Past Press

visual terrain and bandit lites team updates cherokee museum lighting

April 29, 2015 | Category: Print

CHEROKEE, NORTH CAROLINA – It is the hope of every museum to help make history come alive, and with an 11,000 year old history as rich as the Cherokee nation, the Museum of the Cherokee Indian had no shortage of inspiration. In 1998, Visual Terrain, Inc. designed lighting for the newly renovated space, and was awarded the IESNA’s prestigious Edwin F. Guth Memorial Award for Interior Lighting Design.

In 2014, the museum called when they could no longer get parts for the 1998 dimming and control system. Upon visiting the museum, Visual Terrain CEO and Principal-in-Charge Lisa Passamonte Green noted, ”They had started to upgrade to LEDs, but it was early technology, and the light output and color consistency was not what we can achieve with the newest sources. The museum was darker, and our original design was no longer evident.

“It’s rare we get an opportunity to completely re-do a project that we did many years ago,” said Green. “I saw this as an opportunity to bring the museum up to date, utilize the latest LED sources and control systems, and improve upon the work that won us the Guth award.”

Since Visual Terrain frequently partners with Bandit Lites, Green reached out to Bandit’s Director of Sales and Installation, Chris Barbee. Together, they looked to create a solution that would use most of the existing circuitry, positions and placements, while providing high-quality, energy-efficient fixtures that are easier to maintain.

The two companies worked closely with the museum to upgrade the dimming and control system to an ETC Sensor 3 Rack and Paradigm Control System. The system needed to bridge the technology between the original lighting, the new lighting, and a new Show Control system, which was designed and provided by Associates in Media Engineering (AME) founder Benjamin Lien. Lien was on the original museum design team in 1998, and returned to upgrade the audio, visual and show control systems.

Visual Terrain designed the look and specified the fixtures; Bandit’s sales and installation team procured and installed more than 600 lights, including 400 various Gantom fixtures, 80 MR16 LED track heads, 60 various Cree LED retrofit kits and 30 OSRAM KREIOS LED floodlights.

Visual Terrain also worked with Patric Dietrich from Universal Fibre Optics to upgrade the 40 display cases throughout the museum. All existing fiber optic illuminators, which originally used 175-watt proprietary halogen lamps, were changed to new 44-watt 3000K LED illuminators.

“Because of the smaller size of the Gantom fixtures, we were able to mount them places we could never dream of mounting fixtures in the past,” explained Jeremy Sinicki, Bandit Installation and Support Specialist. “The LED fiber optic emitters alone made a huge difference in the display cases, and it was one of the first things that I noticed changing between my various trips to site.”

The result was a substantial renovation as all the interior lighting was updated including the pre-show theater, exhibits, lobby and restrooms; all the while the museum was still operational and open to the public.

“Not only is the space back to its award-winning lighting design, but it is even more enhanced and really allows the stories of the Cherokee people to be told in very powerful ways,” said Green. “Due to advances in lighting technology, we were able to accomplish stunning lighting with smaller, energy-efficient LED fixtures. We reduced the energy load from over 70,000 watts, to just over 7,000 watts, with better light output, color consistency and illumination overall. Between the energy savings, and the need for less maintenance, we think the museum is going to see significant savings year-over-year.”

About Bandit Lites, Inc.
Bandit Lites is a global leader in the entertainment lighting marketplace.  From touring productions to fixed installations, Bandit Lites has a full staff of highly trained professionals to deal with all types of lighting needs. Bandit’s global presence will insure seamless transitions no matter where your next show takes you. 

About Visual Terrain
Established in 1995, Visual Terrain is an award-winning design firm specializing in Lighting Design for Architecture, Attractions and The Arts. With offices in Los Angeles and Chicago, Visual Terrain enjoys collaborating with a project team, working together from the inception of a project through to completion, providing creative sustainable solutions that arise from our years of experience.

About AME
Established in 1985, AME provides robust solutions for the implementation of complex audio-visual systems and their integrated control. In its nearly 25 years of operation, AME has completed an extensive portfolio of successful projects for many noteworthy clients. Applications in special venues, museum exhibitory, touring audio-visual, marine-compliant A/V systems and themed environments are their specialty.



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