Museum of the Living Artist Swaps Halogens with LEDs

Lighting structure to be suspended over atrium
  • Lighting structure to be suspended over atrium

Last month, the San Diego Art Institute’s Museum of the Living Artist received a grant from the City of San Diego and San Diego Gas and Electric via the Balboa Park Cultural Partnership. The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant provided the SDAI’s Museum of the Living Artist approximately $170,000 in response to a light-and-fixture proposal. The museum is currently using the money to convert all halogen light bulbs to colored LEDs.

Timothy Field, the museum’s executive director, explained that the use of true color LEDs reduces the cost of lighting fivefold. In addition, LEDs rival the old halogen lights in providing a true color spectrum, which is necessary in museum lighting.

With the new light fixtures, the museum is no longer limited to having all the lights on or off. The lights are sectioned into 17 clusters, all of which can be independently controlled to highlight special exhibits and create more intensity during events.

The larger structure with portholes of LED lights was designed by Field and a contracted electrician. The structure, made of two movable pieces that may be raised, lowered, dimmed, and controlled by a keypad, will be suspended over the atrium to showcase installations and digital art, which will be a first for the museum.

“Kids will be able to control the keypad and change the colors of the lights,” Field said.

The museum is open during the renovations and the project is expected to reach completion in a month.

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EECBG funding well spent! Congrats to SDAI, Travis Nixon and the whole team at Absolutely Electric, City of San Diego, San Diego Gas & Electric and all our energy efficiency partners!

I have had a chance to see the new lighting and it is quite impressive! I can't wait to take my little cousins in to see it!

It can be easy to walk through a building like the Museum of the Living Artist, and notice that the space is inviting and the astute would possibly attribute it to the quality and thoughtful lighting design by Absolutely Electric. Perhaps one might even be alerted to the fact that a lighting efficiency upgrade had occurred. Furthermore, even adults will find the color changing LED lighting pleasing and fun to look at.

But.....Positive reactions are always validating for a job well done, but reactions exist alone. On the other hand, direct hands-on interactions are what imprint memories. The children that get a chance to visit the MOTA will be the new ambassadors for efficiency, sustainability and community responsibility. And to think, all it took was local contractor and small business to put the power of controlling the colors in their little hands. From crayons to painting with LIGHT!!!!

Well done Absolutely Electric and kudos to BPCP for such a progressive approach to the facility upgrade that our City can enjoy for decades to come.

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