Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford changes lighting to LED tech

HARTFORD — Supported by a significant award from the Avangrid Foundation and donations made through the Neighborhood Assistance Act, the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art has completed the conversion of nearly 1,400 gallery light bulbs and fixtures in its Morgan, Hilles, Austin, and Wadsworth galleries, becoming an early adopter of cost and energy saving, state of the art, LED technology in the museum field.

The conversion from higher wattage halogen light bulbs to LED bulbs is anticipated to save an estimated $36,000 and 265,000 kilowatt-hours of energy annually, which is an eleven% reduction in wattage and usage. Proper lighting supports the health of the museum’s pieces of art, several of which are thousands of years old, and is critical to an improved visitor experience.

Although new construction projects are moving toward LED technology, retrofitting projects that change pre-existing electrical systems are not so common — particularly in museums, where the style of fixtures and quality of light play a major role in the experience of viewing artwork. “The Wadsworth is very deliberate about the lighting we choose,” said Director of Museum Services Cecil Adams. “Working with our renowned lighting consultant, George Sexton Associates of Washington, DC, we tested and approved a move to the latest LED lamps developed specifically for the illumination of museum collections. These lamps attain strong color rendition with crisp total lighting for the best look at our world-class collection.”

The Avangrid Foundation is an private, nonprofit organization that funds beneficent investments that chiefly impact neighborhoods where AVANGRID, Inc. and its subsidiaries operate. Since 2002, the Avangrid Foundation and its predecessors have invested more than $21 million in collaborations that focus on building sustainable, vital and healthy communities; preserving cultural and artistic heritage; advancing education; and enhancing people’s lives. The Avangrid Foundation is committed to advancing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals in the United States. For more information, visit avangridfoundation.org.