A.C. Lighting’s

Projects division recently completed the specialist supply and installation of gallery lighting for London's Natural History Museum’s new T. rex: The Killer Question exhibition.

The exhibition bases its killer question on new scientific evidence which suggests the T. rex may not have been capable of killing for food at all, but that it relied on prey already killed and partly devoured by other predatory dinosaurs. Visitors are given the chance to compare the T. rex as a red-faced scavenger with the more familiar roaring, predatory T. rex to make their own decision about how T. rex lived.

A.C. were awarded the contract after supplying a very cost-effective solution which required minimal upgrading of the existing gallery fixtures to accomplish all theatrical lighting aspects of the brief.

Throughout the build, project manager Ray Dolby worked closely with the exhibition’s designer, Trista Quenzer, to ensure that the lighting brought the right atmosphere and dramatic feel to each particular scene.

Effects used included patterned gobos to give static model displays a theatrical feel and enhance their minimal scenery. Timed lighting sequences were also used to help reveal information and unfold the story. Directional uplighting of skeleton bone structures was used to create eerie shadowing effects on the surrounding surfaces and to emphasise size differences between dinosaur species. For animatronic models providing their own dynamism, strong shadows and color were used to enhance the menacing and gorey aspects of these scenes.

Trista Quenzer, the exhibition’s designer, commented “I am extremely pleased with the result in the exhibition. Ray Dolby came up with a realistic solution to my brief and imaginatively used a limited budget. The A.C. team were a very professional, friendly group who worked with us to a tight installation deadline. They were always willing to demonstrate different fittings and experiment to achieve the effects I required.”