The LeMay Museum, aptly dubbed “America’s Car Museum®,” in Tacoma, Washington, is home to more than 350 historically significant cars and motorcycles. The collection is comprised of vehicles from renowned Tacoma business leader, the late Harold LeMay, who amassed the largest privately owned collection of automobiles in the world. Occupying 165,000 square feet and four stories, the LeMay Museum is dedicated to celebrating America’s love affair with the automobile.
To prepare for its opening, the museum customized design specifications to adequately showcase this impressive collection of vehicles. The facility’s lighting design was of particular consideration, as exposure to natural sunlight can severely damage automotive finishes and interiors. In addition, to show off the unique features of the vehicles, the museum wanted to create a lighting design that would highlight and complement the collection. To meet these specifications, the LeMay Museum brought Juno Lighting Group on board to provide the lighting solutions for the facility. “First and foremost, we needed a lighting solution that was going to protect the collection, but didn’t want to sacrifice aesthetics,” said Paul Miller, senior vice president and chief operating officer, LeMay Museum. “At the same time, we wanted to improve energy efficiency and reduce the time maintenance spends on replacing lighting fixtures.” In working with Juno Lighting Group, the LeMay Museum selected the Juno Trac-Master® trac system and Juno Cylindra LED fixtures for implementation throughout the museum. These fixtures, which were specifically selected due to their ability to provide incredibly precise color accuracy and consistency, provide the museum with high lumen output, longevity and state of the art efficiency, which are assisting in reducing the museum’s energy and maintenance costs.
The high color accuracy of the LEDs gives a true representation of the automotive paint work, bringing out the detail in finishes that are difficult to highlight, such as metallics, pearlescents, and metal flakes. The LEDs also offer a high level of color consistency from fixture-to-fixture and from one display to another, creating a seamless aesthetic experience for visitors. In addition to vehicle lighting, LED fixtures are used to light walls, backdrops and automotive art objects. In all, over 740 LED fixtures are in use at the museum. Over 70 of the cars in the LeMay Museum are illuminated using six or seven Juno Trac-Master luminaires per vehicle. Fixture specifications were customized depending on the application, including both 22- and 45-watt track heads with outputs ranging from 1,000 to 2,500 lumens. Spot, narrow-flood, and flood light distributions with various filters were also carefully chosen to allow light to be directed as needed, whether to provide general illumination or to accent design features, such as hood ornaments, hubcaps, and taillights.
In addition to providing stunning, tailored illumination, the fixtures selected for the LeMay Museum will not pose a maintenance burden on the facility’s staff or strain their budget. With a 50,000-hour rated service life, the Juno Cylindra LED fixtures operate maintenance-free for up to 20 years, providing dramatic savings on re-lamping costs and associated labor compared to either halogen or CMH light sources.
In addition to meeting the required aesthetic needs, LeMay Museum is already enjoying significant energy and cost savings since the construction. As a result of the Juno Trac-Master luminaires being equipped with current limiting feeds, in the museum achieved 60 percent savings on electrical construction costs. It’s also projected that over the life of the LEDs, the museum will recoup 60 percent of its investment made in the fixtures and installation costs through energy and maintenance savings. Additionally, local utility provider Tacoma Power estimates the museum has reduced its overall energy consumption by 70 percent annually by selecting LED fixtures.
“The lighting solution from Juno Lighting Group is not only improving efficiency, providing energy savings and properly illuminating the vehicles in the museum – it’s also benefitting the maintenance staff,” said Jeff Gordner, facilities manager, LeMay Museum. “With the exceptionally long service life of the new fixtures, we can focus more on other projects as well as invest in improving the museum with the savings achieved from the energy efficient luminaires.”
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