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Lighting Design for Museum’s

Excellent Lighting Solutions for Museums and Galleries

Light & Shade

The intensity of contrast between bright and dark regions dictates the atmosphere within the exhibition space. Sensitively designed lighting will bring out the best qualities of exhibits, emphasising shape and colour of the paintings, sculptures and artefacts. It is important to create uniform light distribution, making the artefact the centre of attention should be the key aim of all museum lighting. For example the most effective contrast ratio in a gallery is conventionally 2 to 1 while in a museum this can be pushed to 6 to 1. 

Beam Angles

Museums need to highlight an object’s natural beauty and bring it to life before the visitor’s eyes. Galleries and museums will deploy a wide range of beam diameters to best match the proportions and mountings of the greatly varying artworks. For example, narrow spots give high intensity light over greater distances and have a beam angle of less than 10 degrees, while spotlights with a 10 to 20 degree beam angle are very effective in lighting 3D objects. Through the precision of the beam, you are able to give the appearance that the image is glowing from within itself, rather than from being externally lit.

Effective use of highlighting can bring out the qualities of exhibits in the most dramatic way. With a combination of higher and lower intensity point light sources will illuminate the surfaces artworks as well as the texture, colour and shape. And by minimising the light spill on to walls, artefacts can be framed and stand out as points of attention while larger displays can work most effectively when there is a uniform wall washing, which provides a more contemplative ambience, perfect for a museum or gallery space. 

Lighting control

The benefits of a lighting control system for a museum or gallery are significant due to the balancing act of light that is required. The option to have a more bespoke lighting design system will pay dividends due to the ability to set controls on factors such as dimming and managing Colour Rendering Index (CRI). dimming will provide an intense focus on an artwork while also providing contrast and depth. Through dimming, low levels of contrast will create a lively space that is enticing for visitors while higher contrasts add theatre and act to direct them to key areas. Good lighting design in galleries and museums will focus on optimal colour rendering to ensure that the exhibits appear as natural as possible. Colour Rendering Index is a measurement of how colours look under a light source when compared with sunlight. The index is measured from 0-100, with a perfect 100 indicating that colours under the light source appear the same as they would under natural sunlight. While a CRI of 100 is considered the best, luminaires with a CRI of >90 will ensure that the colours appear vivid and natural and the reds in particular are vibrant.

Colour Temperature

The way that rooms and exhibits appear to visitors is also governed by the colour temperature of the light sources, measured in Kelvin (K) and this has a significant effect on mood as well as appearance. The colour temperature of an LED will dictate whether it emits a warm or cooler light. The higher the LED’s colour temperature, the cooler the resultant light effect. The colour temperature indicates a warm or cooler light so lamps that emit a cooler colour temperature of 4000K and above will make the exhibit appear more defined and sharp while at the other end of the scale, a warm 1600K light will provide the tranquil illumination seen from candlelight. Combined with an effective lighting control system, colour tunable LEDs that can be dimmed from 3000K to 1600K, offer gallery owners and museum curators the facility to move along a range from midday light to evening light, with no loss of light quality or negative effect on beam angles.

At Asco Lights we specialise in museum and gallery lighting design, with multiple successful projects completed. Please do feel free to get in touch if you want help with any commercial or residential lighting projects.

What kind of projects we get involved in.

With our really flexible approach, we work on a wide range of projects from small one-room residential designs to multi million pound home designs. Other projects include large commercial developments to small religious buildings, restaurants and hotels.

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What makes us different?

Technical Knowledge and Expertise

Our technical knowledge and expertise is crucial to the success of our projects. With loading schedules, product specifications, wiring runs and all required technical information. We also offer bespoke training packages for architects, interior designers, specifiers electricians and many others in the industry allowing us to be at the forefront of lighting. We work with partners for example lighting control and home automation companies allowing you the options to implement digital signage and control within your spaces. We have a fully interactive demonstrative showroom allowing you to fully understand our products and what we do as a company.

We work both nationally and internationally. Contact us and start your project

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Telephone: 0161 207 0212 Email: info@ascolights.co.uk