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Flat Head Valley Community College

College art classes benefit from prismatic lighting

The artistic eye needs good light to render detail and provide true color and shading involved when creating a work
of art. With a goal to do this and provide the most uniform illumination, Flat Head Valley Community College in Kalispell, Montana, installed Holophane PrismGlo Athena fixtures in the art classroom and adjoining jewelry lab on its new five-building campus.

"When the campus was constructed, there was particular emphasis on quality, " said Terry Moreau, lighting designer and project manager. "The college has enjoyed a tremendous response in Kalispell, so administrators wanted everything to be just right. "

The art classroom is 1,200 square feet and is open to the ceiling with painted joints and roof deck, and exposed duct work. Using 175 watt metal halide lamps, the PrismGlo fixtures are pendent mounted 10 feet off the floor, with the centers 8' x 8'. The luminaires provide 40 percent uplight.

"It's essential to minimize shadows in this type of environment. That's why we chose the direct/indirect lighting and the close centers," said Moreau .

Eight fixtures are installed in the art classroom, with four fixtures used in the 500-squarefoot adjoining jewelry lab. Illumination levels are 80 footcandles maintained.

"The art and jewelry instructors were ectastic about the quality of the illumination," Moreau said. "They felt this was the best lighting job they had ever seen, based on the lack of glare and the very uniform distribution provided by the glass refractors. The metal halide lamps also have excellent color rendering."

With energy conservtion always a consideration, Moreau indicated the watts per square foot for this project are well within standards set by the state.

Because of changing class schedules and extracurricular activities held during the evenings, the number of hours the PrismGlo fixtures are illuminated each week varies. There is multi-level switching in each room, with the fixtures locally controlled at the doors.

Moreau indicated the PrismGlo fixtures are easy to clean and maintain. There is also the added benfit of longer lamp life characteristic of the metal halide. Maintenance will be provided by an in-house staff that will change the lamps and clean the luminaires on an as needed basis.

"The PrismGlo units do a nice job in this facility," concluded Moreau. "Not only do they provided the uniformity needed, but they are attractive and contribute to tlle overall image of quality that the college wants to project."

Architects for the project were John Peterson and Frank John DiStefano, Architect Design Group, Kalispell.


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