Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper new lighting: energy saving and best colors

On March 2015 iGuzzini has proudly adopted Leonardo da Vinci's "The Last Supper", one of the worldwide symbols of Italian genius. "Adopted" means that iGuzzini has provided a new lighting design featuring latest generation luminaires that will allow the rich colours and details of Leonardo's masterpiece to be better appreciated.

Considering the rapid technological developments taking place in the lighting sector, iGuzzini will also put the skills of its Research Centre at the service of the Milan Architectural and Landscapes Heritage Office in the future. This was done in compliance with the High Conservation and Restoration Institute, and has sought to identify the best way to conserve and exhibit the masterpiece by improving the quality of the light it is displayed in.

The current lighting system, installed 15 years ago, has been replaced with a new high quality, technologically advanced and innovative LED system, equipped with special features that will make a clear improvement in the micro-environmental conditions inside the painting. This new solution has proven more complete from the point of view of the extension of the emission perceived by the human eye, particularly for the red colours of the spectrum. As in most LEDs, any presence of ultraviolet radiation in the emission has not picked up. The comparative thermal test indicates that the Palco products that illuminate The Last Supper are a little bit cooler than the fluorescent sources currently in use (ca 4°C cooler). The total energy consumed (and consequently the thermal energy) from the free standing floor lamps, used for the general lighting of the entire room, with the new system passes from 1368 W/hour to 120 W/hour.

With regards to the annual amount of light admitted for the LEDs applied on The Last Supper, to be able to correctly calculate the exact figures in terms of percentage of rays that the new European norm UNI CEN/TS16163 foresees for this type of illumination, first we must definitively establish which will be the exact levels of light approved on the entire work of art. A first estimate of the increase allowed is between 15 and 20% compared to the old system and it means that the time for visits can be extended without damaging the painting. With regards to the extension of the visiting hours thanks to the new system, first a period of control and then validation of the environmental conditions measured by the various devices monitoring dust and pollution within the Refectory must be concluded.

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