For more than a century in Amsterdam, the Netherland’s Rijksmuseum has been home to the city’s impressive art collection that features such standouts by Dutch masters as Rembrandt van Rijn’s The Night Watch. After more than twelve years of planning and working on an extensive renovation, the museum opened its doors on what amounts to far more than a renovation in terms of the scope of the update in April 2013. Philips illuminates Amsterdam’s masterpieces as part of this extensive overhaul.
Not only were the building’s façade and floor plan modernized, the museum’s lighting—in public spaces such as the gift shop, restaurant and exterior, as well as the illumination of each of the 7,500 pieces of art—was redesigned. As one of the lead partners in the renovation, Philips worked closely with the Rijksmuseum on a contemporary lighting plan that utilizes modern technology, just as the structure itself was overhauled. LED lighting—rather than the halogen lighting used more commonly in museums—presents the art in its best light.
Rogier van der Heide, Chief Design Officer and Vice President at Philips Lighting, says that the LED lighting solution achieves a quality of light that truly brings out the detail of each masterpiece.
Tim Zeedijk, Head of Exhibitions at the Rijksmuseum agrees, explaining that the color rendering of LED lighting is very close to that of daylight. “This allows the art to be viewed in the best light possible to bring out all the colors and details that the artist intended us to see. LED lighting in particular outlines the visual contrast and relief in the paintings. We see this in the way we light our sculptures, but also the paintings with thick impasto. For example, when viewing Rembrandt’s work, LED light reveals more of the detail,” Zeedijk said.
In addition to its pleasing color temperature, the museum’s LED lighting does not emit heat or UV rays, keeping the pieces protected from degeneration and light damage. In fact, the Philips LED solution emits uniform light that meets the international criteria for the conservation of art.
The Rijksmuseum is the largest gallery space ever lit by the new technology—the new system consisting of 775,000 LEDs and an advanced control system with a mobile application (employees use iPads to dim the lights). In addition, Philips’ LEDs light the museum’s public spaces including the shop, the atriums, the restaurant as well as the outdoor area and building façade.
Thanks to Illumni for putting this brilliant project on our radar!
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