Lighting Research Center
LRC Intranet Web mail Lighting Research Center

LRC News

Winter 2011
Elegant Pairing of Music and Light

Steinway pianoLRC DesignWorks was selected by piano manufacturer Steinway & Sons for technical consultation on the lighting of a model B Grand ‘Concept’ Piano that was unveiled at a Chicago exhibit in the fall of 2010.

Steinway & Sons is where the rarest, most beautiful, most acoustically superior, hand-crafted instruments have been built for more than 150 years. Just as light touches everything, designing with light knows no barriers. With that in mind, Steinway decided to introduce a new feature into their already unique instruments—accent their artistry using discrete, new technologies in lighting.

LRC DesignWorks made recommendations for low profile lighting equipment to illuminate interior walls that outline the piano (to be made of rare Kewazinga Bubinga wood), sound holes, and soundboard, with the Steinway & Sons logo on the fallboard.

The challenge was to design a cordless, battery-powered system, as there could be no visible wires if the piano was to be on display without access to electricity.

Because of recent research and advances in technology, objects can be accented as never before. The world of solid-state lighting, specifically light-emitting diodes (LEDs), allows lighting to reach the smallest of spaces, render colors and rich wood tones well, all while resisting vibration and minimizing heat radiation. The beautiful pianos of Steinway & Sons may lead the way in the elegant pairing of music and light. For images of the concept piano, visit

LRC DesignWorks provides cutting-edge lighting design solutions, effectively pairing advanced research with dynamic design concepts. Design is rooted in multidisciplinary research, and this program critically addresses the personal, environmental, and economic needs of contemporary society. To learn about the program and other LRC DesignWorks projects, visit

About the Lighting Research Center

The Lighting Research Center (LRC) is part of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute of Troy, N.Y., and is the leading university-based research center devoted to lighting. The LRC offers the world's premier graduate education in lighting, including one- and two-year master's programs and a Ph.D. program. Since 1988 the LRC has built an international reputation as a reliable source for objective information about lighting technologies, applications, and products. The LRC also provides training programs for government agencies, utilities, contractors, lighting designers, and other lighting professionals. Visit

Contact:lrcnewsletter@rpi.eduPhotos & Graphics:Dennis Guyon
Editor:Mary CimoWeb Production:Dennis Guyon
Contributing Writers:Jennifer Taylor, Mary Cimo, Dennis Guyon
  Newsroom Home
  Press Releases
  Project Sheets
  LRC Experts
  Quick Facts
  About Us
  Contact Us