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Putting the Past to Good Use in the Silicon Valley of the Nineteenth Century

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Click here to see the online version of the DOE report that discusses the lighting in the Burden Museum. The main section about the Museum is in Section 5 on pages 16 to 21, and a more recent update has now been posted at the end of the Executive Summary, on pages v to vii.

Our nationally-significant, all-dimmable, all-LED lighting system at the Burden Museum is now complete. This project was made possible by a very generous $100,000 challenge grant from Brookfield Renewable Energy, which was matched by two $50,000 contributions, one from the Rensselaer County Industrial Development Agency (IDA) and the other from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA).

The installation is a pioneering foray into the use of dimmable LED technology in a public commercial setting. Such a system would not have been possible as recently as five years ago. As a result, we were chosen as a national case study by the United States Department of Energy. See box to the right for a link to their report about us, which is now on their national website as a model for lighting designers nationwide.

We have designed the project so that visitors can enjoy an educational display about lighting through the years. The system will be able to mimic the various modes of lighting that would have been used in such a facility, from gas lighting when the building opened in 1882, through early Edison carbon-filament incandescent lighting, then on to the twentieth-century workhorse tungsten-filament incandescent lamp, and then to the many innovations in the past seventy-five years or so, starting with fluorescent lighting and leading to today's strikingly efficient LEDs.

Here's a slideshow of the unveiling ceremony on 07 May 2014. Photos by Sid Brown. Click any slide to launch an automated slide show of all the slides starting from the one you selected.