Mona Lisa smiles under LEDs

The Louvre Museum in Paris has unveiled the newly relit Mona Lisa, now using specially designed LED lights from Toshiba.

A new fitting was developed specifically to light the Mona Lisa, using 34 LEDs which can be tuned to achieve optimal colour rendering and compensate for any colour shift over time. The product includes optical systems to frame the painting and maintain high uniformity across its surface.

The specially designed new fixtures have improved colour rendering, got rid of UV and IR radiation and reduced electricity consumption for the lighting of the 500-year-old Leonardo da Vinci painting.

Toshiba has been working with the Louvre since 2010, relighting outdoor areas including the famous pyramid, and  helping achieve a 73 per cent reduction in the energy used for exterior lighting at the museum. The Mona Lisa and the Red Room, a gallery of 19th century French paintings, are the first indoor areas to go LED.

The next part of the Louvre to go LED will be the Cour Carrée and the Napoleon Hall, due to be completed early next year.