Art museums often serve dual purposes: to display works of art in a deserving and aesthetically pleasing fashion, and to preserve those works for future generations.
Preservation and maintaining aesthetics are two goals that pose unique challenges, and a flexible lighting system in a gallery environment is crucial to each. The Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) recently took a big step in enhancing its commitment to both by installing Zinnia™ LED lighting fixtures by Journée Lighting, featuring GE’s Infusion™ LED Modules.
Throughout each of its galleries, MOCA now has greater flexibility and control of its lighting, offering a number of benefits for the artwork within.
“We are seeing more and more museums adopt LED lighting systems,” explained Clayton Alexander, founder and CEO of Journée Lighting. “They are choosing GE Infusion-based track lights, such as our Zinnia fixture, because they offer a future-proof light source that’s as easy to change as a standard light bulb.”
A Delicate Lighting Balance
Placement of artwork is typically dependent on the lighting inside a museum, as different artworks require different levels of lighting some dim, some bright, and everything in between. Light spillage from traditional lighting can inhibit the arrangement of the artwork a piece requiring bright lighting could not be placed near a piece requiring dim lighting. But with the enhanced functionality and control options offered by LED lighting, that problem is easily overcome.
And galleries are far from static, especially for a non-collecting institution like MOCA. With no permanent displays, exhibits change frequently, and loaned artwork dictates the museum’s lighting needs, said Kate Pittman, MOCA’s Director of Operations.
“Our curators now have increased flexibility to meet the ever-changing needs of our art exhibits,” said Pittman. “One month, we may need very low levels of light to softly illuminate paper artwork, and the next we are lighting 3-ton glass sculptures that require a lot of light.”
Flexible LED Technology
MOCA replaced traditional 75-watt PAR halogen lamps with more than 450 new Zinnia LED luminaires outfitted with the Infusion LED Modules. The LED solution from GE Lighting offers a color rendering index of 90; a 2700K color temperature; and a dramatic reduction in IR radiation and UV radiation, both of which are carefully monitored in museums due to their harmful effects on artwork.
With twist-fit installation, a common socket design and an extensive range of compatible luminaires, GE’s Infusion LED Modules offer a flexible solution for museum environments. The simple, removable modules allow MOCA to update its lighting without having to replace entire lighting fixtures a major plus with the rapid rate at which LED technology evolves.
MOCA uses up to 300 lighting fixtures at a time in order to properly light its galleries. By switching to LED lighting, the museum will reap significant savings, Pittman said. The new system is expected to pay for itself within seven years, and will allow for a significant decrease in maintenance and upkeep.
“For MOCA’s purposes, the winning attribute of this product was the pairing of high-quality light and flexibility of the product to meet the ever-changing needs of temporary art exhibits,” Pittman said. “MOCA’s goal was to find energy-efficient lighting that looked like its outdated incandescent lighting counterpart. The average person cannot tell the difference, which was important to maintaining the aesthetics in our galleries. MOCA maintained its appearance and receives all the added benefits of energy-efficient lighting without the concern for harmful heat and high electrical bills.”
For more information about the GE Lighting products used in this project, visit gelighting.com/infusion.
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 13,000 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. GE works on things that matter to build a world that works better.
About Journée Lighting
Headquartered in Westlake Village, California, Journée Lighting (journeelighting.com) designs and manufactures leading-edge LED luminaires, including the Zinnia, Lotus, Pentas and Azara, all featuring the GE Infusion™ LED Module. Journée’s innovative LED track lights feature beam spread options ranging from 10 to 60 degrees and light output options ranging from 450 lumens all the way up to 2000 lumens, all with maintenance-free passive cooling.
MOCA (VirginiaMOCA.org) is a non-profit institution which exists to foster awareness, exploration, and understanding of the significant art of our time. Through excellence and diversity in our changing exhibitions and educational programming, MOCA stimulates critical thinking and dialogue throughout the Hampton Roads community. For more information, call 757-425-0000 or contact MOCA at 2200 Parks Ave., Virginia Beach, VA 23451.