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Telling the History of Thorbergssetur in Iceland

Lighting and technical design specialist Alfreð Sturla Böðvarsson installs a new theatrical LED lighting design inside the Icelandic culture center using Gallery and PHX 150W luminaires

Located in the Hali region of Suðursveit in South-East Iceland, Thorbergssetur is a culture center and heritage museum dedicated to the region’s history and the life and works of writer Thorbergur Thordarson. With a unique, theatrical-style exhibition which includes glimpses into the life of the Icelandic author, the museum recently decided it was time to update their lighting design. Wanting to install a completely new LED system, Luxor lighting designer Alfreð Sturla Böðvarsson created an elegant, story-telling design using Gallery LED and PHX 150W LED profile luminaires from Altman Lighting.


“A director who I´ve worked with a few times was working in the museum this summer, and he asked me to give them advice on how to replace the outdated 12-year old system with a modern LED lighting scheme,” began Böðvarsson. “They wanted to emphasize the many scenes and rooms of the museum exhibition with naturalistic, accent lighting and the Altman Gallery LED and PHX LED fixtures worked great.”

The Gallery Series is a family of LED luminaires designed to serve as the most versatile solution available, through profile, beam wash, wall wash and flood options across a variety of color temperatures. With a 92+ CRI engine, 4000 lumens of output and dimming options that include local on-board dimming, Mains Dimming, DMX/RDM, 0-10VDC and DALI, the Gallery Series also offers a number of mounting options making it an ideal lighting solution where aesthetic and performance expectations are high.


“From the start I decided that it would be best to use spot fixtures with shutters, as I needed to light the exhibition sets in a theatrical style,” continued Böðvarsson. “I also had the added constraint of keeping all the lighting angles very steep where the museum visitors would be walking, in order to minimize glare and guest interference in the lights. We needed to emphasize both the depth and quality of the sets, so I decided to keep all the fixtures in the ceiling, as I believe exhibition lighting should be as invisible as possible.”

As one of the only convection-cooled LED profile fixtures available today, the PHX 150W LED profile is ideal for venues desiring superior, energy-efficient lighting in an acoustically sensitive environment. With a standard fixed beam, zoom ranges from 15-35 or 30-55 degrees, a 360-degree rotating barrel, and a die-cast aluminum frame, the PHX 150W LED profile is also available in a diverse line of LED choices including RGBA, RGBW, 3000K, 5600K, and tunable white versions.


“I chose the PHX 150W 5600K profile fixtures as they were powerful enough for the larger strokes of outside light hitting the sets,” added Böðvarsson. “In a few instances, I gelled the lights to bring down the temperature, and then added gobos for a bit of variety and the feeling of the sun shining through trees. Additionally, the Gallery Series seemed like the perfect choice for the smaller accent lighting tasks, and I was pleasantly surprised with their power and quality of the light.”

Getting started in the installation, Böðvarsson and the team at Luxor knew exactly where they needed to place the lighting fixtures in order to complete the design. Knowing that the museum wanted the retrofitted design to stand the test of time, they were confident they had the right solutions to complete the story.


“The luminaires are attached to the ceiling all over the exhibition with 26 of the 15-35-degree Gallery spots, and 10 of the 36-degree PHX 150 spots proving just enough to complete the job,” concluded Böðvarsson. “As the lighting is never touched, the instruments are all locally dimmed, and the PHX spots are running at approximately 90-100 percent, whereas the Gallery fixtures are at various intensities. Both lighting solutions were very easy to work with, and the museum is extremely happy with their new exhibition lighting design that will last for many years to come.”