|Location||Newport, RI, USA|
|Products Used||500+ Nodes|
|Project Lead & Luminaires||Q-Tran
The Sailing Museum partners with Casambi to roll out a one of a kind, minimally invasive light installation, allowing the museum to maintain the structural integrity of the historical armory while creating a menagerie of lighting experiences throughout the exhibits with the touch of a button.
Heather Ruhsam, the Executive Director of the Sailing Museum was tasked with telling the history of sailing through an interactive experience and outfitting a 127 year old armory with non-invasive lighting to highlight the floorplan.
“We knew that with all of the different exhibits and how dense our museum plan was that lighting was going to be really important to how we displayed everything.”
The Sailing Museum partnered with Q-Tran to manufacture the lighting and after touring the armory, they immediately saw the need to bring in Casambi. While the rich history of the armory adds to the charm and experience of the museum, it presents a problem when it comes to modernizing it in a minimally invasive way.
Due to the age of the armory, Q-Tran would not be able to put holes in the ceiling or weld traditional track lighting to the trusses because it would add too much weight and make the building structurally unsound. Casambi was integral to bring this project to fruition because their technology operates on a low energy bluetooth network and is minimally invasive due to the node/chip technology in each light fixture, so weight wasn’t an issue like it would have been with traditional lighting. This gave Q-Tran creative license to uplight the ceiling, capturing the beauty of the original plank boards, while lighting the boats hanging from the ceiling, AND lighting the exhibits at ground level simultaneously.
To showcase the unique ceiling and bring out the warmth of the wood, without it being too yellow, Q-Tran used 3000k for the ceiling and 2700k for all other fixtures. While not standard to mix color temperatures in the same space, it was necessary to showcase the ceiling so that it complimented the exhibit without overpowering it—another reason Casambi’s technology was instrumental. Their technology offered the ability to change the hierarchy of the most important lighting “on the fly”, without needing lighting control programmers.
"The technology itself provided such a perfect solution. A revolutionary way of thinking, and control interface for the owner. Tremendous in their coordination."—Hunter Tremaine; Q-Tran
Another very important reason Casambi was key is because The Sailing Museum has a small team who handle the daily operations, including the lights, so it had to be manageable for a few people.
In the end, the Museum had over 500 customizable light sources throughout the exhibit which were artfully commissioned thanks to lighting designer Abernathy. The Museum staff can manage the on/off state, color/dimming functionality, zones and customize schedules for day to day operations, events and holidays - through the touch of a button.
"I think one of the benefits of Casambi’s app is that it allows different scenes. Some of them are scheduled, so if we have an event coming up, it is as simple as just using the “event” button. But if it’s just a regular business day, the app is set to transition from daylight hours to nighttime to a cleaning schedule. All of those are timed so that nobody has to do anything. It just happens."—Heather Ruhsam
With such innovative features, one might expect such cutting edge technology to cost a fortune, but in fact it does not. Because of the minimally invasive installation and use of less materials (wiring, new light fixtures etc.) customers usually see a savings of 20%.
It was through the lighting and the ability to change the ambiance through out
the spaces that featured and brought to life the exhibits in a way that kept the attendees curious and captivated. Lighting creates intimate moments as was experienced by the family of Bus Mosbacher. A display honoring Mosbacher, who was a two time America’s Cup winning skipper on Weatherly and Intrepid, was unveiled to his kin. Having never seen all of his artifacts together and displayed so beautifully, the family was brought to tears.
"The lighting has played a really pivotal role in how we bring it all to life. I think I saw that most strongly when the Mosbacher family was here looking at the different artifacts. They had never seen them in that light literally and figuratively. It was really powerful.
Whether it was the “in case” lighting or the different spots throughout the museum and the ability to adjust them, it has created a special place"—Heather Ruhsam