Dextra Lighting’s cutting-edge LED display luminaires and lighting controls bring modern functionality, efficiency and versatility to the River and Rowing Museum’s popular exhibition spaces.

about the client

The River and Rowing Museum is one of the UK’s leading independent museums, accommodating 116,000 visitors a year. Situated on the banks of the river in Henley-on -Thames, the museum’s award-winning building holds three galleries dedicated to rowing, the River Thames and local history, as well as running a broad programme of visiting art and photography exhibitions, activities and educational workshops.

“The River and Rowing Museum has a limited amount of space in which to host visiting exhibitions, but these often present us with the widest range of presentational challenges, depending on the artefacts being displayed and the conservation requirements of the lenders.

Being able to use the combination of Dextra’s Hi-Track LED spotlights and the DALI control system in our Kirkham Gallery space has brought us exactly the flexibility we were seeking. We are now able to plan a lighting scene in the room for each exhibition where the lighting positions and the intensity of different luminaires can vary according to our requirements. The result is not only one which observes conservation light levels, but also brings instant atmospherics to the space, however we have configured it.”

David Bancroft
Head of Museum Operations

The Brief

To maintain the excellent quality of its facilities, enhance visitor experience and ensure long-term sustainability, the museum’s trustees approached Dextra Lighting to upgrade the lighting of its main galleries to a cutting-edge energy-saving LED lighting system. Similarly to retail lighting, the design for this type of exhibition lighting is usually based on three main objectives:

1. Maximum Flexibility – Luminaires that can be reconfigured and adapted for different exhibitions. Factors include light intensity, adjustable direction and positioning of lighting, accurate dimming functions to cater for changes in layouts and objects on display.

2. Light quality – High colour rendering, uniformity and glare control to highlight display pieces effectively and maximise visual comfort for visitors.

3. Matching aesthetic – Luminaries should complement the surroundings, be aesthetically appealing and not distract from the objects on display.

Flexibility was at the top of the museums priority list, as the galleries followed a rich and varied calendar of artists and works throughout the year. Each exhibition requires its own approach to lighting for maximum effect. So, to give the museum this level of control, a state-of-the-art and user-friendly control system was requested, allowing staff to commission and programme the lighting independently, and without incurring the cost and time of hiring specialist technicians. The luminaires themselves also needed to be re-positionable to fine tune the system for each occasion.

the solution

High-Specification Display Lighting – Hi-Track LED Spotlight

The Hi-Track LED is a popular choice for applications such as museum galleries, high-end showrooms, and display areas, as it addresses the 3 main design priorities mentioned above.

To provide the flexibility needed to adapt to frequent changes in layout, the Hi-Track LED is supplied with a customisable three-circuit track equipped with a rotary dial for circuit selection so that all luminaires can be switched on or off individually. The 16 amp track system is also designed to allow spotlights to be simply and quickly positioned along the length of the track to suit changing display requirements. Alternatively, the spotlights can be adapted to be mounted onto pre-existing track systems.

Each luminaire can be rotated and pivoted accordingly, and can be supplied in either 25° or 10° beam angles to increase the accuracy of the directional lighting. At the gallery, luminaires were configured to shine directly on each painting, infographics and installations.

Provided in a vertical body (horizontal gear can also available) with a 25° angled optic, the luminaire offered optimal adjustability in the exhibition room. From a range of lumen outputs, a 3000lm lumen variant was installed; featuring a high-performance aluminium faceted reflector projecting a controlled circular beam onto the walls, whilst keeping the surrounding areas dark for heightened contrast. The reflectors are specifically engineered to minimise glare and reduce unwanted reflection from the paintings without compromising the overall light output.

By combining its efficient optic design with the latest Lumileds LEDs, the required lux levels were achieved in the areas of focus, whilst keeping energy consumption at around 60% lower than the previous fluorescent fittings. The long-life and durability of these LEDs will also minimise maintenance costs for the museum for further returns on investment.

Lumileds sources are available in both 3000k and 4000k to create different effects and atmospheres, and offer a colour rendering of CR80+ for a more faithful representation of the artworks on display.

Manufactured in robust, high-quality die-cast aluminium, the Hi-Track LED combines durability with an attractive modern aesthetic which harmonised well with the gallery’s interior design.

The luminaire can be supplied in either matt white, black or grey body with black detailing, to suit a number of environment and colour schemes.

The installation was carried out by Eurodata Building Services, Bagshot, Surrey.

Advanced DALI Lighting Control System

From a range of dimming options, the Hi-Track was installed with a DALI (Digitally Addressable Lighting Interface) protocol to provide staff with a reliable, accurate and easily manageable lighting control system. This was done by using a compatible track system incorporating a DALI BUS.

A state-of-the-art Helvar DIGIDIM system complete with LCD Touchpanel and a 7-button wall-switch was provided to offer user-friendly and immediate control of the lighting. Following the initial commissioning and complete technical training conducted by Dextra Lighting, the museum staff can now quickly and simply

reprogramme the lighting to meet the requirements of each exhibition or event at no further set-up costs.

DALI systems can also allow for periodic automatic testing and reporting of energy consumption, lamp conditions, and emergency lighting (where applicable) at no extra cost. In addition to the energy-efficiency of high-quality LED sources, further energy savings of approximately 30% can be achieved by combining dimming controls with presence detection and daylight regulation sensors.

(+44) 01747 858100
(+44) 01747 858100