Does one attempt to reproduce the lighting of the
artist’s studio where the work was realised? Or, if
known, its original intended home? Or does one try to
bring out all the colours?
The consensus was to take the latter approach. Clair
and the curation team worked with the Linea Light
Group to establish a specification. The company
next conducted an extensive study on the correct
enhancement of different and unique works of art.
The strategic decision to bring out all the colours led to
the next challenge: could they develop an LED source
of sufficient colour quality to do all the works justice?
Working with engineers from US LED manufacturer
Cree, the team developed a chip-on-board array using
the just-launched Ultra HD CXB 1816 diodes. These
have an average colour rendering across reference
colours of 98. 7 per cent and, importantly, a specific
rendering index of red of 89, a very high number for
an LED source. Under the more comprehensive and
exacting TM30 colour rendering metric, which the
Linea Light Group prefers, the fidelity, or Rf, is 93
and the colour gamut, the complete subset of colours
known as Rg, is a near-perfect 99. In short, the lighting
is able to retrieve every colour range with a fidelity
reproduction almost equal to that guaranteed by the
natural light source par excellence: the sun.
The next step was to take the colour consistency of
the LEDs to the highest level possible using current
technology. The company supplied the LEDs within
a three-step MacAdam ellipse, an onerous colour-consistency tolerance. But to improve it further, Linea
Light Group had the individual LEDs tested to bring
the consistency down to a two-step ellipse, a spread
that’s invisible to the eye. More than 3500 were tested
daily at the peak of the project.
‘ The team at the museum weren’t experts in lighting,’
Left: fittings precisely light objects on shelves while avoiding glare
Overleaf: paintings emerge from the shaded walls as if lit from within
‘The next step was to take
the colour consistency
of the LEDs to the
highest level possible’