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September 10, 2014

Xicato Shines a Spotlight on LED Technology at Chicago Field Museum of Natural History

Museum Experts Meet to Put Art Exhibits in the Best and Safest Light

SAN JOSE — September 10, 2014 – Xicato, enablers of the Internet of Lights, will sponsor the Midwest Sustainable Lighting Symposium, hosted by the world famous Chicago Field Museum of Natural History, on Friday, September 12, from 9:30am to 6:30pm CDT. The event will be an interactive and educational symposium featuring lectures from the Smithsonian Museum, an application tour and groundbreaking color preference research. Experts will discuss how new technologies can significantly impact museum lighting’s effect on energy efficiency and the preservation of historic artifacts. 

Chicago’s own Thatcher “Trigg” Waller, Lighting Designer at Lightswitch Architectural and formerly senior lighting designer for the Field Museum, will lead a walking tour of the Comer and Abbott galleries. Attendees will see firsthand how high quality LED lighting can make beautiful and energy efficient displays. The walking tour will highlight how the advanced light modules are used to elevate the texture, detail and color of the exhibits.

LED light sources have been widely praised for their energy saving capabilities,” said Thatcher Waller. “Yet in the world of museums and masterpieces, new lighting technologies must be rigorously assessed to assure they don’t negatively affect the viewing lifespan of artifacts, preserving them for future generations to enjoy while simultaneously creating a fantastic viewing experience.”

Kevan Shaw, award-winning lighting designer, will also conduct the next phase of his Experiment in Color Preference global research with the attendees. The research evaluates observations of museum professionals and lighting designers when viewing a number of paintings within a gallery setting and under a variety of white lights with different spectral distribution, to gain a better understanding of how people react to color points. This study will be conducted during the Field Museum symposium with participants evaluating a select group of 19th and 20th century oil paintings on canvas – including still life, landscape and portrait – under different Xicato light sources, with fixtures provided by Lighting Services Inc. The research results will reveal desired preferences for white light.

Museum lighting in general and specifically lighting art and artifacts has been limited by conventional lighting technologies,” said Ron Steen, Vice President of Business Development for Xicato.  “LEDs have opened up an entire new palette of light which can be deployed. 

Choosing appropriate lighting technology now requires data in order to select the ‘right white.’ Once manufacturers understand what is desired as opposed to tolerated by curators and lighting designers, lighting spectrums can be engineered to create the requested effects,” said Steen.

Additional speakers at the Symposium include some of the leading lighting experts and museum curators in the country including keynote presenters Scott Rosenfeld, Lighting Designer for the Smithsonian Institution, Steve Weintraub, Museum Environment Specialist Art Preservation Services, Xicato Chief Color Scientist Rohit Patil and Principal Lighting Designer Avi Mor from Lightswitch. The event, organized by The Field Museum with support from Xicato, Lightswitch Architectural and Lighting Services Inc., is free, but open only to museum professionals. 

About Xicato

Xicato is enabling the Internet of Lights and empowering architects, designers and building managers to create beautiful, smart spaces people love to live and work in. We design and build intelligent LED modules that integrate the best quality and most efficient light with software, sensors and connectivity. With Xicato, spaces and buildings can be simply managed from anywhere, using any device. For further information visit:

Xicato’s headquarters and manufacturing is based in Silicon Valley and the company has offices in China, Japan, Europe and throughout the U.S. Founded in 2007, Xicato’s focus on high quality light and reliability has won praise from the lighting community and end-users alike and was recently recognized as “Best Industrial Partner” by the Professional Lighting Design Conference. Installations using Xicato range from retail and museums to restaurants and hotels. A gallery of installations can be found here