Apr 16, 2011
Rockland — The Farnsworth Art Museum has taken measures to reduce the operational costs of its building.
With the economy down and a need for budget relief, “we made the decision to leap past the standards of most museums and become innovators,” said Aedan Jordan, assistant superintendent at the museum, in a news release.
That innovation was LED lighting.
The Farnsworth found that LED lighting from Torrance, California–based LEDtronics would not only save energy and money, but it would promote art conservation, environmental stewardship, and enhance the museum visitor experience.
When the Farnsworth made the decision on which lamps to use, it began calculating the savings and payback period. The museum bases its energy and monetary saving projections on having at least 500 lamps in use in its 15,500 square feet of gallery space. Before the LED project started, a mix of 50 to 90 watt lighting was used to light the galleries.
When the museum looked closer at its lighting budget for the curatorial department, it discovered some information that helped save even more energy and money. The museum’s annual average bulb replacement budget for the three prior years was $2,800 per year. The life expectancy of most incandescent bulbs is 2,500 hours. That means, in theory, that if the Farnsworth is open seven days a week, as most museums are, it would need to essentially replace all its lamps within one year.
The museum estimates approximately $17,000 of electricity savings due to the reduction of lamp wattage in the gallery spaces and there was a large reduction of heat generated in the galleries, requiring less mechanical cooling.