Toshiba plans broader LED project at Louvre; Black Tank lights Tussauds

May 30, 2012
Toshiba will expand its partnership with the Louvre Museum and will ultimately light the Mona Lisa with LEDs, while the Black Tank announced an SSL project at Madame Tussauds wax museum in Las Vegas.

They are museums at the opposite ends of the spectrum of historical significance, but both the Louvre Museum in Paris, France and Madame Tussauds wax museum in Las Vegas, NV are taking advantage of the energy saving benefits of LED lighting. Toshiba lit exterior areas of the Louvre with LEDs previously, and will now supply indoor lighting, including exhibit lighting for the Mona Lisa. The Black Tank supplied solid-state lighting (SSL) in the lobby and box-office areas at Tussauds.

Outdoor SSL at the Louvre

Toshiba and the Louvre signed a partnership agreement back in 2010 that runs through 2023, under which Toshiba will develop LED lighting for the museum and help fund renovations. The partners are now laying plans for the first major indoor installation of SSL.

The project will include some of the most famous exhibits in the Louvre starting with the Mona Lisa painted by Leonardo da Vinci. The project will also include lighting the Red Rooms along with Napoleon Hall that serves as the Louvre's main entrance. The projects will take place over the course of 2013 and 2014.

"This partnership has pursued artistic integrity in the LED lighting from every conceivable perspective – the shape of the fixtures, illumination brightness, color tone and installation angle, to achieve a lighting finish that respects the scenery of Paris," said Edward Lees, product manager at Toshiba Information Systems UK. "Toshiba will continue to refine its technical skills in the pursuit of the potential of LED lighting."

The partners have yet to discuss the projected benefits of LED lighting beyond energy savings. In other museum applications, LEDs have been judged superior to legacy sources in terms of preserving famous works of art. Examples include LED lighting tested at the Getty Museum in Los Angeles, CA and in the Smithsonian American Art Museum and Renwick Gallery in Washington, DC.

As LEDs Magazine chronicled previously, the outdoor SSL projects at the Louvre included lighting the central Pyramid, the façade of the Colbert pavilion, and part of the main museum building. The installed LED lighting has reduced the power needed to light those areas by 73%, according to the Louvre.

Tussauds wax museum

You might think that in the case of a wax museum, the fact that LED lighting doesn’t generate heat might be a factor in its usage. Alas, the Tussauds' project was focused in the lobby and LEDs were deployed both to save energy and to give the areas some sizzle.

Madame Tussauds lobby

Lighting designer Herrick Goldman deployed Brickblaster Pro fixtures in the lobby and box-office areas. The 4-in cube-shaped fixtures were able to be hidden in tight spaces while offering theatrical-grade capabilities and DMX512 control.

In the lobby area, Goldman used Brickblaster Pro RGBW color-capable luminaires to wash the area in red light. Moreover, the fixtures are programmed to simulate camera flashes adding to the paparazzi theme of the area.

The box-office is lit with Brickblaster Pro WWCW fixtures that feature tuneable color temperature than can range from 2800°K to 6500°K. The space is also open to external light, and the new lights can be dimmed to levels preferred by the employees.