Milllennium Gallery

Saving money with LEDs

Project requirements
Established in 1998, Museums Sheffield was created as an independent charity to take over the running of the city’s non-industrial museums and galleries from Sheffield City Council.

The first major project for Museums Sheffield was the launch of the newly-built Millennium Gallery in 2001, which was a cornerstone of Sheffield’s ‘Heart of the City’ regeneration project.  Offering 1,800 square metres of exhibition space, the Gallery is the permanent home of Sheffield’s unique Metalwork Collection and Ruskin Collection of art and artefacts and plays host to major temporary exhibitions of art, craft, fashion and design. 

To enable the light levels within the museum to flow throughout the building, both artificial and natural light sources have been utilised.  This has resulted in a bright and calming effect in the main ‘avenue’ of the building, from which the four exhibition spaces are accessed.  Here the use of low-level lighting has created a stimulating and effective environment in which to display exhibits.  An alternative entrance to The Gallery is through the spectacular Winter Garden which is one of the largest temperate glasshouses in the UK and the venue currently welcomes over 800,000 visitors each year.

In the reception and café areas, The Gallery had been using halogen luminaires which consumed a whopping 75 Watts each.  With frequent lamp failures, the resulting increase in maintenance requirements and the dull and unwelcoming ambience the existing luminaires created, meant that The Gallery was on the lookout for an alternative light source that would provide the correct amount of light, reduce the level of maintenance required and significantly reduce the amount of energy used.

After being introduced to the Lingo LED track spotlight from Gamma Illumination, Nigel Johnson, Building Services Manager at Museums Sheffield, was keen to have a look at a sample and learn more about the energy efficient LED track lighting solution.

The main challenge for Gamma was to supply all the luminaires within a two week period so that the museum could replace all the existing halogen spotlights in one go whilst the museum was closed to the public.

Project solutions
The initial lighting replacement project centred on The Gallery’s entrance hall, café and escalator areas where the existing luminaires were causing problems with lamp failures and the resulting levels of maintenance were proving costly.  Gamma’s proposed lighting scheme recommended replacing the halogen luminaires with 40 Lingo LED track spotlights.  Lingo is a fit and forget LED luminaire which virtually eliminates all maintenance costs through its 50,000 hours life (L70).  They would be used to illuminate specific zones and sympathetically sit alongside existing CFL pendant luminaires, which were being used to provide ambient lighting.

As well as reducing lamp failures and maintenance costs, the luminaires needed to create a clean, bright and cool feel in the specified areas.  The height of the ceilings and the resulting position of the Global Trac could have caused a problem for some LED lighting solutions, but not Lingo.  The exceptionally powerful 3000 lumen option, incorporating the Philips 60° SLM with an outstanding DLOR of 93%, provided the correct amount of light exactly where it was needed.  To ensure the space had a clean and bright feel the 4000K colour temperature option was selected.  In addition, the white die-cast housing option helped the luminaires blend discreetly against the ceiling and the three circuit Global Trac was also installed to give individual control to each circuit on the lighting system.

Project results
Nigel Johnson commented:  “We are extremely pleased with the results from installing the Lingo LED track lighting.  The area is significantly brighter and more welcoming, which has led to a number of compliments from our visitors.  In addition, we’ve nearly halved the amount of energy each luminaire is consuming, so we’re also benefiting from reduced energy bills, it’s a win win situation all round.”