• National Treasure

Ashmolean Museum

Oxford, United Kingdom

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National Treasure

The Ashmolean Museum has been a national treasure and U.K. institution for centuries. As the first public museum in the world, the Ashmolean Museum was opened in 1683, and displays art and artefacts from most of the world civilizations. The sight of the current building dates from 1845 and underwent a large renovation to introduce 39 new galleries in 2009.

The last few years have seen a dramatic improvement in the efficiency and quality of LED light sources and the Museum decided that the technology had now advanced enough for them to replace their existing halogen powered light generators. In 2015, the Museum partnered with Absolute Action to find a solution to their lighting dilemma.

After vigorous testing and research, Absolute Action chose SORAA VIVID LED Optical Light Engines to incorporate within the new fibre optic projector which they used to illuminate the priceless art and artefacts at the Ashmolean Museum. Absolute Action selected SORAA’s light engines for their compatibility with the current fibre optic products system in the show-cases, energy efficiency and exceptional color and whiteness rendering.

“Our quest to find high quality color rendering and longevity led us right to SORAA,” said Emma Dawson-Tarr, Managing Director, Absolute Action. “With SORAA’s LED innovations, we have given the Ashmolean Museum more flexibility and control for the future.”

In addition to outstanding color rendering and long life, a key reason Absolute Action decided upon SORAA was the large energy savings associated with the new LEDs. By utilising the new SORAA LED light engines versus the previous halogen lamps, the Museum is set to save nearly 75 percent in energy costs associated with lighting. Additionally – and almost as important – the ability to maintain the optimum temperature of the SORAA diode via the NTC reader control from the driver means the Museum can be assured of a long operational life.

“The Ashmolean Museum aims to display exhibits with the most accurate color rendering and clarity possible. However, until recently, we found that this quality was only available with inefficient halogen lamps,” said Harry Phythian-Adams, Executive Officer at the Ashmolean Museum. “We required a more energy efficient solution to achieve our lighting goals in terms of both quality and energy efficiency.”

SORAA’s GaN on GaN™ LED with Violet-Emission 3-Phosphor (VP₃) LED technology renders the widest range of colors in the objects that we see, without ultraviolet (UV) or infrared (IR) radiation that can fade or harm the artifacts. Utilising every color in the rainbow, especially deep red emission, SORAA’s lamps render warm tones beautifully and accurately, and achieve a color rendering index (CRI) of 95 and deep red (R9) rendering of 95. And unlike blue-based white LEDs without any violet emission, the company’s lamps have violet emissions to properly excite fluorescing brightening agents in natural objects.

“As Shuji Nakamura, co-founder of SORAA, is the pioneer of the blue LED, it is fitting that there is now a collaboration between SORAA and Absolute Action, who were pioneers of fibre optic lighting. Both, in their way, distinctive specialists on a mission, renowned for the very best in quality and innovation, and well-respected on the international stage,” said Dawson-Tarr, Absolute Action. “It also chimes absolutely with our ethos of offering genuine reliability and longevity in all our products and services”.

Photo Credit: Dan Paton | www.danpaton.net


University of Oxford


Oxford, United Kingdom


Light Engines

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