Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art launches LED lighting in galleries

Date Announced: 01 Mar 2011

-- The JSMA, The Getty and the Smithsonian are the first museums in the United States to test LED in exhibitions

EUGENE, Ore. -- The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art is one of three art museums in the United States testing L.E.D. lighting in gallery spaces thanks to The Green Task Force (GTF), created by the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (AIC), with a partnership from the U.S. Department of Energy Gateway Program, Eugene Water and Electric Board (EWEB) and Bonneville Power Administration (BPA).

The other participating museums for this current study are The Getty in Los Angeles, CA, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C. Museum visitors are encouraged to participate in a lighting comparison study, currently installed in the museum’s Gordon Gilkey Research Center through March.

Museum display task lighting is a "high-end" application with demanding requirements placed on the aesthetic aspects of the illumination, such as color rendering, color temperature, and appropriate beam intensity and spread.

“For years, some art museum professionals have been monitoring new lighting developments with hopes for an acceptable replacement of traditional incandescent or halogen lamps,” states Kurt Neugebauer, JSMA associate director of administration and exhibitions. “The challenge, in part, has been to find a lamp safe for the objects and one that provides a smooth beam spread with a range of focus from small 3-D objects to very large paintings with balanced, accurate full-spectrum light.”

The JSMA has installed a demonstration of four different lamps illuminating a painting, a photograph, and a color chart. All members of the public are invited to examine and compare the works under the different lights and complete a short survey. This comparison study will continue for the next two months in the JSMA Gilkey Research Center. The final report detailing energy savings, illumination comparisons, and cost-effectiveness of the LEDs is expected in summer 2011.

According to Neugebauer, new light-emitting diode (LED) innovation, supported by the current Obama administration’s initiatives for new green technologies, has produced the first viable alternative to standard filament-burning incandescent PAR 38 lamps, which has been the workhorse for lighting art in museums since the development of the incandescent bulb over 100 hundred years ago.. “The new LED PAR 38 lamps can cut the energy use by 75 to 85 percent and emit no art/object damaging ultraviolet rays,” adds Neugebauer.

The JSMA installed approximately 45 LED track head lamps to light the exhibition “Chris Jordan: Running the Numbers.” The current lamps used by the museum are Capsylite PAR 38 halogene, with a 25 degree beam spread, 1,000 lumens, 80 watts, and last 5,000 hours. The replacement CREE LRP-38 LED lamps provided by BPA and EWEB have a 20 degree beam spread, 500 lumens, 11 watts, and last 50,000 hours. This translates to 85% savings or 6,365 kWh per lamp.

About the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art

The University of Oregon's Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art is a premier Pacific Northwest visual arts center for exhibitions and collections of historic and contemporary art based in a major university setting. The mission of the museum is to enhance the University of Oregon’s academic mission and to further the appreciation and enjoyment of the visual arts for the general public. The JSMA features significant collections galleries devoted to Russian icons and art from China, Japan, Korea, America and elsewhere as well as changing special exhibition galleries. The JSMA is one of six museums in Oregon accredited by the American Association of Museums.



The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art is located on the University of Oregon campus at 1430 Johnson Lane. Museum hours are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesdays, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays through Sundays. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for senior citizens. Free admission is given to ages 18 and under, JSMA members, college students with ID, and University of Oregon faculty, staff and students. For information, contact the JSMA, 541-346-3027.

About the University of Oregon

The University of Oregon is a world-class teaching and research institution and Oregon's flagship public university. The UO is a member of the Association of American Universities (AAU), an organization made up of 62 of the leading public and private research institutions in the United States and Canada. Membership in the AAU is by invitation only. The University of Oregon is one of only two AAU members in the Pacific Northwest.

Contact
Debbie Williamson Smith, 541-346-0942

E-mail: debbiews@uoregon.edu

Web Site: jsma.uoregon.edu

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