NY State Museum

NY State Museum Shows Its Collection in a Better Light

NYPA Case Study
Established in 1836 and operated by the state Education Department, the New York State Museum is the oldest and largest state museum in the country, dedicated to exploring the human and natural history of New York. Its collections rank among the finest in many fields. Working with NYPA, the museum improved the visitor experience and lowered its energy costs with one straightforward improvement: replacing incandescent and fluorescent lighting with new, highly controllable LED lighting.

The lighting at the museum consisted of energy-intensive incandescent track lighting and unappealing fluorescent display case lighting. 

As part of a gallery renewal initiative, the NYS Education department turned to NYPA to help guide them to better, more efficient lighting. NYPA assessed the current lighting, created a project scope and ultimately identified a contractor to implement the changes.

The contractor staff installed individually dimmable track lights that allow for the use of various types of accessories (screens, gels, diffusers, shutters etc.) that give the Museum staff a very high degree of control over the light dispersion. They replaced the outdated fluorescent display case lighting with new LED fixtures, as well as the general service lighting that provides light for security and maintenance.

The museum is a noticeably nicer place to view the memorable (and better-lit) exhibits. The display case and service fixtures are all now dimmable and wirelessly controlled, allowing lighting designers to incorporate ambient lighting into exhibits. And the staff can now light specific portions of the museum for special events such as galas.