by Stan Schwartz
Remember fluorescent light? It’s what your mother had in her kitchen. But it’s harsh, cold, and has a lot of green on it. Wavelength green, not environmental green.
So no self-respecting lighting designer would use that kind of light unless, maybe, the owner demanded it. Right?
No, wrong. Consider the brilliant work of the designers at Focus Lighting. Their charge was to light the 137-foot long space shuttle Enterprise for the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum in New York. One of the challenges involved was to create a rich backdrop for the 150,000-pound monument to space travel. The lighting design team tested five interior tent colors and was able to conclude and demonstrate to the client that a rich blue backdrop –specifically R80 Primary Blue – provided the desired dramatic contrast with the stark white space shuttle. They designed a surrounding blue horizon line, carefully concealed behind the perforated perimeter walls.
And the most practical way to deliver this R80 color was to use fluorescent light. In this case, 380 feet of Lamar 32-watt T8 linear fluorescents. Each tube was equipped with RoscoSleeves . These are clear polycarbonate tubes with the specified color filter inserted inside the sleeve. RoscoSleeves include a UV filter which allows less than 10% transmission below 390 nanometers. This prevents premature color fading and protection from harmful UV rays.
A great application of an old favorite, fluorescents, dressed up with Roscolux 80 for a breathtaking effect.
Focus Lighting Team:
Brett Andersen, Principal Designer
Stephanie Daigle, Senior Lighting Designer
Samuel Kitchel, Lighting Designer
Kenneth Schutz, Project Manager
H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture was the Exhibit Architect.
The Enterprise exhibit opened at the Intrepid Sea and Air Museum in September, 2012. Unfortunately, when Hurricane Sandy struck the area on October 29th, the Space Shuttle Pavilion was damaged. The Pavilion, as well as Enterprise, remain temporarily closed and is expected to re-open to the public in Spring 2013. Until then, the Enterprise’s history is shared through a new exhibit that opened on January 17, 2013 entitled Space Shuttle Enterprise: A Pioneer.