible site and check. I had a few "duh" moments: If I convince my wife to only open the shades HALF way in the mornings instead of all the way, then open them the rest of the way during lunch, then there is no issue at all. It's not that bad of a compromise, it seems. Further investigation required.


I do music stuffs
Yep, I have a YouTube channel!
Charles Walter 1500 in semi-polish ebony [2017]
Kawai 602-M Console in Oak [1991; previously owned]
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 7,795
Silver Subscriber
7000 Post Club Member
Offline
Silver Subscriber
7000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 7,795
Originally Posted by SonatainfSharp
It's tricky for sure, but after typing out my original post, it gave me inspiration to go back to the possible site and check. I had a few "duh" moments: If I convince my wife to only open the shades HALF way in the mornings instead of all the way, then open them the rest of the way during lunch, then there is no issue at all. It's not that bad of a compromise, it seems. Further investigation required.


Great Compromise


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
"I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho

It's ok to be a Work In Progress
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 14,117
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 14,117
Both my grand pianos get some indirect exposure to sunlight during a sunny day. But it never covers the entire piano, only small portions of it, at any given time.

Also, FWIW, out of curiosity, I've touched the exterior of the piano when I see sunlight shinning on it, and have not noticed that the surface of the piano with the sunlight exposure is any warmer than the shaded portion. Also, my windows are newer with the UV light protective properties. So, I don't worry about it too much.

I honestly would not want to manually adjust shades or drapes during the day to shade the piano, although some people might. If it bothers you, do whatever is necessary to block the sunlight from the piano.

However, sunlight is definitely something to consider regarding the placement of any piano.

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 4,884
4000 Post Club Member
Offline
4000 Post Club Member
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 4,884
Originally Posted by SonatainfSharp
It's tricky for sure, but after typing out my original post, it gave me inspiration to go back to the possible site and check. I had a few "duh" moments: If I convince my wife to only open the shades HALF way in the mornings instead of all the way, then open them the rest of the way during lunch, then there is no issue at all. It's not that bad of a compromise, it seems. Further investigation required.

My piano is beside a south-facing window, but there's a curtain that I pull across. It's not ideal, but the alternative is not to have a piano. It never gets really warm here, but it can be sunny. I don't think it has ever caused any problems.

Joined: May 2018
Posts: 1,285
L
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
L
Joined: May 2018
Posts: 1,285
I agree with Rick, you will adjust your shades three times and then you think by yourself (Insert bad word here).

There is a lot to say for UV covering your windows. This is easy to do, cheap and makes a noticeable difference.

Maybe a motorized shade system on a timer or light sensor(Now I think of it that sounds like a fun project)

Good luck.


When you play, never mind who listens to you. R.Schumann.

Casio GP-400
Schimmel SP-182T "I wish I had the room to keep you around"
August Forster 215
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 1,784
M
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
M
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 1,784
You can buy an infrared thermometer these days for as little as $20. You could take temps on the various surfaces of the piano throughout a few days and get some data to see if there is a detectable temperature change, and if so how much. I'd also take the temperature of some piece of control furniture in the same room that's not in the sun because your house is probably hotter during the day because of the furnace being on more. That way you could separate the effects of air temperature from solar radiation.
If it is a problem, one solution is window film that filters the heat. I had it on a house that had a lot of south glass and it really helped in the summer. You almost can't see the stuff, it makes a very slight tint.


Yamaha P90, Kawai GL-10
Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 920
T
500 Post Club Member
Offline
500 Post Club Member
T
Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 920
Window film is a great idea and even comes in designs like stained glass or rice paper!


2001 Petrof 125 -> 2002 Petrof IV -> 1999 Bösendorfer 225
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 2,781
D
2000 Post Club Member
Offline
2000 Post Club Member
D
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 2,781
Your idea of half-opening the shades in the mornings is good. Also, I second the window film idea. You can get films that stick onto the glass which cut out the UV light which does the damage. There was a thread about positioning instruments in a room where this was mentioned. You should investigate.

Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,283
1000 Post Club Member
OP Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,283
I understand the comments about not wanting to have to adjust the shades, but right now my wife sits there most of the day and she adjusts the shades a half dozen times every day as it is. She also constantly complains about sitting there with the sun moving through the tree leaves (winter, but evergreen and another tree that doesn't lose its leaves). We also adjust shades in our living room throughout the day, and so on. With a lot of southern light and being exactly halfway up the northern hemisphere, it's just a way of life here. smile

I am going to make a mock-up tonight so that next week she can have her new spot seeing sunlight but not being in the sun and adjusting the shades just once during lunch if it's even needed. I am sure she will be quite happy with the result, AND we can have a piano. The sun is only an issue during *rare* sunny days from early December through late February or whenever the exact dates of the sun changing course are.

And the comment about "better than no piano at all": Yep, that is where we are at. She wants me to have "my grand piano" even more than I do at this point. And the spot we are selecting is the only option. I can't even remove the stairs or the stairway ceiling down to the lower level because that part of the house is still 1939...I am not taking out plaster walls/ceiling, old stairs with cement, and so on. I know people do, and my movers told me that it's actually very often, but I am already crazy enough getting an ED-series Seiler. Anything more is absolutely lunatic-level for me. laugh

So far the thoughts people are providing are things I have already thought of, so that is very good in that I haven't forgotten anything to consider. I may end up getting UV/heat film, although my wife is very against it; I don't think she fully understands what that is (I used to sell the stuff in a youthful lifetime). So, that is an option as mentioned, of course. The IR thermometer is a great idea. I didn't realize they were so inexpensive now, and worth it especially when it's to monitor a thing that costs 958 times as much.

Thanks again, everyone.


I do music stuffs
Yep, I have a YouTube channel!
Charles Walter 1500 in semi-polish ebony [2017]
Kawai 602-M Console in Oak [1991; previously owned]
Joined: May 2020
Posts: 490
M
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
M
Joined: May 2020
Posts: 490
Originally Posted by SonatainfSharp
And the comment about "better than no piano at all": Yep, that is where we are at. She wants me to have "my grand piano" even more than I do at this point.

Wow – she's a keeper for sure! :-)


at home: Kawai MP11SE; Yamaha LG800; Yamaha HS7; Ultimate MS-100B; Sennheiser HD558 | office: MP7SE; K&M 18820; Beyerdynamic DT-770 Pro

Adult beginner
Hugh Sung, Popular Piano course (in progress)
Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 920
T
500 Post Club Member
Offline
500 Post Club Member
T
Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 920
Originally Posted by SonatainfSharp
I may end up getting UV/heat film, although my wife is very against it; I don't think she fully understands what that is (I used to sell the stuff in a youthful lifetime).

The products available now are probably a lot nicer than what was available a long time ago! And they can be very attractive, and best of all, easily removable should she hate them wink

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]


2001 Petrof 125 -> 2002 Petrof IV -> 1999 Bösendorfer 225
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 2,781
D
2000 Post Club Member
Offline
2000 Post Club Member
D
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 2,781
If the only issue arises from December through to late February, things are better. There as less UV sunlight intensity in winter, as shown in this diagram (courtesy Wikipedia).


[Linked Image]

The curves might not be quite the same in Minneapols, but I would expect them to be very similar. I am assuming that it is correct that it is the UV that does the damage.

Joined: May 2012
Posts: 593
M
Silver Subscriber
500 Post Club Member
Offline
Silver Subscriber
500 Post Club Member
M
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 593
We have some west facing windows that receive a great deal of afternoon sun. The room would get VERY warm and was pretty much unusable in the summer. (This isn’t where the piano lives.)

We had window film applied. It cut down the heat and UV light significantly. From inside, looking out, you can’t detect that there is any film. From outside, you can tell if you compare these windows to ones without the film but it is not obvious. The room is much much more comfortable and not quite as bright. The film we used is a 3m product.

The seller had a range of choices, we could have gone with one that blocked more sunlight but at the time I was concerned that the windows would have a metallic look from the outside if I went for the most blocking level.

The film also helps for security. If you hit the window with a hammer, the glass would break but hold together.

I recommend this stuff highly. Have it professionally installed, it’s tricky, especially if you have multi-pane windows.

I was initially opposed to the film because the older stuff has a metallic sheen from the outside. The new stuff is better, she might be pleasantly surprised.

Last edited by MH1963; 02/06/21 12:09 PM. Reason: Added last sentence

MH1963

'63 Mason & Hamlin Model A

[Linked Image]

Moderated by  Ken Knapp, Piano World 

Link Copied to Clipboard
(ad)
Faust Harrison Pianos
Faust Harrison 100+ Steinway pianos
(ad)
Couch to Concert Hall
Couch to Concert Hall
(ad)
PianoDisc

PianoDisc
(ad)
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad)
Mason & Hamlin Pianos
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Dealer Reduction?
by brdwyguy - 04/11/21 11:55 AM
Extra notes on old Sohmer
by TimM_980 - 04/11/21 11:46 AM
[Poll] Which exercise book do you do and why?
by meghdad - 04/11/21 10:23 AM
Recording Acoustic Piano
by JeffM123 - 04/11/21 10:14 AM
Budget Stage/portable Piano
by Amy H - 04/11/21 09:11 AM
Download Sheet Music
Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads
Forum Statistics
Forums42
Topics206,218
Posts3,081,065
Members101,150
Most Online15,252
Mar 21st, 2010
Please Support Our Advertisers

Faust Harrison 100+ Steinways

Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver

 Best of Piano Buyer

PianoTeq Bechstein
Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads



 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter |


© copyright 1997 - 2021 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.5