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28th January 2016 Comments Off on The Sistine Chapel’s LED Transformation Views: 1647 Simple Lighting Blog

The Sistine Chapel’s LED Transformation

In 2014, the 450th anniversary of the death of Michelangelo, the Sistine Chapel began a tremendous lighting renovation. Around 7,000 LED lights are now illuminating the most famous religious and artistic place in the world, with paintings from Michelangelo, Botticelli and Perugino. Art lovers visiting the interior of the Sistine Chapel will be able to experience the historical masterpieces in a completely new diversity of light and colour.

Without LED Lighting


With LED Lighting


Without LED Lighting


With LED Lighting


Without LED Lighting


With LED Lighting

Images “Copyright – Governatorato dello Stato della Città del Vaticano – Direzione dei Musei”

The aim of the project is to combine two main aspects:

  1. Create ideal lighting for the enjoyment of the paintings
  2. The lighting must not be invasive nor cause conservation problems

The light fittings are discretely located within the beams of the Sistine Chapel, which remain out of view to visitors. Precise beam control and adjustable colour spectrums allow the fittings to highlight the special pigmentation of the artwork, as the original artists intended. This is because the new LED lighting mimics the appearance of natural sunlight rather than artificial lighting.

Lighting experts ‘OSRAM’ developed a sophisticated LED lighting technique that increased luminance by five to ten times, “elevating the colours from the semi-darkness of sunset and illuminating the complete colour spectrum of the paintings in highly homogeneous and optimally controlled light.”

LED lighting is preferred because it avoids subjecting the works of art to stress resulting from thermal gradients and from the undesired effects of ultraviolet and infrared radiation.

This innovative LED lighting has 3 main results:

  1. Increase in illumination levels
  2. Improvement in light quality (carefully conserving the artwork)
  3. An energy saving of 70%-90%

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