The Sistine Chapel Is Embellished With Leds

Michelangelo painted the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in Rome between 1508 and 1512. On the occasion of the 450 years of its disappearance, the Sistine Chapel switches to LED lights.Without UV and IR emissions, they will improve the lighting without damaging the paints. They will also achieve between 50% and 60% energy savings.

In many museums with fragile artwork, lighting is often dull and lacking in energy efficiency. The pilot project LED4Art , conductedby a consortium of 6 actors in the Sistine Chapel of the Vatican, demonstrates that it is possible to obtain better light quality, as well as high energy efficiency thanks to light emitting diodes (LEDs ). After equipping the Lenbachhaus Museum in Munich, the company Osram again delivers its luminaires designed specifically to highlight art.

Until now, the paintings of the Sistine Chapel did not show well and the experience depended on the external climatic conditions.This should no longer be the case with this new lighting system of 7,000 LEDs which will be inaugurated on October 30 after a year of testing and installation. The Chapel will now shine a thousand … LED!

Improved Lighting For Lower Energy Costs

The ancient lighting was limited 10 lux maximum on Michelangelo’s frescoes to ensure minimal degradation of the paintings but also not to contrast with natural light in terms of direction and concentration. These new LED lights will direct artificial lighting in the same direction as natural light. To achieve this result, the luminaires were

installed below the windows.

Bulbs led chapel sixtine

View of the frescoes illuminated by the new LED © Governatorato dello Statue of the Città del Vaticano

The lighting is now uniform and does not dazzle, despite levels of illumination significantly higher than previously, since they reach up to 100 lux. This level of lighting will greatly improve visibility, while minimizing the degradation of frescoes, LEDs emitting neither ultraviolet nor infra-red. Moreover, the color emitted by the LEDs has been adapted to bring out the different pigments of the paints.

The benefits do not end there. Despite these higher lighting levels, energy consumption is halved. The gains are achieved by the efficiency of the LEDs and by precise control of the beam which eliminates the light losses.

The European Commission has funded this pilot project in the amount of $ 867,000, or slightly more than half of the total amount of the project, through its grants program for the integration of information and communication technologies. The objective of this grant program is to demonstrate the new possibilities offered by LED technology, both in terms of energy efficiency and improving the quality of light, in order to promote market penetration.