DOE Study: LED Museum Lighting Safe, Effective, Efficient
The US Department of Energy (DOE) has published the final evaluation report from a retrofit of track lighting used to illuminate a special photography exhibition at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Malibu, California. The LED lamps resulted in energy savings approaching 83 percent compared to the traditional halogen system. Simple payback was estimated to occur between years 2 and 3.
Further, regular checks of monitored photographs showed small, but visually undetectable, fading from the installed LED lamps. No more photodegredation than would be expected from UV/IR filtered halogen lamps.
During the demonstration, 12W LED PAR38 lamps replaced 60W halogen PAR38 30° flood lamps on a one-for-one basis across three adjacent gallery spaces. The final report was prepared by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and co-authored with Senior Scientist Jim Druzik of the Getty Conservation Institute.
Key findings include:
- In the three gallery spaces, a total of 34 track heads lamped with the LED lamps would use 920 kWh per year compared to 5410 kWh for the comparable halogen lighting system, representing a savings of 83 percent. At a melded electrical rate of $0.12/kWh, this translates to a savings of $540 per year for the museum.
- In a 10-year lifecycle cost analysis, the total present value (PV) energy savings amount to $4621, with a total PV lifecycle cost savings of $9843 including maintenance. At this electricity cost, simple payback occurs at 2.3 years of operation.
- During the PAR38 lamp comparison, museum staff responded favorably to the visual results, and although there was no effort to inform the viewing public about the LED use, there also was no reaction, positive or negative, from visitors about the lighting. The museum plans to continue to use LEDs in exhibits where they produce desired visual results.
- Accelerated fading tests on a variety of sensitive museum materials showed that warm-white LED lamps produce no worse deterioration than filtered halogen lamps at equivalent lux-hours of exposure. However, it is always important to consult with conservators and curators on unique or especially critical museum materials.
The report is available for download at the DOE’s Solid-State Lighting Gateway Demonstration Results page. This lighting demonstration is one of many DOE Gateway demonstrations that showcase high-performance LED products for general illumination.