One of Syracuse, New York’s most interesting and educational attractions, the Milton J. Rubenstein Museum of Science & Technology, also known as the MOST, has been offering a fascinating and extensive collection of science-based exhibits – including interactive kiosks related to natural history, weather, and space as well as a 100,000 square-foot IMAX theater and a planetarium -- since opening in 1991. Though housed in a former armory within a 10-block area of recently-gentrified vintage buildings, however, at least one thing no longer harks back to the past at the MOST – its lighting. Thanks to a recent museum-wide upgrade to highly-efficient LED lights from Solais Lighting, the state-of-the-art museum’s exhibits have never been so eye-catching, energy-efficient, or environmentally sound.
The museum, which features three stories and up to 70-foot ceilings in one part of the structure, “has a lot of verticality, which makes for a very neat space,” MOST President Larry Leatherman confirmed. According to Leatherman, the problem was that “the over 900 90-Watt halogen bulbs in trackheads that we were using to light the museum burned out after 2,000 hours -- about once a year based on our operating hours -- and were difficult and costly to replace. We knew that we could be saving money by using a more energy-efficient light source,” he said. “In addition, as a science museum, we wanted to be as green and cutting-edge as we could afford to be."
With those goals in mind and after conducting an analysis of their lighting options, the team from the MOST elected to install a combination of LR38 and LR30 Long-Neck LED lamps from leading manufacturer Solais Lighting in the Summer of 2011. “We recognized a tremendous energy savings opportunity at the MOST and capitalized on it by upgrading to a combination of Solais’ 18 and 21 Watt LED technology, which represented energy savings of 70 watts per fixture, or 75-80%,” Hal Duell, Outside Sales for Syracuse-based electrical distributor Gexpro, said. “In addition, the color rendering index (CRI) of the lighting was very important to the MOST team and the Solais lamps delivered an outstanding light level and color quality which really highlighted the museum displays.”
Solais Lighting’s LR38 and LR30 Long-Neck LED lamp solutions feature outstanding lumen output, a high color rendering index, a strong center beam candlepower, and a long rated average life of 25,000-50,000 hours. Fully dimmable and free of hazardous substances such as lead and mercury, the products feature Solais’ exclusive and actively-cooled Luxiance® thermal management technology, which enables a lightweight, high-performance LED product ideal for track and recessed applications within retail, commercial, hospitality, and museum and gallery settings. “Solais’ LR38 and LR30 Long-Neck lamps were ideally suited to the MOST’s application,” confirmed James Leahy, Solais Lighting’s President. “In addition to delivering superior light quality, these high-performing, long-lasting, and highly-efficient LED lamps will minimize maintenance costs and concerns for the MOST team and significantly reduce energy consumption and operating costs within the facility.”
In fact, thanks to an aggressive rebate from local utility National Grid, the MOST will accrue energy savings of nearly $25,000 per year and, according to Leatherman’s estimates, enjoy a simple payback of just eight months. “We wanted to pursue the upgrade for a while and, even without a rebate, it made economic sense for us to proceed,” Leatherman shared. “But the availability of the rebate made it a total no-brainer. We’d have been crazy not to do it,” he said. Melanie Littlejohn, National Grid Director of Community and Customer Management for Central New York, wholeheartedly agreed. “The MOST is joining a growing list of businesses and not-for-proﬁts investing in energy efﬁciency with help from National Grid,” she said. “The MOST made the important decision to invest now, which will mean signiﬁcant savings for years to come.”
According to Tom Nowakowski, Outside Sales Rep for Syracuse-based Manufacturer’s Representative Vertex Solutions, which assisted with the upgrade, “installation of the Solais LEDs was a simple one-for-one replacement that was easily managed by the museum’s in-house maintenance personnel. Since the upgrade was completed, the light levels and color quality inside the museum are outstanding and the exhibits are sharper and more vivid than ever.”
Leatherman agrees that the project has been an overwhelming success. “It was important for us to light our exhibits well. Years ago, you used to have to sacrifice aesthetics for energy savings, but now you can have it all. The new lighting looks great and is sharper than ever before. Our Solais LEDs have really made our exhibits stand out and we’ve had nothing but positive comments from our board members, staffers, and visitors. I’m extremely happy with the outcome,” he said.
“We strive to make a difference in our energy consumption and ultimately in our legacy within the community,” Leatherman continued. “The exciting thing about this upgrade is not only the knowledge that we’re helping to sustain the environment by reducing air pollution and lowering greenhouse gases, but that we signiﬁcantly decreased our museum’s electric bill,” he concluded. “These savings can then be utilized for educational programming and exhibits.
Thanks to cutting-edge LED technology from Solais Lighting which delivers the comprehensive benefits of high performance, long life, and outstanding efficiency, this is helping to make “more out of the MOST.”
The Milton J. Rubenstein Museum of Science & Technology (MOST) Museum, based in Syracuse, New York.
The project involved the upgrade of 931 90-Watt halogen floodlights in trackheads to Solais Lighting’s 21 Watt and 18 Watt LR38 and LR30 Long-Neck LED lamps.<
Project completed in Summer 2011.
Solais Lighting lamps were supplied by Syracuse-based electrical distributor Gexpro with assistance from Syracuse based Manufacturer’s Representative Vertex Solutions.
The MOST Museum experienced an over 75% reduction in lighting system energy consumption and costs relative to their original 90 Watt halogen flood technology, which resulted in annual energy cost savings of nearly $25,000 and a simple project payback period of 8 months.
Other Benefits Experienced:
"We loved the color options that were available in the Solais line as well as the flexibility of these fixtures, an important feature to us as we continually move merchandise around to highlight different colors and products."
Kevin Nolen - NastyGal, Director of Retail Development
“I knew immediately that it was what I’d been looking for. We loved the crisp, clear way that VioLight [fixtures] lit the space, produced a sharper visual and made our product pop."
Amanda Ceja - Fossil, Procurement Manager, Store Design & Development
"The color rendering index of the lighting was very important to the MOST team and the Solais lamps delivered an outstanding light level and color quality."
Larry Leatherman - Museum of Science & Technology, President
"Based on their quality, performance, efficiency, long life, and ability to reduce our maintenance costs, we feel really good about upgrading with Solais’ LED technology.”
Andrew Lindley - Maxstudio, Head of Design, Construction, and Maintenance
“We’re very pleased with the Solais product and can’t believe how different it looks against our previous lighting, especially the color rendition. It really performs ahead of our expectations."
Glenn Trunley - TUMI, Senior Director of Global Store Design