• Bringing History To Life

Detroit Institute of Arts

Detroit, MI

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Bringing History to Life

The Detroit Institute of Art (DIA) has been a beacon of culture for the Detroit area for well over a century. The museum covers 658,000 square feet that includes more than 100 galleries and is considered among the top six in the United States, comprising a multicultural and multinational survey of human creativity from prehistory through the 21st century.

Founded in 1885, the museum moved to its existing site on Woodward Avenue in 1927, where it has seen several major renovations, most recently in the revamped Ancient Middle East gallery, which is now illuminated by SORAA’s LED lamps.

As part of the refurbishment, lighting designer Marc Langlois, worked with the museum’s curatorial and collections staff, conducting a detailed series of tests, calculations and small case studies on a variety of lamps and fixtures. The team opted for SORAA’s VIVID MR16 LED lamps to illuminate the ancient art and artifacts. The new LED lighting gives the space a more inviting, airy and contemporary feel that the DIA desired. The gallery’s beautiful architectural elements had been previously lost with the halogen lighting, but the new SORAA lighting improved the color rendering of the art and made the space itself an attraction for guests.

“The color quality and consistency realized from the SORAA lamps proved to be the best fit for our installation,” said Terry Birkett, Director of Collections Management with the Detroit Institute of Arts. “Once the installation was completed, the response from the public and staff made it clear that SORAA’s lighting made the difference we had hoped for.”

“The DIA was expanding its space and this gave us the opportunity to bring out the architectural elements and the artifacts through lighting design. The cooler color temperature really shows the beauty of the artifacts, many of which are stone and other organic materials,” said Langlois. “SORAA’s LED lamps give you the ability to appreciate the space more so than if it was still a warmer color temperature.”

Not only do the SORAA LED lamps provide excellent color rendering and protection for the artifacts in the gallery, but the lamps also provide a significant energy efficiency benefit to the DIA. It is estimated that the LED lamps will cut energy costs for the museum by more than 50 percent.

Photo Credit: Detroit Institute of Arts | www.dia.org


Marc Langlois


Detroit, MI


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