is sunlight bad for guitars

Is Sunlight Bad for Guitars?

Have you ever been told that sunlight is bad for guitars? If so, this article will help to clear up some of the confusion surrounding the topic.

Just like humidity and temperature, making sure your guitar is stored in the proper environment with regard to sunlight is just as equally important. 

Put simply, direct sunlight for an extended period of time can damage both the finish of your guitar and warp the neck, making your guitar much harder to play.

In this article, we explain why too much sunlight could be bad for your guitar and also what temperature is ideal. And if you’re wondering how exactly you should be storing your guitar, we go over that as well. So, let’s dive in.

Over long periods of time, having your guitar in direct sunlight can damage your guitar in a few different ways. 

One thing it could do is fade the paint on your guitar unless the guitar makers used a UV protectant coating on it. However, that is seldom the case, as it would be cost-prohibitive for manufacturers to do that.

Obviously, you could still play the guitar if the paint was faded, but it would probably look like it’s been sitting by a window for a long time. 

Another thing direct sunlight could do to a guitar is warp the neck. When this happens, it could affect the playability by making the strings extremely hard to press down on, among other things. 

If you combine direct sunlight with humidity issues, then you’ll be dealing with a whole host of new problems when it comes to the damage that can be caused. 

It should be noted that leaving your guitar in direct sunlight for a limited time will usually be okay for your guitar. I wouldn’t put it directly in the path of the sun every day though.

What Is the Best Temperature for a Guitar?

As you may be aware, guitars are made from wood. And just like any other wood product, the temperature can affect your guitar if not stored in the right environment. 

The best temperature for a guitar is usually between 70 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Even the 65 to 70 degree range should generally be okay for your guitar, as long as the humidity is kept in the right range as well. 

And speaking of humidity, be sure your guitar is stored in an environment where the humidity is between 40 and 55 percent. You can measure the relative humidity using a device called a hygrometer. 

These can be found at any home goods store or here at Amazon. Hygrometers are generally inexpensive, and some even measure both humidity and temperature both, which can be really convenient.

Is It Bad for Guitars To Hang?

While it’s not forbidden to hang your guitar on a wall, I definitely wouldn’t do it for a long stretch of time. 

The reason for this is because a guitar hanging on a wall is much more likely to get bumped, scratched, or dropped. And let’s face it, that would totally suck. 

Wall guitar hangers will usually not cause any damage to your guitar’s neck, but they will exert unneeded tension on it. This tension is usually not enough to damage the neck though.

In fact, guitar strings actually put more tension on a guitar’s neck than hanging a guitar would, but why push it?

If you’re like me and you must keep your guitar out so that you actually practice it, do so by using a guitar stand that you set on the floor. That way, you can be sure that your guitar won’t accidentally fall. 

However, if the only option is to hang your guitar on the wall, make sure that you are not hanging it near a window where direct sunlight will hit it for several hours of the day. 

What Is the Best Way To Store a Guitar?

The best way to store your guitar is in a hard case with some humidity packs to regulate the environment inside the case. This is especially important if you live in an area where humidity can be a problem.

I live in Minnesota where the summers are pathetically humid and the winters are overly dry. Let’s just say, I’ve had quite a few guitars get ruined in my 40 or so years of living here. 

However, now that I understand how relative humidity, combined with temperature and sunlight works on a guitar, it’s a lot easier for me to protect them from the elements. 

Now, with all that being said, if you play your guitar on a daily basis or you need to actually be able to see your guitar to get motivated enough to play, then, by all means, store your guitar on a stand. Just make sure the environment is under control. 

About Me

I love playing around with various types of guitar gear so I started this website to share my guitar gear knowledge with the world. Enjoy!

Affiliate Disclosure

Guitar Gear Lab is reader supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission. We only recommend products we love!

Recent Posts