Energy efficient lighting system enhances audience viewing

LED lighting upgrade at Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery

Photo: courtesy of Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery.

Museums and galleries are being driven to source alternative lighting technologies as traditional incandescent lighting products phase out and the government introduces new legislation with energy efficiency benchmarks.

In response to the challenge of finding a solution that meets these changes, Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery has become one of the most sustainable exhibition spaces in regional Australia, after switching over to a state-of-the-art lighting system. 

Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery Director, Debbie Abraham, said the new lighting system not only reduces energy consumption, it maximises colour reception and the audience’s viewing experience.

“While most regional galleries are making a move toward more sustainable practices, our gallery is one of the few in the country to undertake such a comprehensive lighting upgrade for maximum future cost and environmental benefit and quality benefits,” Ms Abraham said.

“The upgrade of Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery’s exhibition lights and Digital Addressable Lighting Interface (DALI) dimming system is designed to achieve extensive energy savings by using energy-efficient LED technologies that also enhance exhibition display conditions for museums and galleries.

“Unlike existing incandescent light systems used by many museums and galleries, our new system enables each light fixture to be dimmed to suit the specific display requirements of individual artworks.

“Typical halogen and incandescent lights throw a yellow light when dimmed for light-sensitive artworks, but our new LED lights maintain colour temperature and clarity at all brightness levels.

“The lights have a five year lifespan and are much easier to adjust. We can also change the lens of each light to achieve wall wash or spot. This simplifies the process of illuminating a variety of fine art.

“By upgrading our lighting system we will reduce our energy usage by about 10 per cent, but by finding the right kind of technology for use in a gallery, we have also enhanced the viewing experience for our visitors.”

… our new system enables each light fixture to be dimmed to suit the specific display requirements of individual artworks.

Ms Abraham said the Gallery already has 162 photovoltaic cells and a voltage reduction unit installed that has reduced energy consumption by about 20 per cent a year, placing the gallery high on the list of sustainable Australian regional galleries.

“We consistently look for ways to reduce the Gallery’s operating expenses, carbon footprint and improve our long-term sustainability. We are committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and initiatives such as these have us on track to do so.”

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