Banno Lighting - Leading Supplier for Art Gallery Lighting

How to Light a Performance in a Gallery or Museum

How to Light a Performance in a Gallery or Museum

Museums and even galleries can often multi-task as spaces for performance, ranging from music to spoken word, and even dance. Whether it’s a recital by an orchestral ensemble or a talk by an eminent expert, it’s important to set the right ambience. We’ll look at how lighting can help transform a museum or gallery into an event space. 


Start With the Basics

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If the museum or gallery doesn’t already have a track lighting system installed, this is the best place to start. Often, museums and galleries display pieces of different sizes, shapes, and mediums, and that’s before you add performances to the mix. Art gallery track lighting systems provide a flexible approach that can cater to all of these needs. 


The track itself is supplied in metre lengths, which can be connected using accessories called joiners. These allow for the creation of longer straight runs, T-junctions, or you can attach track at right angles to make corners or L-shapes. Track can be formed in a continuous circuit to follow the outline of a room, or smaller layouts within a larger space. 


Track can be mounted directly to the ceiling surface, or suspended with the use of adjustable suspension wires. Wires are simply fixed to the ceiling at one end and the track at the other, and can be adjusted to your required length. Suspension is ideal in spaces with high or vaulted ceilings, making it easier to access track fittings. This can be important if exhibits or performances change frequently and fittings need to be repositioned.


Track can also be recessed into the ceiling, though this is a more complex and costly installation method that isn’t suitable for all ceiling types. Once installed, track fixtures can be attached anywhere along the circuit, and easily repositioned without the need for an electrician.



Choose Flexible Fixtures

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When lighting art, or a performance, flexibility is vital. Track lighting for an art gallery needs to be adjustable, which is also a requirement of performance lighting. Track fittings can be rotated, and tilted up or down to place light exactly where it’s needed. When lighting wall art it’s wise to choose fittings with an adjustable beam angle to customise lighting to each individual piece on display. This will also make it possible to spotlight performances, whether a group of musicians or an author giving a reading of their latest work. 


Banno Lighting specialise in lighting for art, and designed the L’Art range of fixtures to address the key considerations for art galleries and museums. At the top of the range, the L’Art Deluxe is supplied with 14 different filters to adjust the beam. The beam angle of the L’Art Zoom can be adjusted from 10 degrees to 90 degrees at the fitting, and purchasing a further filter pack makes it possible to create spots, circles, and squares. Then there is the L’Art Multi, which has additional lenses that click in and out for quick and easy customisation.



Ambience is Key

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You’ll want to ensure that any light fittings you choose are dimmable, either individually at the fitting or at the wall. This is again important for lighting art or exhibits on display, so the effect can be controlled whether you want dramatic lighting for art or a more muted light. Dimmable light is also important for setting the tone and ambience for performance. An intimate poetry reading may better suit a dimmed, relaxed atmosphere than a brightly-lit space.


Ambience is also affected by the colour temperature of lights used. A cold, blue light (around 6000K) may suit a supermarket but it feels cold and stark in a museum or gallery and won’t feel relaxing for visitors trying to enjoy a performance. A warm colour temperature, around 3000K, is a softer light that creates a more inviting atmosphere. 



Quality is Important

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The quality of light is important in any space dedicated to the creative arts and a key marker of this is the CRI, or Colour Rendering Index, value. If the CRI value is low, colours will appear washed out and dull. A CRI of 95, the highest available, ensures that colours are seen at their truest and most vibrant, which is why all of Banno Lighting’s L’Art fittings have this CRI value.



Seek Expert Advice

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It can be hard to know where to start when designing a lighting system for an art gallery, museum, or performance space. Banno Lighting have extensive experience and can provide expert advice to guide you, from the initial contact to specifying and quoting. Contact us to find out how we can assist you.


Book a free consultation with our art gallery lighting specialist.

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Banno Lighting is located in Brooklyn, NYC. We are a small family owned business who specialize in Art Gallery Lighting.

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(347) 308 6016

Banno Lighting

172 Suydam St Unit 4 R Brooklyn, New York, 11221

(347) 308 6016

Banno Lighting

172 Suydam St Unit 4 R Brooklyn, New York, 11221

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