HARTFORD — Supported by a substantial grant from the Avangrid Foundation and gifts 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 expected to save an estimated $36,000 and 265,000 kilowatt-hours of energy per year, which is an 11% reduction in wattage and usage. Proper lighting supports the health of the museum’s artworks, some of which are thousands of years old, and is critical to an improved visitor experience.
While new construction projects are moving toward LED technology, retrofitting projects that convert existing electrical systems are less 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 achieve strong color rendition with crisp overall lighting for the best look at our world-class collection.”
The Avangrid Foundation is an independent, nonprofit organization that funds philanthropic investments that primarily impact communities where AVANGRID, Inc. and its subsidiaries operate. Since 2002, the Avangrid Foundation and its predecessors have invested more than $21 million in partnerships that focus on building sustainable, vital and healthy communities; preserving cultural and artistic heritage; advancing education; and improving 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.
Founded in 1842 with a vision for infusing art into the American experience, the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art is home to a collection of nearly 50,000 works of art spanning 5,000 years and encompassing European art from antiquity through contemporary as well as American art from the 1600s to today. The Wadsworth’s five connected buildings, representing architectural styles including Gothic Revival, modern International Style, and 1960s Brutalism, are located at 600 Main Street in Hartford. Hours: Wednesday-Friday: 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission: $5-15; discounts for members, students and seniors. Free admission for Hartford residents with Wadsworth Welcome registration. Free happy hour admission 4-5pm. Public phone: (860) 278-2670; website: thewadsworth.org.