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Old masters in a new light – LED lighting for a museum

The Fränkische Galerie (Franconian Gallery) is housed in the Rosenberg fortress that dominates the historic district of Kronach. Its collection comprises some 200 masterpieces of painting and sculpture from the Late Gothic and Early Renaissance periods - including paintings by Lucas Cranach the Elder (1472-1553), who was born in Kronach. As part of a recent upgrade of the exhibition rooms, Katrin Söncksen from lighting design office lichttransfer in Berlin devised an energy-efficient lighting concept that is configured precisely to the requirements of the artwork while creating focal points.

Much like a subtle guidance system, the light directs visitors through the exhibition rooms in the museum. A choreography of high-contrast ­accent lighting stages the individual objects in each room as required for an optimised visual experience. The lighting designers opted for ERCO’s 12W Optec LED spotlight here, which offers interchangeable Spherolit lenses and diverse light distributions for fine and precise adjustment to the characteristic features of each exhibit: The filigree motifs of the panel paintings and winged altars are rendered realistically and without reflective glare in exceptionally soft light. Brilliant light enhances the three-dimensional effect of the wood sculptures, previously indistinguishable colour versions are made perceptible. The colour scheme of the rooms in a light shade of grey enhances the intensity of the exhibits illuminated in warm white light. Optec proved a sustainable alternative in terms of low energy consumption and exceptionally long life, but also from a conservational aspect: At 3000K, the warm white LED light is free of ultraviolet and infrared components. This reduces the damage potential of the lighting significantly and makes it better suited than halogen lamps with UV filter.

Project data
Project: Exhibition lighting for Fränkische Galerie Kronach
Client: Bayerisches Nationalmuseum / Kronach Town Council
Light: lichttransfer, Katrin Söncksen, Berlin
Products: 12W Optec LED spotlights
Photos: Alexandra Lechner

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About ERCO

The ERCO Light Factory in Lüdenscheid is a leading international specialist in architectural lighting using LED technology. The family business, founded in 1934, now operates as a global player with over 60 subsidiaries, branches and agencies in over 40 countries worldwide. Since 2015 ERCO's portfolio has been 100% LED. Inspired by "light digital" as its leitmotif, ERCO in Lüdenscheid develops, designs and produces digital luminaires with focus on photometrics, electronics and design. Working closely with architects, lighting designers and engineers, ERCO develops lighting tools used primarily for applications in the following fields: Work, Shop, Culture, Community, Hospitality, Living, Public and Contemplation. ERCO understands digital light as the fourth dimension of architecture - providing highly precise and efficient lighting solutions to support creative designers in turning their visions into reality.
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