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London — May 26, 2016 — Soraa, a leader in LED technology using pure gallium nitride substrates (GaN on GaN), announced that its LED lamps have been installed to illuminate the natural beauty of the mineral formations found in the Saalfred Fairy Grottoes in Thüringen, Germany.
Through Soraa LEDs and an artist’s approach to lighting design, thousands of visitors can now see the subtleties in the incredible colours in stalagmites in the underground caverns. (See photo, by Gordon Axmann, Aktivraum, www.aktivraum.com.)
Centuries ago, miners searched for gold and silver in the Thüringian Slate Mountains in Saalfeld. After the discovery of alum shale, a mineral indispensable for the processing of alum and vitriol, the area was excavated and large underground caves were created. Left untouched after they were closed, the mines slowly filled with colourful stalagmites and stalactites. In 1914, the present-day fairy grottoes were opened to the public as an exhibition mine.
While the natural mineral formations were impressive, lighting the dark, subterranean spaces of the caves presented challenges. Previous lighting was inefficient, created an industrial feel, and produced flat, monotone colors, failing to show the full, true beauty of the grottoes.
Lighting artist Rolf Zavelberg chose Soraa GU10 LED lamps to illuminate the space to reveal the unseen in the grottoes.
“Our approach is poetry in light, searching for hidden beauty that can be amplified by light and shadow. We want visitors to be in awe of nature’s beauty and creative forces in the Saalfred Fairy Grottoes. There is an artistry in the caves that is only perfectly illuminated with Soraa LEDS,” said Zavelberg, founder of Cologne-based light artistry firm Aktivraum. “There are thousands of variations in single colors that can be seen now.”
The different colour temperatures and optics from Soraa’s LED lamps enabled Saalfeld Feengrotten to produce a very detailed and sophisticated lighting production that does not alter the character of the grottoes, but enhances the majestic formations.
"The lighting is beautiful. The real colours in the caves are much more striking and the subtler tones can be seen for the first time," said Yvonne Wagner, director of the Feengrotten GmbH.
The caves at Saalfeld Feengrotten are illuminated with perfect rendering of colors and whiteness because of Soraa’s Violet-Emission 3-Phosphor (VP₃) LED technology. Using every color in the rainbow, especially deep red emission, Soraa’s lamps render warm tones beautifully and accurately, and achieve a color-rendering index (CRI) of 95 and deep red (R9) rendering of 95. And unlike blue-based white LEDs without any violet emission, the company’s lamps have violet emissions to properly excite fluorescing brightening agents, including paper and natural objects.
Soraa’s unique GaN on GaN LED technology allows its LEDs to operate at currents that are more than five times higher than LEDs built on other materials. This means a lot of light comes from a very small source, resulting in a narrow beam that can be controlled to crisply illuminate any area with a single shadow.
For more information on Soraa’s LED lamps, visit: www.soraa.com.