Recently the San Diego Air and Space Museum picked MSi LED lights as replacements for the hot and inefficient tungsten halogen lighting that were being used in their exhibit spaces. This Smithsonian affiliate museum is home to many historically important and rare aircraft including a British Spitfire, a Navy F6F Hellcat and the A4 Skyhawk jet fighter.
As MSi sales representative Daniel Stern explains MSI LED lighting is so good it even fooled the trained eye of the museums chief building engineer. “He had viewed my demonstration of our newest lights and immediately agreed to their purchase. As we were walking out he pointed to the gift shop and said that he wanted to replace those halogen lights next. Little did he know the independent management company that operated the gift shop had replaced the halogen lighting with MSi iPAR38’s last November. For over five months he had not noticed any difference in light output between the old halogen lights and the new MSi LED’s. Great testimony to the advancements MSi has made in LED lighting.

LED lighting offers many advantages over tungsten halogen lighting traditionally found in museums – chief among them are cost savings in energy and maintenance. LED lights consume far less energy and produce almost no heat meaning reduced cost for both electricity and cooling. Museums will also realize savings in the costs of light replacement. A typical tungsten halogen light burning 12 hours a day will need replacement every four months. The equivalent LED light burning 12 hours a day can last up to 13 years.  Tough LED lighting can also withstand the constant repositioning that is required by museum’s changing exhibitions.

Further advantages of LED lighting include its ability to be dimmed without any shift in its color spectrum. This allows museums to increase or lower lighting for changing exhibitions without altering the color temperature of the light being produced. LED’s also provide a more focused light without any of the irregularities that occur when the tungsten halogen light passes through the lamp’s lens.

But perhaps the biggest advantage to using MSi LED lighting in museums is its contribution to the preservation of the objects that is housed there. Materials such as paints and fabrics can suffer damage and fading as a result of the ultraviolet and infrared light waves that are produced by tungsten halogen lighting. The light emitted by LED’s contains neither of these harmful wavelengths that can result in damage to priceless works of art.

The color rendering index of newest LED’s will now meet or exceed that of the traditional tungsten halogen lighting,” said Bruce Johnson, MSi managing partner. “That means that museums can now realize all the cost savings and preservation benefits of LED lighting while allowing visitors to view objects and colors the way they were intended to be seen.”

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