Theatre Projects designs first all-LED performance space

August 22, 2011

The Whitney Museum of American Art has given the approval for Theatre Projects to design an all-LED lighting system for a new 2,300 square foot performance space. The performance space is part of the Whitney Museum's future home in New York City's Meatpacking District being designed by Renzo Piano Building Workshop with executive architect Cooper Robertson & Partners.

Senior consultant Steven Rust, our lighting system designer for the Whitney says, "We had an opportunity to take advantage of the leaps in technology in LED theatrical lighting. We compared the cost of standard stage lighting distribution to an all-LED based system. The LED system requires one quarter the number of hard-wired circuits due to their lower power consumption and on-board dimming. This reduction in circuits and the associated installation cost, is what tipped the scale in favor of LEDs and offset the higher cost of the LED fixtures."

The Whitney Museum was excited about the LED system based on the cost savings, but they wanted to see the LED fixtures first hand. So, we arranged for the New York office of Barbizon Lighting to demonstrate the latest LED fixtures from major manufacturers. The owner was able to see a variety of current LED options to get a feel for the state of the industry and to compare LED units to conventional stage lights. One of the main concerns for the Whitney is fan noise, so the demonstration included a number of fan-free and other very quiet fixtures (a trend that we applaud).

We're happy to provide a system design which will reduce power consumption as well as the costs of installation and operation. We expect the pace and improvements in LED lighting to continue. Given that the stage lighting fixtures for the Whitney Museum won't be purchased for another two or three years, we look forward to the options and discoveries to come.

We extend our thanks to the people at Barbizon - John Gebbie, Brian Dunn, and Damon Krometis - for their efforts in assembling the demonstration, and to all of the manufacturers for their participation.

For more on the future home of the Whitney:

Theatre Projects designs first all-LED performance space
Credit: Schenck Whitney