DOE Publishes GATEWAY Report on LED Lighting in a Performing Arts Setting

August 6, 2014

The U.S. Department of Energy has released a report on a GATEWAY demonstration of LED lighting at the University of Florida's Nadine McGuire Theatre and Dance Pavilion in Gainesville. Four interior spaces—the acting studio, dance studio, scene shop, and dressing room—were fitted with LED luminaires or retrofit lamps along with dimming controls. In addition, the dance studio was equipped with LED theatrical instruments used for sidelighting of dance performances.

Among the findings:

  • In all cases, the LED solutions combined with dimming controls received high marks from instructors and students/performers, and reduced energy use.
  • The LED theatrical lighting reduced power use by 50–90% in lighting cues that would otherwise employ conventional colored theatrical gels as filters in halogen instruments.
  • Audience visual impressions of the halogen and LED sidelighting were almost identical, although the lighting designers observed that skin tones may not be as naturalistic under some LED color selections, depending on the design of the LED instrument.
  • The switch to high-color-rendering LED A-lamps for mirror lighting in the dressing rooms was considered just as good for makeup application as the conventional incandescent lamps, if not better.
  • All of the dimming controls worked well, except for an incompatible wallbox dimmer that caused audible buzzing from the dressing-room mirror lighting.
  • In the classrooms, even though power use decreased, vertical illuminances improved or were maintained, with no increase in glare.

The full report, plus a report brief and a short video, is available on the GATEWAY Results webpage.