Photo: National Gallery, Angel (Left Hand) 1455-60, Francesco Pesellino and Fra Filippo Lippi and workshop
London's esteemed National Gallery has announced that it will be switching to LED lighting over the next two years.
This is a major step for such an enormous art gallery and indeed it is the first in the world to use these lights throughout their building. It will cuts its carbon emissions significantly and make the light better in the galleries.
Photo: National Gallery
The LED lighting will be introduced in conjunction with a system that will automatically adjust the external roof light blinds according to the amount and angle of sunlight. That means that the amount of diffused light in the galleries will be gradually controlled by opening or shutting according to the weather.
The system will allow the LED lighting to augment natural light as needed, reducing the Gallery's lighting energy consumption by 85%. LEDs can also dimmed without changing the colour temperature.
Photo: National Gallery, A River Landscape, Joris van der Haagen
It is good for visitors because it means lights won't go on and off abruptly. The Gallery has been working for the past 3 years to introduce the lighting. So far the lights are already installed in six galleries so that the gallery can fine-tune the system. The installation in the first six picture galleries has saved an estimated £3600 in annual energy costs and a further £3100 in reduced maintenance. In total, the switch will save 29 tons of carbon emissions as a start.
This success has encouraged them to expand the LED lighting and do the whole of the gallery.
When fully installed it is thought that it will reduce the total carbon dioxide emissions by 400 tons a year. It will also reduce the Gallery's lighting energy consumption by 85%. Since LED's last longer (25 times longer than regular lights), there will be reduced maintenance costs too. No UV light will be produced so filters will no longer be required either. It's a win win all around.
The National Gallery will install all of the lights by the spring of 2013. The Gallery has an over-all carbon reduction goal of 43% which includes more efficient boilers and power plants. This installation will take them a long way towards achieving it.