Egyptian Museum

Turin, Italy

“It’s really impressive and a delight that nobody can believe that this is LED lighting. Thanks to the energy saving MASTER LEDspots we save around € 600 per month in the Tomb of Kha and the Statuary.” - Eleni Vassilika, Director, Museo Egizio, Turin

The Project


Turin’s Museo Egizio (Egyptian Museum) is the world’s leading institution dedicated to Egyptian art, second only to the Cairo Museum, with more than 6,000 objects on show. When one of the galleries was remodelled in 2010, lighting played an important role in the renovations. Maintenance staff expected to work with partners that have extensive experience in lighting at an international level and hoped for a solution that offered considerable energy savings. This was an exciting opportunity for Ilti Luce and Philips to work together and to demonstrate how LED technology can be flexible, beautiful and deliver cost reductions.

The challenge

Because of the sheer number of objects on display, some of the vitrines can be quite full and the museum had primarily lit the rooms rather than the objects themselves. With this sort of ‘house lighting’, the objects were not illuminated as works of art, nor were they given the attention they truly deserved. The museum required discreet lighting solutions keeping shadows to a minimum, while ensuring that the new luminaires did not generate heat. It was also important that the luminaires still produce a warm colored light with good color rendering characteristics. The management of the museum was at first resistant to the idea of LED, believing that the colors would not be up to its standard, and therefore had a strong preference for fiber optics or halogens.

The Solution

Ilti Luce and Philips convinced the museum to use LEDs. They started their project in the Tomb of Kha. This was a great success; however, it was only when they tackled the Statuario (Statuary) that the collaboration sparkled. Oscar-winning Italian art director and national-treasure, Dante Ferretti, had designed the original Statuary lighting in 2006 – using halogens. The artistic illumination by Ferretti consisted of 230 lamps, at 50 watts each, which created an incredible amount of heat and generated a lot of dust. “The issue was to get the lighting right and not alter Ferretti’s scenographic effect,” says Eleni Vassilika, Museum Director. After conducting several test, and obtaining Ferretti’s blessing, Philips proposed the MASTER LEDspot LV AR111 10-50W as a solution. This lamp provided up to 80% energy savings when compared to halogen and is compatible with a broad range of transformers. In addition, the warm color rendering was a welcoming surprise to the museum management.


The new solution in the Statuary has only 150 lamps – thus, 80 fewer than the original lighting design. These energy saving lamps also require less wattage, resulting in approximately €600 per month of savings for the Tomb of Kha and the Statuary. “Recently I guided some European museum directors through the museum”, says Eleni Vassilika. “One colleague from Germany asked whether I had thought about moving over to LED. I said ‘You’re standing in a gallery that is only LED lighting!’.”

Philips MASTER LEDspot AR111

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