Übersee-Museum Bremen uses LED technology to illuminate new permanent exhibition
Creating an atmosphere, providing accents, setting the stage: by providing an advanced LED lighting solution, Zumtobel has helped to present the new permanent exhibition at the Übersee-Museum [Overseas Museum] in Bremen to optimum effect. In the process, mainly the Arcos spotlight range developed especially for museums has been used: thanks to its clear design, cylindrical unit and large variety of optics available, Arcos provides perfect lighting conditions in exhibition areas and galleries. High lighting quality, low energy consumption and little maintenance effort are crucial for museums. The Arcos spotlight range by Zumtobel incorporates state-of-the-art LED technology to meet all these requirements. The museum’s management is excited about the new lighting system: “We are impressed not only by the energy saving effects of Arcos but also by its versatile range of applications. The system enables us to create accents, illuminate surface areas, and to dim the lighting according to the sensitivity of the items displayed. This lighting versatility is fantastic for a museum”, explains Prof. Dr. Wiebke Ahrndt, head curator of the Übersee-Museum Bremen.
The Übersee-Museum is one of Germany’s most frequently visited museums. Its collections on natural history, ethnology and trade are housed in one building. “Experiencing what affects the world” is the title of the new permanent exhibition covering a whole floor of the museum, a total of 1200 square metres. Provided with lots of excitement and education, visitors can walk through the exhibition on seven “paths”, discovering global phenomena and the way they are related. The subjects dealt with are communication, global economy, climate change, sex & gender, migration, time, and human rights. For transferring knowledge in a varied manner, the exhibition not only uses a variety of illustrations but also impressive exhibits and realistic models. Numerous hands-on stations invite visitors to get involved into research, allowing them to call their own role and cultural perspective within the global context into question.
In order to make the seven subject areas tangible for visitors, the team of the MUSEUMSREIF! agency has created a proper setting, using plenty of space and a good sense of edutainment. “We see ourselves as people translating exhibition subjects into three-dimensional settings”, explains the innovative agency, which is specialised on museum, exhibition, information, education and edutainment concepts. “According to the museum’s specifications, and using only creative design means, we also sought to develop a “central museum area” within the rigid architecture, which is to leave an imprint, yet without creating isolation or irritation”, explains Jörg Werner of MUSEUMSREIF!.
This idea of integration is enhanced by Zumtobel’s lighting concept, consistently using the Arcos spotlight range. The LED spotlights with various beam angles from spot to flood, and colour temperatures of 3000 K or 4000 K, have all been installed on tracks. In this way, the light is used selectively – providing diffuse light here and focused light there, either in warm white or intermediate white –, thus creating a vivid atmosphere in the room. The luminaire themselves always stay in the background, perfectly matched to the white ceiling. The high-quality lens technology of the LED module provides for uniform, soft light distribution. As the light provided is IR/UV-free, the exhibits can be illuminated gently at high colour rendering quality of Ra > 90. Explains lighting designer Andreas Witt of Enjoy Witt & Roggenkamp: “Whenever contemporary lighting solutions are needed, LED technology has already become firmly established for us lighting designers in the art and culture scene on account of its energy saving potential, lighting quality and long service life. The option of colour temperature selection in particular, the excellent lighting quality as well as the slim-line design of Arcos were decisive criteria for us to use this spotlight range by Zumtobel to illuminate the permanent exhibition.”
In the subject area of Communication, display cases in the form of speech balloons are used to impart knowledge. Painted in bright yellow, the individual stations provide a short overview of the peculiarities of human and animal communication. Micros LED downlights installed flush in the ceiling provide adequate illumination. Compact, practical and versatile, these energy-efficient LED luminaires by Zumtobel are a perfect alternative to 20 W or 35 W low-voltage halogen luminaires. All Zumtobel luminaires installed in the museum can be dimmed, allowing for additional potential savings.