Where Do Museums Get Their Lighting?

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A story of one company in Long Island City that designs and manufactures lighting for most museums and galleries that you know.


The last thing that comes to mind when looking at art at a gallery is lighting. Indeed if you’ve been to MoMA or Gagosian gallery, you’ve noticed that the art of good lighting is far from simply filling the room with lumens: it’s about balance, focus, and accents. Such lighting is so unique that it’s required to design the set at the location — with a group of light designers and specialists. For the last sixty five years, a quiet pioneer of light manufacturing, Edison Price Lighting, has been producing and designing lights for 450 musesums and galleries from around the world — all from their factory in Long Island City. I stopped by at the factory to capture how they do it.


The testing station where the final assembly happens

Edison Price Lighting makes every single piece of their lights at the factory: from prototyping to designing custom tools, press dies, and parts down to the smallest nuts and bolts.



The process of making a light starts at a special workshop on the ground floor that makes custom press dies




Cheat sheet for the machine operator



The manufacturing on the floor is divided into sections marked alphabetically
Custom dies hand-numbered and ready to be taken into production


Tools used to hand-shape metal parts



A steel part that will be used as part of the light: before and after shaping


All-aluminum bars as they arrive to the factory
A special milling machine works with aluminum parts



Aluminum shavings left after production




Spray painting the light cases with enamel paint gives them delightful soft matte finish


Final assembly and testing



Research and development floor where new lights are being created from scratch




Select projects by Edison Price Lighting



David Zwirner Gallery, NYC
Gagosian Gallery, LA


Brooklyn Museum, NYC
Met Breuer, NYC


Edison Price Lighting Gallery
4150 22 St., Long Island City

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I've been exploring cities and neighborhoods for as long as I remember myself, documenting my observations and discoveries with photographs and in my journals. This mindful wondering has inspired and greatly fueled my design and research work, parts of which I'm sharing in this journal. Drop me a line at editor@arthurious.com