LEDs lighting up the Ashmolean Museum

Organisation(s) involved:

The University of Oxford


The Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology, University of Oxford, is the world’s oldest public museum and one of Europe’s most popular cultural tourist destinations. It is home to Oxford University’s collection of art and archaeology and more than 850,000 people visit each year. The building needs constant care and attention to ensure it delivers the welcoming atmosphere on which the Ashmolean prides itself and keeps up with the demands of visitors. As part of this continuous maintenance, a collaborative group was formed between the University of Oxford’s Estates Services team and the operational team at the museum, in order to find an innovative and sustainable lighting solution for the gallery spaces, that provided a better experience for the visitors and the behind the scenes maintenance teams.

Project Delivered:

Over 1900 halogen light fittings were replaced with dimmable Concord Beacon Muse LEDs. Concord Beacon Muse features an adjustable optic system which can deliver a wide flood 65˚ beam angle which can be adjusted down to a 10˚ spot without the need for additional lenses or reflectors. The 10˚ tight spot is ideal for accent lighting, for accentuating the texture, colour and shape of exhibits. Its 65˚ wide flood distribution can be optimised for uniform vertical and horizontal illuminance and wall washing effects. Also, when used with an elongation lens accessory, it can create narrow beam angles for highlighting sculptures, mannequins, logos and shelving. The project was instigated by Robert Gregg, Deputy Electrical Engineer, Estates Services for the University of Oxford, whilst the Ashmolean team worked with Concord to design the fittings, which were installed by Monard Electrical Oxford and commissioned by Ben Acton at Hoare Lea, Oxford.


Due to the longer lifespan of these lamps the museum will now save two man days a week, which were previously used to replace broken halogen lamps. The lamps are also easily moved along a track, dimmed and refocused to allow museum teams to change displays with ease. An added bonus is that the museum will now save £45k a year in reduced energy usage.


236 tonnes of carbon will be saved every year and will count towards the University’s overall carbon reduction target of 33% by 2020/21 on a 2005 baseline

Link to further information:

Information about the lighting used


E-mail: sustainability@admin.ox.ac.uk



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