Lighting The Path To Artistic Inspiration

Hubbell Lighting’s interior and exterior brands come together to inspire the next generation of artists.

Largent from Architectural Area Lighting illuminates the building’s iconic front entrance. The luminaire’s geometric design and illumination capabilities ensure safety, project a sense of scale, and align with the design of the façade.

Lighting was an integral part of the plan when the District of Columbia Public Schools embarked on a multi-million dollar renovation of the Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Georgetown. The project to modernize the facility and expand it from 171,000 to 271,000 sq. ft. included the renovation and addition of classrooms, dance and art studios, common areas, a media center, and a 300-seat performance hall. The school occupies a building originally built in 1898 as Western High School.  

The 6-in. LightFrame (LC6) downlight from Prescolite illuminates the entire Ellington Gallery. The glare-free optical control of the LC6 supports the preference for a sleek, minimalist aesthetic that doesn’t bring unwanted attention to the light source. The Ellington Gallery serves as the main gathering area for receptions, book signings, and art exhibitions.

While traditional academics are offered, the primary focus is the arts. Majors in dance, literary media and communications, museum studies, instrumental or vocal music, theatre, technical design and production, and visual arts are offered.

LCAT from Columbia Lighting adds quiet elegance to the 2D and 3D Art Studios with the simplicity and modularity in a popular form. The visual comfort of students and faculty was a driving factor in the selection of the luminaire for these studios. The acrylic center lens features linear prisms for performance without LED pixelation, contributing to the visual comfort of the room without sacrifice to quality of light.

Architects Cox Graae + Spack, Washington, wanted to retain the historic nature of the unique facility. MCLA Architectural Lighting Design, Washington, was the lead on selecting the lighting used on the project, in collaboration with manufacturer’s representative One Source Associates, Columbia, MD. To support the architects’ vision, the lighting design deviates from the standard educational template to address the needs of the school’s students.

In the 300-seat performance hall, the Megalum MC10LED cylinder from Prescolite was selected to strategically space the fixtures while ensuring proper footcandles were achieved. The Megalum features a 2DM Lutron 2-wire, 1% diming option, which is suited for this performance area where the goal is for the lighting to dim when needed and contribute to the drama for recitals and readings.

The lighting design called for products that would support the intended experience of the space, meet precise light levels in certain areas, perform as advertised, and contribute to building-code compliance. All the products selected are brands of Hubbell Lighting Inc., Greenville, SC. The collective product suite complements the architects’ desired aesthetic with a selection of luminaires that contribute to the visual comfort of each area and minimize distraction from the design.

In the vocal studio, theatre/drama studio, media center, and math classrooms the 65L-P Stance from Litecontrol provides a crisp visual texture where a strategic mix of uplight and downlight is needed. The Design Lights Consortium (DLC), Medford, MA, qualified product contributed to energy-code compliance.

The end result is a building that stands as a tribute to the great musician Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington, and combines an historic past with a celebration of what is to come.


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