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Mona Lisa Gets a Makeover Under LED Lights

I’m not one to gossip, but I recently heard that the Mona Lisa is a fan of LEDs. On June 4, a lighting ceremony was held in the Louvre‘s Napoleon Hall to celebrate the completion of an LED renovation. I wish I were invited to the party!

Of course LEDs are a great technology for commercial or sports lighting, but did you know the Louvre in Paris uses LEDs to illuminate and protect the artwork? As part of a multi-year contract with Toshiba Lighting and Technology, the famous painting of the “Mona Lisa” and the Louvre’s Red Room are now being illuminated by LEDs.

Toshiba Lighting and Technology started outfitting the world’s largest museum with LEDs in 2010. In May 2012, they renovated the lighting of the museum’s “Court of Napoleon.” The Mona Lisa’s lighting renovation is the first time Toshiba’s LEDs have been used for interior lighting in the museum.

Curators spent months with Toshiba technicians to find LED lighting with an optimal blend of intensity and color to showcase the invaluable 16th century masterpiece. Since the painting is over 500 years old, it has a yellowish cast from years of varnish applied by restorers. In a recent article, Vincent Delieuvin, curator of the Louvre’s 16th-century Italian paintings department, says the new lighting allows visitors to enjoy more accurate color shades of the painting.

The new lighting system measures 53 x 77 centimeters and has 34 LED chips that evenly illuminate the work. The LEDs diminish UV and IR radiation to protect the Mona Lisa and other priceless paintings from degradation. And possibly the most exciting part, it reduced electricity consumption by about 60%.

Mona Lisa is my kind of woman!

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