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Metro and Lite House collaboration - launching the Art-Lite Lightbox range

29 December 2011

Metro are proud to have been at the forefront of developing a solution for artists looking for slimline lightboxes for exhibitions and interiors. Lightboxes have long been a favourite of artists seeking to appropriate the dramatic effect of an illuminated image but until now lightboxes have been restricted in size, light spread and weight by cumbersome florescent tubing that required deep profiles for cooling.

Now with the development in energy efficient LED technology, light is available in sheets rather than tubes, creating new possibilities for lightbox size, weight, design and most importantly, colour accuracy.
As the only photographic printers in the UK offering colour accurate Kodak Duratrans prints up to 72” wide, Metro have responded to this opportunity with a new lightbox service.

Chris Jackson, Production Director at Metro Imaging explains how he brought together expertise in the LED and framing industries to create, from scratch an exhibition quality lightbox service:

“We were constantly being asked for lightboxes to display the beautiful Duratrans transparencies we have been producing. Traditionally big heavy cumbersome boxes were produced with fluorescent tubes that were bulky to house, the tubes produced a lot of heat so needed cooling fans. The tubes flickered and faded, so had to be changed once their colour went off. Not very satisfactory or elegant! And they used a lot of power.

With LED technology coming on stream I thought this would make an ideal illuminator for Duratrans. The panels were slim, evenly lit, produced next to no heat and drew little power. They came in big long sheets as well so you could think about large boxes. So I started looking for LED panels most of which were imported from China and found they were being shipped with pink, green and blue output biases and not neutral!

Back in the UK I finally found a company Lite House that understood LED’s and even better Kelvin, the colour temperature scale. Once we’d spoken to Gary Dyson at Dyson Art Framers about designing custom metal and wood frames for the boxes, mastered the electronics and worked out how to fit the LED panels, we were finally ready to insert the face mounted Duratrans in the boxes. The last nice touch for the interior decorators or designers is the dimmers and optional motion detectors. We then finally had a product fit for the high end Art Market of our customers.”
This exceptional resonance can be seen in two current exhibitions, George Chakravarthi’s installation, Thirteen commissioned for the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Swan Room, and Suki Chan’s lightbox installation, Sleep Walk, Sleep Talk at the Museum of London.

Bespoke Aluminium Lightboxes can be built to virtually any size requested and are finished in powder coated Aluminium to any colour specification with a thin 20mm standard profile. Quotes and turnaround times are available on application.

In addition, the Art-Lite Lightboxes are a more affordable ‘off the shelf’ product, finished in a high quality wood frame in a choice of Black or White wood finish.

Chris Jackson at Metro comments: ‘We wanted to offer photographers a cost-effective way of illuminating high quality Duratrans images. The Art-Lite is almost off the shelf, but customers can still see and approve Duratrans test before the box is fitted together. It’s a way of making these new colour accurate lightboxes available to a wider market.”

Peter Sargent from Lite House elaborates: ‘By combining our patented ultra-thin LED technology with Duratrans, in a slimline fine art frame, we have created a high quality product with stunning impact.’

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