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Ancient culture in a modern light

The lighting at the China Imperial Examination Museum has been upgraded with wireless technology from Tridonic.

At the China Imperial Examination Museum in Jiangnan, Tridonic has installed a flexible, dimmable lighting solution tailored to the specific requirements of the individual exhibits.

Once a cradle of expertise, now a museum, the Jiangnan Examination Hall on the banks of the Qinhuai river in Nanjing, China, can look back on an impressive history. This largest examination complex of the Chinese empire was founded in 1168. The complex comprised more than 20,000 rooms in which prospective Chinese officials underwent examinations in a total of 112 subjects. After the abolition of the medieval examination system, the Jiangnan Examination Hall, located near the Confucius Temple, went through several incarnations, first as a trading centre and now as a cultural hotspot – the China Imperial Examination Museum.

Precise dimming for maximum effect

Tridonic was first involved in bringing new light to the historic the museum back in 2015. The particular challenge of that two-year project was the immense variety of exhibits. All the different sizes, shapes and moods had to be lit in the best possible way with the right choice of luminaires and colour temperatures. To achieve maximum effect and optimum energy efficiency, it was important for the display cabinets to have smart dimmable lighting.

To meet these requirements, Tridonic equipped the existing interior lighting with DALI drivers with switchDIM functionality. This allowed the light to be flexibly dimmed according to the special needs of the exhibits using switches on the cabinets. The necessary DALI signal infrastructure was coupled to the museum’s existing 220 V power supply infrastructure, enabling the intensity of the various spotlights in and around the cabinets to be precisely controlled.

Further modernisation of the museum lighting

Another upgrade was planned in 2020. The original lighting for the display cabinets was to be renewed to meet the current guidelines for museum lighting. The light temperature, colour rendering, amount of glare and the incidence of the spotlights were to remain unchanged. Tridonic replaced the original DALI drivers with a total of 150 new Bluetooth-enabled LC 25W 350–1050mA bDW SC PRE2 drivers and 25 basicDIM wireless PWM CV 4CH drivers. This allowed the lighting for the showcases to be continuously faded between 1 and 100 percent light intensity. With such fine gradations each of the exhibits can be individually illuminated. The light colour and light temperature can be easily controlled thanks to the four-channel basicDIM wireless modules.

The museum authorities were particularly impressed by how smoothly the project was managed. Thanks to wireless technology this major upgrade did not require any modifications to the cabling infrastructure. The drivers are so compact that they were easy to integrate. The entire retrofit was so straightforward that there was no need to close the museum. The China Imperial Examination Museum now benefits from an intelligent, flexible lighting infrastructure that can be controlled wirelessly. The historical exhibits now appear in a timeless light.

Press contact:

Markus Rademacher

Markus Rademacher

Tridonic GmbH & Co KG
Färbergasse 15
6851 Dornbirn, Austria

Tel. +43 5572 395-45236
Mobile +43 664 80892 6313