Sustainable lighting in museums and galleries explained

“We live in an age when sustainability and energy efficiency are key drivers in all our lives, and galleries and museums tend to use a lot of energy and therefore it’s critical that we look closely at how we can reduce these levels.” – Julian Bickersteth

This video provides an overview of A Practical Guide for Sustainable Climate Control and Lighting in Museums and Galleries. Julian Bickersteth, of International Conservation Services, explains the 50/20 rule (50% humidity, 20 degrees Celsius) which has historically determined the environmental conditions for collection storage, and discusses the implications of keeping to this standard in terms of environmental impact and use of energy.

The energy hierarchy is discussed in repect to balancing heating, cooling and lighting requirements to suit the visitor experience, the collection conservation needs and the use of energy.

Prepared by leading consultancy firms Steensen Varming and International Conservation Services, A Practical Guide for Sustainable Climate Control and Lighting in Museums and Galleries is informed by national and international theory and practice.

Download the guide and view a suite of resources here:


This Project is delivered by Museums & Galleries Queensland in partnership with Museums & Galleries of NSW, Regional and Public Galleries Association of NSW and Regional Galleries Association of Queensland.

This Activity received funding from the Australian Government as a part of the Energy Efficiency Information Grants Program and is supported by the Visual Arts and Craft Strategy, an initiative of the Australian, state and territory governments. 

The views expressed herein are not necessarily the views of the Commonwealth of Australia and the Commonwealth does not accept responsibility for any information or advice contained herein.

Sustainable lighting logos, Clever Custodians