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If it’s good enough for the Mona Lisa . . . Louvre converts to LED

In what could be a marketing coup with enormous potential, Toshiba Corp revealed that the world’s most famous painting is now lit by Toshiba LED lighting. The enigmatic smile of the Mona Lisa can now be admired and pondered by visitors to the famous Louvre museum of Paris under the newly installed LED lighting. Watch for ads with the famous painting winking at you and some clever marketing line about how after five hundred years they finally got the lighting right.
Mona Lisa gets a new look. The Japapese LED manufacturer Toshiba is working to replace all the lighting in the Louvre in Paris with LED lights. They started big, with the most famous painting in the world.

Toshiba has been working with the Louvre to replace all of its old lighting since 2010. They have already replaced the lighting in a number of outdoor areas, including the striking I.M. Pei Pyramid which stands in the outer forecourt of the Louvre, the Cour Napoleon.

According to Toshiba, one of the instructions they were given by the French authorities was to achieve the identical look and warm colours of the outdoor Xenon lamps they were replacing with the new LED lights, while keeping the lighting as discreet as possible. The Japanese company replaced 4400 Xenon lights with 3200 LED luminaires, achieving a 75 per cent reduction in power consumption.

But the real challenge began when they moved indoors. Illuminating works of art is particularly tricky. Just as many a homeowner has worried about the quality of the light produced by LEDs—too blue, too harsh, too cool—the museum fretted that any lighting that shone on its priceless treasures should be as close to natural lighting as possible. Further, it was important to minimize the heat given off by the lighting.

The second phase of the museum’s lighting renovation began with work in the “red rooms” where the Da Vinci painting hangs, along with other treasures, including the Coronation of Napoleon by Jacques-Louis David. This is the first use of LED lighting inside the galleries of the museum.

A Toshiba spokesman said that the challenge of fitting out the Louvre with LED lighting was like “Formula 1 for cars,” pushing the company to innovate and go as far as possible in developing the LED technology. It was a bold move for the company. When the project began three years ago, LED technology was not as widely accepted. Tackling the work at the Louvre gave the company the opportunity to prove that LED technology was just as good as traditional technologies for lighting works of art.

The work inside the museum is expected to continue until 2023.

In the countries of the European Union, traditional incandescent light bulbs have all but disappeared. They were legislated out of use by the end of 2012.


Reprinted with permission of G4Report.

Auberge on the Park-Tridel


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