Project details

Project type: Arts + Culture
Location: London, UK
Photographer: James Newton
Architect: DHA Design

Summary

The previous fluorescent lighting system at London's Victoria & Albert Museum of Childhood has recently been replaced with Lumenpulse's Lumenline Pendant Direct/Indirect luminaires, providing comfortable white light at ground level, and color-changing uplight to accent the tall, arched ceiling.


We were struggling to find a manufacturer who could provide a suspended profile system that combined upward, downward and 3CCT track within the same profile. Lumenpulse achieved all three, and also a fourth: emergency lighting.

Peter Fordham
DHA Design

Victoria & Albert Museum

Characterized by tall, arched ceilings and marble tiled flooring, London's Victoria & Albert Museum of Childhood had relied on a fluorescent lighting system for its Central Hall, since 2006. In 2012, London-based lighting design firm DHA Design was hired by the V&A to replace these fixtures with LED luminaires, and to provide a versatile solution that would allow the client to modify the lighting for special events or specific exhibits.

To do this, DHA Design chose Lumenline Pendant luminaires, to light both the floor and the vaulted ceiling. On top of providing uniform white general illumination at floor level, the fixtures also light the 19th-century vaulted ceiling, something the previous lighting scheme literally left obscured. "We were keen to introduce an upward lighting component to the ceiling to draw your attention upwards as you entered the museum, and to fully appreciate the elegance of the iron structure above," says Peter Fordham, Director at DHA Design.

Linked to a Pharos Touch Panel Controller, the color-changing indirect light is set to a static soft pink hue. At night, a slow, staggered color-changing show takes over, for a powerful, dramatic effect. Because the lighting in each rectangle is individually addressable, the client can control the intensity of the direct and indirect light as desired.

"The launch of Lumenline came at an ideal time for this project," Fordham reports. "We were struggling to find a manufacturer who could provide a suspended profile system that combined upward, downward and 3CCT track within the same profile. Lumenpulse achieved all three, and also a fourth: emergency lighting."

A custom installation, Lumenpulse manufactured three suspended rectangular profiles with unlit corners, upon which the Lumenline Pendant fixtures are installed along with track spotlights to accent temporary displays, the boutique, the reception area and the café. In addition, six of the Lumenline luminaires are fitted with 1-watt LEDs that provide lighting in case of a power failure.

"Before our lighting design, the environment was very static and very flat; it was either on or off," Fordham explains. "The current downward light component is less harsh that the original fluorescent scheme, and the overall design is a lot more flexible for the museum to configure, which is especially important for their corporate events."

The new lighting design gives the Museum of Childhood's space more dimension and presence, allowing it to establish an identity that's entirely its own. "The environment has been much improved during the daytime and at night, revealing much more of the historic architecture of the building to the visitor," Fordham says.

Equipment Specified
6 x Lumenline Pendant Direct (4', 3000K)
30 x Lumenline Pendant Direct/Indirect (4', direct: 3000K; indirect: color-changing)

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