Lighting an exhibition space such as an art gallery can represent a large proportion – if not the majority – of one’s electricity bill.  However, taking simple steps, including switching to LEDs, can make a huge difference.

For a while there was a fashion to swap out traditional incandescent light bulbs (those containing wire filaments that glow when heated) with halogen alternatives, because the halogen ones last far longer and are brighter due to a combination of their tungsten filaments and presence of halogen gas.  LEDs, though, are superior still – and are no longer hindered by being far too expensive.

LEDs (light-emitting diodes) are the most energy-efficient option: the use of semiconductors to produce photons means they consume 80% less power than traditional incandescent bulbs and 75% less than halogen bulbs.  And their long lifespan (42 times longer than traditional incandescent bulbs and 13 times longer than halogen bulbs) more than counteracts the initial higher cost.  What’s more, they are of particular interest to art galleries because they emit far less infrared and ultraviolet radiation, which can damage fabric and artwork.  And if that’s not enough, LEDs contain no mercury, harmful gasses or toxins and, due to their low energy consumption, are ideal for users of solar power.

Where to buy them?  A good general source of green building products, including lighting, is SaveMoneyCutCarbon.com, which specifically links to Soraa lights and systems within its helpful ‘guide to lighting your gallery or museum’, as well as a plethora of other brands.  Other suppliers that specialise in museums and galleries include Sylvania (for LEDs and the alternatives) and Lighting Design Studio.

Lighting an exhibition space such as an art gallery can represent a large proportion – if not the majority – of one’s electricity bill.  However, taking simple steps, including switching to LEDs, can make a huge difference.

For a while there was a fashion to swap out traditional incandescent light bulbs (those containing wire filaments that glow when heated) with halogen alternatives, because the halogen ones last far longer and are brighter due to a combination of their tungsten filaments and presence of halogen gas.  LEDs, though, are superior still – and are no longer hindered by being far too expensive.

LEDs (light-emitting diodes) are the most energy-efficient option: the use of semiconductors to produce photons means they consume 80% less power than traditional incandescent bulbs and 75% less than halogen bulbs.  And their long lifespan (42 times longer than traditional incandescent bulbs and 13 times longer than halogen bulbs) more than counteracts the initial higher cost.  What’s more, they are of particular interest to art galleries because they emit far less infrared and ultraviolet radiation, which can damage fabric and artwork.  And if that’s not enough, LEDs contain no mercury, harmful gasses or toxins and, due to their low energy consumption, are ideal for users of solar power.

Where to buy them?  A good general source of green building products, including lighting, is SaveMoneyCutCarbon.com, which specifically links to Soraa lights and systems within its helpful ‘guide to lighting your gallery or museum’, as well as a plethora of other brands.  Other suppliers that specialise in museums and galleries include Sylvania (for LEDs and the alternatives) and Lighting Design Studio.