GE Lighting Shines a Light on Priceless Art
The revitalised Beaney House of Art & Knowledge is housed in a Grade II listed building. Until it closed for refurbishment in 2009, the building was known as the Beaney Institute and was home to Canterbury Royal Museum and Art Gallery, and Canterbury Library. It reopened under its new name in September 2012. The Beaney provides state-of-the-art exhibition galleries, a new and extended library, excellent educational facilities and a varied programme of interactive events for all ages.
The building takes its name from its benefactor, Dr James George Beaney, who died in 1891 and left money in his will to the city of Canterbury.
The Beaney's collections include a nationally important body of work by Victorian artist Thomas Sidney Cooper; displays focused on worldwide travellers who brought back items to Canterbury, including Greek and Roman antiquities given by Viscount Strangford; archaeological collections from ancient Egypt and Anglo-Saxon Kent; landscape paintings and portraits with local associations; and fragments of Dutch seventeenth-century stained-glass.
When the restoration and re-development of the Beaney commenced in February 2009, lighting was considered a major facet, as it needed not only to simulate daylight and illuminate works of art but also to deliver high levels of energy efficiency to ensure that maintenance costs could be kept to a minimum. This was important, as the high ceilings in the gallery meant getting to them could be particularly difficult.
The Infusion™ Generation 3 LED module was incorporated into DAL's (Designed Architectural Lighting) Baltic Spotlight as it was important to the gallery that the new lighting fixtures were not only fully demountable with interchangeable parts, but offered a range of beams and were individually dimmable and designed specifically for regular adjustment. This was incredibly important given the nature of the space: several of the Beaney's galleries are subject to numerous layout changes as new exhibitions are brought in.
Chris Short, Design Director at DAL commented: “The Beaney selected for all the collections and exhibitions galleries our Baltic Spotlights incorporating the GE Infusion™ Generation 3 LED modules. These allow users to alternate beam angles or light packages to suit changing requirements - and they are directly upgradeable. This means in the future, if the gallery wants to upgrade the spotlights with newer and more efficient LEDs, this can be done without having to change the fixtures.”
The GE Infusion™ LED module is a game-changing platform, designed to open up new possibilities for the use of long-lasting, low maintenance LED technology in retail, gallery and other environments where the quality of light is critical to the customer/visitor experience.
Results and Benefits
Krystyna Matyjaszkiewicz, Museums and Galleries Development Manager for Canterbury Museums and Galleries commented: “Before commencing the new lighting installation DAL carried out a trial, showing the light given by the new GE Infusion™ LED modules. The new lighting in the Beaney has proved very successful as visitors have commented on how the lighting is clean and clear – without being too cold or too warm. The light colour had to be one that would not distort the colour and appearance of the oil paintings and GE Lighting's module provided the ideal solution.”
“We are still experimenting with the lighting for changing exhibitions but are now able to achieve good results and adapt the lighting to each exhibit if necessary. This is important to us as we often show art works that need different lux levels in the same space. Moreover, we are now able to create what appears to be even lighting, which is in fact dimmed differently. Whereas in the past with old fittings there were unacceptable pools of light and even, uniform lighting just wasn't possible.”