Lighting Dorothy (details for designers)

Lighting the original test dress Judy Garland wore for the Wizard of Oz along with one of the few remaining official pairs of ruby slippers, while at the same time protecting them from photochemical and photomechanical damage is exactly what NoUVIR® fiber optic lighting is designed to do. The science behind Reflected Energy Matching and the elimination of all non-visible radiation (UV and IR) has been described on this site and in our books and other literature. That being said, this lighting project posed some truly unique challenges that could only have been addressed by NoUVIR.

The challenges for this case and a number of similar cases at the same venue which also containing historic and irreplaceable Hollywood garments, were numerous. First was the design of the case itself. The large acrylic case "floats" in a center space between two wooden columns. The case is completely transparent. The only physical locations to conceal lighting hardware were inside the machined aluminum stand-offs that suspend the case as it "floats." These standoffs were impractical for standard lighting solutions being located in positions far above, far below and to the sides of the lighted costume.

The second challenge was that the columns were open at their tops in the black space between architectural '"clouds" some 15 feet above the floor. This required that fiber be pulled through the standoffs and into the case after the case had been installed. Fiber was then inserted into custom luminaires which were aimed and focused before being inserted into the standoffs and secured with a small set screw.

The third major challenge was that due to the extreme value of the contents, the weight of the large removable case side and the number of security fasteners necessary to seal it and there would be no access to adjust lighting or to replace luminaires. The cases were to be sealed and remain so until the artifacts were removed or replaced at a date years or perhaps decades away. All lighting adjustments had to be securely locked into place and guaranteed not to move or shift.

Other considerations were that luminaires could introduce no heat into the closed case and all of the lighting had to be both aimable and adjustable to conservation limits without hot spots or dark areas. Fixed position luminaires (in the standoffs) had to aim and focus on not only the central costume but on items on the floor of the case. There could be little or no scatter or spill to created glare to viewers outside of the case.

Ultra-Fol™ Aimable Pinspot luminaires beams easily adjust 5° to 50° and lock in place. They also aim up to 15° off-axis optically (without moving the luminaire's orientation). Pinspot housings fitted with Micro-Fol™ Spot luminaires with AZ-EL mirrors allowed upper standoff locations to focus light roughly 90° off-axis lighting objects on the case floors.

Finally, to further highlight the ruby slippers and the descriptive text crystals in the case corners, a few Ultra-Fol™ Pinspot adjusted to tight focus (5°) were concealed in the black space outside the case and above the architectural clouds. With the extreme ceiling heights and the added angles required (cosine angle factor), throws for these Pinspots were roughly 18 feet. At an 18-foot throw a 5° Pinspot will evenly illuminate a circle 18 inches diameter to 18 footcandles. Even with reflection losses of light grazing at an angle through the case sides, a pair of Pinspots concealed in the ceiling on each side of the case easily illuminated the slippers to 10-15 footcandles.

A single NoUVIR Cold Nose™ projector located on the architectural cloud adjacent the case column top powered 32 individual 3mm fibers lighting each case along with the external Pinspot luminaires. Re-lamping is easily accomplished when servicing other fixtures in the ceilings. With NoUVIR's slide out hardware drawer, a spare drawer allows 30-second field exchanges. Replacing the $10.00 EKE lamp in a drawer is also a simple, no tool job that takes under a minute. Should a fan or lamp socket fail years down the road, the entire drawer, including everything that can possible fail or wear out, is available for just $99.00 and UPS costs.

Finally, a NoUVIR Air-Safe™ micro climate system connected to the case through two standoffs in the case floor eliminates any case air exchange with the gallery. Passive and positive, requiring no power or plumbing hook ups, Air-Safe buffers RH and constantly filters case air for chemical and particulate contaminants. (For details looks for AIr-Safe product details on this site.)

This is probably more of a description than most will want, but we are kind of proud to be doing impossible things! At NoUVIR we not only invented museum lighting, but we developed most of the science behind photochemical and photomechanical damage and its prevention. Okay, a rocket scientist with a PhD in quantum physics invented it, but using it is dead simple. Artifact lighting ought to be like like a flat screen television, full of amazing technology that you can just turn on and enjoy. For more than 25 years, if it's rare, if its valuable, if its irreplaceable, it's either lit with NoUVIR, or it ought to be!