The Victoria & Albert Museum
For museums, first impressions count and for the Victoria and Albert Museum, this is no exception. Located on Cromwell Road in London, the V&A is the world’s leading museum of decorative art and design and houses a permanent collection of over 4.5 million objects. Founded in 1852 and named after Queen Victoria and Prince Albert the museum is steeped in history; with such a grand heritage to live up to, the V&A has undertaken a ‘revitalisation’ project to bring the museum into the 21st century – restoring modern design and innovation to the heart of the museum.
With the museum’s lighting suffering recurrent maintenance problems with the last refurbishment in 2013, the V&A turned to DHA Design to revisit the lighting to the grand entrance. The previous lighting scheme used a mixture of low voltage tungsten halogen, T5 fluorescent and metal halide lamps; the objective required DHA to up-date the system with a more maintenance friendly option. The new scheme, now operating entirely Soraa’s MR16 GU5.3 lamps as supplied by Architainment Lighting, now illuminate the museums architectural features; tucked away behind columns, these lamps were specified due to the superior light quality and precise optics, in addition to reducing operating and maintenance costs for the museum.
“It is considered bad for a museum’s image if the lighting is not properly maintained, so the area was a good candidate for LEDs.” Says Richard Boston, Estates Manager, V&A.
The principle factors for the refurbishment included an ongoing energy saving and an improved focus on features within the atrium and generally highlight the features and form of the archways. The electrical load for the lighting is down from just over 4kw to just 1.26 – reduction of more than two thirds.