New energy-efficient lighting makes pop art 'pop' at Tacoma Art Museum

Sep 29th, 2010
Date Announced: 29 Sep 2010

Tacoma, Washington — A new energy-efficient lighting system from GE Lighting and Janmar Lighting (see www.bettermuseumlighting.com) installed throughout the Tacoma Art Museum in Washington State shines a brighter-than-ever spotlight on the varied beauty of the museum's 3,500-piece art collection, which spans centuries and features movements such as impressionism, pop art, minimalism and post-modern. The new lighting system cuts system energy use by 85 percent, uses nearly one-fifth fewer fixtures and raises light levels 35 percent.

“We are thrilled to be shining a brighter and vastly more efficient light on our rich collection of works,” says Stephanie Stebich, the museum's director.

The 50,000-square-foot facility that Stebich oversees previously consumed an estimated 373,000 kWh annually. The new system features a GE ceramic metal halide lamp and Janmar Lighting fixture configuration that consumes just 23 watts—instead of an antiquated 150-watt incandescent system—is estimated to consume only 56,000 kWh per year. At $.033/kWh, the museum will save about $10,000 per year. For a facility with a higher electricity rate, the savings can be even greater.

“Those are budget dollars that could be re-assigned for educational programs, community outreach or any number of other pressing operational needs,” notes Stebich. “That's the beauty of this brighter, more efficient lighting system. It enables much more than an enhanced experience for our visitors and patrons.”

Each of Tacoma Art Museum's five exhibition spaces originally featured approximately 120 theatrical-style fixtures, which predominantly used 150-watt PAR 38 incandescent lamps. Identical fixtures were also installed in the gift shop, public areas and administrative meeting rooms. The museum's new lighting system reduces the fixture count from 621 to 505, which helps to eliminate ceiling clutter and significantly reduces maintenance.

“The net effect of this change is greater intensity, clarity and visual focus for each piece of art on display,” says Jason Raak, a Cleveland-based marketing manager with GE Lighting. Raak directs GE's relationship with Janmar Lighting, the fixture manufacturer, and together the companies have launched an informational web site, www.bettermuseumlighting.com, to espouse the benefits of more contemporary lighting systems for museums and commercial facilities throughout North America.

Better lighting system components
The GE CMH® lamps used in the new Janmar Lighting fixtures—together they're a lighting system—feature a warm, soft white light. The new system lessens UV exposure by about 60 percent compared with the previous incandescent system, well below the recommended UV specification of 75 microwatts per lumen. It also runs cooler than an incandescent system and the lighting will last about 6 times longer, a big maintenance cost savings.

“Requirements for lighting an art museum are unique because each work speaks volumes on its own,” adds Raak. “Newer lighting technologies can enhance the viewing experience, creating a win-win for art enthusiasts and the foundations that work to sustain and operate museums.”

About GE Appliances & Lighting
GE Appliances & Lighting spans the globe as an industry leader in major appliances, lighting, systems and services for commercial, industrial and residential use. Technology innovation and the company's ecomagination(SM) initiative enable GE Appliances & Lighting to aggressively bring to market products and solutions that help customers meet pressing environmental challenges. General Electric (NYSE: GE), imagination at work, sells products under the Monogram®, Profile™, GE®, Hotpoint®, Reveal® and Energy Smart® consumer brands, and Tetra®, Vio™ and Immersion® commercial brands. For more information, consumers may visit www.ge.com.

Contact
Kim Freeman Director Public Relations Appliance Park AP3-232 Louisville, Kentucky 40225 502-452-7819

E-mail:kim_freeman@ge.com

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