The South Carolina Military Museum opened in 1981 in a small town outside of the state’s capital, Columbia. Relocating to the heart of the capital in 2007, the facility has been undergoing some renovations, the most recent including major lighting upgrades and custom buildouts from the Lexington branch of electrical wholesale distributor, City Electric Supply (CES).
“We’re constantly looking for ways to improve the facilities here at the museum,” said executive director Saddler Taylor. “Some of the original lighting in the galleries created a very sterile, bright environment and we’ve been looking for ways to incorporate lighting that is more versatile and appropriate for the artifacts on exhibition.”
CES teamed up with Deer Pond Electric to upgrade 52 lights in an initial fixup around the museum. While the upgrade greatly improved some of the lighting fixtures, both teams felt more could be done. CES designed 28 custom track lighting fixtures that could be mounted to the ceiling and direct light certain ways to best feature the displays, finishing the renovations in less than three months.
“After the initial upgrades, there were still some spots that needed some more lighting, like the room with the helicopter in the middle,’ said CES Outside Sales representative Kevin Norton. “We wanted to make sure everything was well lit, so we mounted the track lights in the ceilings for certain exhibits.”
In places like museums, lighting can be essential not only to the experience of the guests but to the history being preserved. Some of the spaces have ceilings that are 20 feet high.
“The LED lighting that was installed makes a world of difference and not just aesthetically,” said Saddler. “Certain types of lighting, particularly incandescent bulbs, create a tremendous amount of heat and can damage objects over time. LED lights last longer, are more efficient and produce very little heat, so they serve a very practical purpose as well.”
Since the museum is open six days a week, having proper lights that help display what is in the galleries is important.
“We are one of the few museums in Columbia with free admission,” said Saddler. “We exist to tell the stories of South Carolinians who’ve served in the military, and we work to create a facility accessible to everyone. The museum staff is passionate about what we do, and we love to see people walk through our doors and connect with them. We cannot thank CES and Deer Pond Electric enough for their help in getting these upgrades done.”City Electric Supply is ranked #7 on Electrical Wholesaling's 2022 Top 150 ranking.