Being fascinated by everything concerning green living and building, I would like to let you know about some interesting projects and ideas that I read or hear about once in a while with you. My newest discovery is the Pharmaka Art Gallery in LA that has been supplied with environmental friendly LED-lighting by greentorch. This is the first “green” art gallery of its kind in America. Pharmaka’s Molly Barnes Collection is lit entirely with GreenTorch LED lights. The lights far exceed the energy efficiency of conventional light bulbs, such as compact fluorescent, and last thousands of hours longer. These LEDs are unique because the light’s color quality is not sacrificed to achieve the desired increase in energy efficiency. GreenTorch LEDs use pigment infused lenses and other new technologies to provide a color quality previously unattainable from energy efficient light bulbs.
Before the renovation, Pharmaka was illuminated by fifty 75 watt incandescent bulbs, housed on a track lighting system, with a total energy consumption of about 3,750 watts. Shane Guffogg, director of Pharmaka, expressed to us that the incandescent lighting system was not doing the job he had originally envisioned. The lights were too powerful and overbearing for the artwork, causing the focus to be shifted away from color, to texture. This incandescent system produced exorbitant amounts of heat, making the environment uncomfortable and heating the artwork.
For the new lighting system the general illumination was separated from accent lighting, dedicating 3 watt LED MR16s for the artwork, and using 12 watt 6” LED Recessed Can Lights to provide general lighting for gallery patrons. Two different colors of MR16s were blended together to create balance and softness for the artwork that the previous lighting system did not convey.
Overall, the light quality was improved significantly and a 90% energy reduction was achieved with the implementation of the new LED lighting system. The original 3,750 watts was reduced to approximately 400 watts, which will save Pharmaka approximately $6,100 in energy savings over the next five years. Pharmaka will also save money through reduced material and maintenance costs, as they no longer have to change light bulbs every few months; GreenTorch LEDs last 48,000 hours.
Environmentally speaking, the lights contribute to sustainable development by significantly reducing energy consumption, waste production, and CO2 emissions.
Lighting the Molly Barnes Collection are the new GreenTorch Optique and Balance Series MR16s, which are ultra-energy efficient and feature the newest LED technology. Using only 3 watts of power, these powerful compact bulbs efficiently deliver high-quality light and are offered in different color temperatures. Compared to a 35-50 watt incandescent Halogen bulb, which last about 3000 hours, GreenTorch’s Optique and Balance Series lights consume 90-95% less electricity and have a 48,000 hour life span.
Through reduced energy and material costs the LED MR16s pay for themselves in less than a year, depending on the number of hours operated. The Optique Series features three pigment infused optic lenses that create a warm, sunset colored light in the shape of a bell curve, perfect for spotlighting artwork and accent applications, while the Balance Series spreads white light evenly over larger surface areas. Both models are used in combination throughout the gallery. Since LEDs produce very little heat, it was easy to touch and reposition these lights to get the right color lift for each painting.
With the artwork lit by our LED MR16s, the focus was turned to Pharmaka’s general illumination lighting situation. Previously, artwork and general lighting were combined on a one track lighting fixture. To fine-tune each, the two different applications were separated. Ten LED Recessed Can Lights (RCLs) were installed to fill the general lighting void. This can light installs easily into recessed 6” can housings and uses a standard Edison screw-in base (the RCL is also offered with a GU-24 base). The RCL is ultra-energy efficient, utilizing only 12 watts of power and is rated for a 48,000 hour life span. Using less power, lasting thousands of hours longer, and producing a much higher quality light, the RCL is a more attractive and efficient option to compact fluorescent bulbs.
The high-quality white light produced is powered by twelve powerful 1 watt LEDs and is offered in two light colors. Featured in Pharmaka is the white light RCL; GreenTorch also offers a softer yellow that prefecetly replicates a 75 watt incandescent bulb.
GreenTorch RCLs can pay for themselves, through reduced energy and material costs, in less than two years. Furthermore, the combination of the GreenTorch MR16 and Recessed Can Light will lower Pharmaka’s power bill for lighting from $6,500 to $400.