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Toledo Museum of Art

Shedding new light on Japanese art

The Toledo Museum of Art has upgraded its lighting system from incandescent bulbs to low voltage LED lighting.

According to The Toledo Blade, 135 LED bulbs were installed throughout the museum’s exhibit of early modern Japanese prints. This efficient lighting retrofit is the first in the building, and museum officials expect many advantages.

“It saves us money, it gives us great color quality, lighting quality, and it also has a longer life, so it saves on labor changing light bulbs,” Carol Blintz, the museum’s chief operating officer, stated.

The museum has 20-foot ceilings and a lot of expensive artwork throughout the floor space. Facility operations workers have to use a scissor lift to reach any burnt out bulbs while maneuvering the machine through narrow hallways and around the paintings and sculptures. By the time one bulb is changed, hours have passed. Additionally, incandescent bulbs were going out often.

Low profile lighting allows for the facility operations staff at the Toledo Museum of Art to direct their time and effort to other tasks in the building. They will also save a lot on the cost of replacing bulbs.

In May 1991, electricity was racking up a $52,000 monthly bill. Now that the building is utilizing green lighting solutions, the bill for May 2013 was only $5,000.

Bringing new life to artwork
Commercial LED lighting is beneficial to art museums because it offers light quality that enhances the features of the exhibits.

LEDs score high on the color rendering index, which means they do a better job of displaying colors than incandescent bulbs. Most have 90CRI or more. When it comes to paintings, proper lighting and color is a big piece of imparting the intended emotion to the viewer. LED lighting ensures that visitors to the Toledo Museum of Art are able to experience the intended mood.

In addition to first-rate color rendering, LED lighting systems do not produce a lot of heat. Art that is centuries old is sensitive to environmental changes. Large amounts of heat can do a lot of damage to a painting or sculpture. Incandescent bulbs have extravagant amounts of heat exhaustion, whereas LED bulbs stay cool. This advantage reduces the exertion on air conditioning systems to protect the artwork.

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