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GE Edison Award Honors Lighting of Sacramento Memorial Auditorium

Another major award presented at LightFair was the 2008 GE Edison Award, which went to James R. Benya, Benya Lighting Design, West Linn, Ore; Michael Neils and Juan José Villatoro, M. Neils Engineering, Sacramento, Calif., and James E. Christensen, City of Sacramento, for lighting the Sacramento Memorial Auditorium.

The Sacramento Memorial Auditorium, opened in 1927, is listed on the National Historic Register, and has been the home of concerts, inaugurals, commencements and other civic events for 80 years. Excavating the grounds to repair foundation walls provided an opportunity to improve site and building lighting. Because of its importance to the city and state, the design team was asked to develop a lighting design that is significantly better than California Title 24.

The lighting design features several GE ConstantColor CMH ceramic metal-halide and GE T5 High Output Ecolux fluorescent lamps. The six columns with ornate capitals and the two end pilasters are each uplighted with one 150W CMH T6 3000 K in-grade luminaire. The luminaire location is precisely in the second step so that the column, capital, frieze and cornice are illuminated. Upwashers with 54W T5 HO 3000 K lamps illuminate the pediment wall, and the medallion is highlighted with a 70W CMH narrow spot lamp. In ceiling coves behind the arches, 70W CMH downlight wallwashers illuminate the wall and doors. The downlights, installed in the same locations as prior luminaires, were approved by the historic commission. The front corners of the building are uplighted with 54W GE T5 HO luminaires supplemented by 70W CMH luminaires for the limestone pilasters.

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