The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has published the final report from a demonstration conducted at the Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago, to evaluate the feasibility of replacing halogen accent lighting with LED accent lighting. This GATEWAY demonstration report provides an overview of project results including lighting performance, economic performance, and potential energy savings.

In this project, 32 halogen track luminaires used to light an enclosed gallery exhibit were replaced with an LED system using 26 track fixtures. Key findings include:

  • The LED system resulted in 63% energy savings compared to the halogen system and produced comparable illuminance on the lighted artifacts.
  • The simple payback for the overall LED system compared to the halogen system was roughly three years. Comparing the LED luminaires one-for-one against the halogen luminaires, however, resulted in paybacks ranging from 5 to 11 years, owing to factors in this museum application such as equipment used to filter the light, maintenance costs, and the effect of the lighting system on the air-conditioning system.
  • Because the LED luminaires used do not emit energy in the infrared or ultraviolet regions of the electromagnetic spectrum, they are expected to be less detrimental to some museum artifacts.