Since its founding four decades ago by three sisters and families who dreamed of honoring their mother and her collections, the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum in Wausau, Wisconsin, has been committed to enhancing lives through art and educational programs. As an art-in-nature-focused museum that is certified “Travel Green” by the Wisconsin Department of Tourism, the Woodson also strives to be a model of sustainability.
Deepening its commitment to environmental stewardship, the Woodson recently installed GE’s energy-efficient Infusion™ LED modules throughout a newly constructed gallery, saving 30 watts of energy per fixture and bathing the artworks on view in crisp, white light.
Artistic LED Lighting Solutions
Serving an estimated 56,000 visitors annually, the Woodson Art Museum’s flagship exhibition is the internationally renowned Birds in Art, a juried exhibition that each fall comprises fresh interpretations in various styles by artists from around the world.
To accommodate a permanent collection of 43 paintings by Owen J. Gromme, the Woodson constructed a new gallery outfitted with GE’s Infusion LED modules instead of halogen lamps that have been used throughout the museum’s galleries. Gromme is considered the “father of Birds in Art” and served as guest curator of the museum’s inaugural exhibition in 1976.
“Although we were skeptical at first of LED lighting solutions because of initial cost, we’re now so pleased with the color and the clean, white light in our new gallery that we’re looking to retrofit all of the galleries with LED,” said Andrew McGivern, curator of exhibitions at the Woodson Art Museum. “Compared to our old halogen lamps, the LED lights have a softer edge; when you step from a traditionally lit gallery to our new gallery, the new museum lighting creates a completely different atmosphere and a fresh appearance for visitors.”
Working with Specialty Lighting Sales of Wisconsin, Inc. (Milwaukee, Wis.), the museum tested a variety of bulbs and fixtures, eventually ordering GE’s LED modules installed in Journée Lighting’s Zinnia 1000i track lights because of superior aesthetics and functionality. GE’s Infusion LED lighting maintains consistent color quality from module to module and is available in a wide range of lumen packages to meet various lighting needs.
“What was critical for us as an art museum was the evenness of the color,” McGivern continued. “We needed a light with a high CRI (Color Rendering Index) to provide even and consistent color distribution throughout the gallery.”
Brushing up on Savings
As a nonprofit art museum committed to free admission, the Woodson is always looking for ways to improve its bottom line. Utilizing GE’s Infusion LED module instead of the traditional 50-watt halogen MR16 lamps saves the Woodson approximately 30 watts of energy per fixture as well as lowers the cooling load of its HVAC system, contributing to both direct and indirect energy savings.
Additionally, GE’s Infusion modules’ twist-fit installation combined with a common base design reduces the Woodson’s operational costs. Instead of replacing an entire LED light fixture at the end of its life, the module can simply be replaced to minimize environmental waste.
With interchangeable modules, GE’s Infusion products deliver game-changing technology to the market. As lighting needs change, it is quick and easy to adapt by removing the entire LED module and upgrading in seconds.
“The flexibility of the Infusion system is among the reasons we chose it,” said McGivern. “It sets us up to adapt to new lighting technologies down the road by allowing us to easily switch out the modules.”
The long-life LED museum lighting solution also eases the maintenance burden for the Woodson Art Museum, where a scissor-lift truck often is required to reach 20-foot ceilings.
“Walking through the galleries, we have bulbs that burn out daily,” added McGivern. “Being able to install LED lights and know we won’t need to change them for 8-10 years is very refreshing.”
To learn more about GE’s commitment to innovative LED solutions to today’s environmental challenges while driving economic growth, visit ecomagination.com/.
About Woodson Art Museum
The Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum (lywam.org), located in a beautiful residential area on the east side of Wausau, Wis., offers artworks from every corner of the world to north central Wisconsin residents and visitors through diverse changing exhibitions. The Museum is housed in an updated 1931 English Tudor period Cotswold-style residence to which a new main entrance and expansive two-story gallery spaces have been added. The grounds cover four acres highlighted by a sculpture garden, attractive brick walkways, a shaded arbor and seating area, and on-site parking. The museum is committed to always free admission.
About GE Lighting
GE Lighting (gelighting.com) invents with the vigor of its founder Thomas Edison to develop energy-efficient solutions that change the way people light their world in commercial, industrial, municipal and residential settings. The business employs about 15,000 people in more than 100 countries, and sells products under the Reveal® and Energy Smart® consumer brands, and Evolve™, GTx™, Immersion™, Infusion™, Lumination™, Albeo™, and Tetra® commercial brands, all trademarks of GE. General Electric (NYSE: GE) works on things that matter to build a world that works better.
50 Years of LED Innovation
Oct. 9, 1962, GE scientist Dr. Nick Holonyak, Jr., invented the first practical visible-spectrum light-emitting diode (LED). In the 50 years since, GE has been on the forefront of LED innovation. The company has released inspired LED products for both residential and commercial settings, from the first ENERGY STAR®-qualified A19-shaped LED bulb to LED street lighting that illuminates cityscapes the world over.