Rare find as National Media Museum switches to environmentally-friendly light

The National Media Museum in Bradford will be ‘glowing’ with pride after showcasing its new exhibition with power from green and sustainable LED lighting.

It has invested in energy efficient LED technology to illuminate the world’s first permanent gallery dedicated to exploring the social, technological and cultural impact of the internet and the web.

As part of an overall project costing £2 million, display cabinets, floor lighting and wall illuminations have all been powered with LED strip lighting, colour changing LED spots and cool white bespoke luminaries.

Joe Brook, media and galleries manager and Life Online project leader from the National Media Museum, said: “We opened our ‘world-first’ gallery at the end of March and the response has been fantastic.

“The lighting has been an important element of the new gallery because it creates a clean, contemporary and futuristic ambience. And, more importantly it will reduce the museum’s carbon footprint, minimise running costs for this gallery, and protect historic artefacts from heat damage.”

Bradford’s National Media Museum houses permanent galleries devoted to TV, animation and the history of photography as well staging multi-media exhibitions. The Museum cares for more than 3.5 million objects in its National Photography, Television, Cinematography and New Media Collections.

Paul Breedon, from Display Lighting of Altrincham, Cheshire, UK, has been working on the lighting project with the museum. He said: “The bespoke luminaires all have integral LEDs that provide effective brightness, diminish the generation of heat and are very low maintenance. They significantly reduce energy costs resulting in lower costs for public buildings and tourist destinations. As incandescent lighting is being phased out globally, museums are taking advantage of this innovative development.

“Standard incandescent came in one standard colour of ‘warm white’ or 2700k*. But new LED technology enables the museum to transform its look and create mood lighting with cool white colour temperatures of 6000k*. This has worked really well with the Internet gallery – it’s simple, clean and ultra-modern, yet captures visitors’ interest and entices them in.”

Roy Crone, from NRN Design in Manchester, was the lead designer for the new gallery. He commented: “The most important element within any interior is light.

“Whether we are designing general ambient lighting or one-off feature lights, we adopt the same process to maximise effect and performance with the minimum expenditure, whilst focusing on the life span and maintenance of the fittings.”

Simon Musker, of Lovell Electrical, agreed: “One of the biggest challenges for us was concealing the wiring and containing the cables, but we followed the architects ideas and drawings and the result is amazing. All the trades worked together really well, and the evidence of this shines through in the final product.”

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