The Anchorage Museum launched its Land Marks Series exhibit on May 11 with the opening of Terra. Terra is a wall installation in the museum’s atrium made of modular LED light panels from Canadian company Nanoleaf. In addition to offering color changing lights, the system presents digital and moving images of frozen landscapes and wildlife to viewers.
With the installation the Anchorage Museum decided to take a new approach of using off-the-shelf technology to provide content. The accessibility of such content is what museum curators find exciting. The project opens the door to conversation, meditation, education, exploration, and awareness of the Arctic.
Terra employs almost 1,200 of Nanoleaf’s triangular, color-changing, LED light panels called Aurora panels. The Aurora light panels are available at retail outlets or online. Users can control the panels with their mobile devices and verbal commands.
While most Aurora units are used as a light-based design elements for a home or business, the museum, worked with Nanoleaf Canada Limited, in programming the panels to enable the lights to show still and moving images with triangular lights serving as enormous pixels.
Anchorage Museum Media and Tech Team Creates Software to Display Images
Using Nanoleaf’s application programming interface, the Anchorage Museum’s media and technology team wrote the software application to control the light panels to incorporate still and moving images.
Also, the museum’s design team constructed 28 sheet metal panels to secure the 1,188 triangle-shaped lights for the installation, which spans 57 feet 11 inches wide and six feet six inches high.
Nanoleaf says that Terra is the largest installation of its Aurora panels to date. (The previous record was a 500-panel installation in a renovated bar in Mumbai.) Furthermore, the company says that the display is the first to integrate digital images and film. The display shows low-resolution pictures of polar bears, sunsets, and the Aurora Borealis.