Friday, 14 November 2014

The Sistine Chapel Illuminated with LED lights.



If you ever visited the Sistine Chapel you will remember the strain you felt in your neck and eyes when trying to get a proper glance at the beauty of Michelangelo's ceiling. Strain no longer. The Vatican recently turned on fifty new luminaires with over seven thousand LEDs inside that bring a new light to the masterpieces in the ceiling such as The Creation of Adam and The Last Judgement.
The new lighting brings the amazing art work into full, clear and colourful view. 
Prof Antonio Paolucci , director of the Vatican Museums said that, 'We want to honour the 450th anniversary of Michelangelo's death by providing new lighting for his work.' 
They have definitely achieved that, and the artist would probably be very proud of the project which was led by Osram, which has said that the new LEDs provide ten times the brightness of the lights replaced, whilst causing energy consumption to reduce by ninety percent. 

Martin Reuter, the senior technical project manager at Osram commented that the most difficult part of the two year job was 'to prove that the light was not harmful to the art.'  In order to achieve this the company did not use phosphor-coated white light, but instead used a mix of blue, red and green LEDs.Osram tested this by sending original pigments for the ceiling, which Michelangelo completed in 1512, to Hungary's Pannonian University, who after a year, gave the all clear. This meant that now the light is much kinder and gentler to the paintings. 

Other partners involved in the project were Barcelona's Institut de Recerca en Energia, which investigate the energy reductions and Rome-based lighting designer Faber Technica. 
The European Commission helped fund the partners (the money did not go straight to the Vatican, as the Vatican is not part of the EU). The parties have not revealed the full cost of the project. But the results speak for themselves, as the photo above shows. 

Watch the video below to see more!