ERCO Lights Sensitive Relics & Artifacts In Sanxingdui Archaeological Museum

Nestled in Guanghan City, Sichuan Province, China, the Sanxingdui Museum stands as a testament to the rich cultural heritage and archaeological discoveries unearthed at the Sanxingdui site. The site holds a significant place in the study of ancient Chinese civilization, and the museum is renowned for its impressive collection of bronze masks, jade artifacts, and pottery, providing a captivating glimpse into the unique culture of the ancient civilization during the late Neolithic period. To illuminate these precious artifacts with the utmost care and precision, ERCO luminaires were chosen due to high quality performance and their contribution to cultural protection through lighting.

Precise Illumination: Bringing Artifacts to Life

ERCO meticulously evaluates the potential damage factors of its light sources, ensuring that cultural relics are safeguarded from the detrimental effects of light radiation. This dedication to protection aligns seamlessly with the museum's mission to preserve and showcase the Sanxingdui artifacts for generations to come. The Sanxingdui Archaeological Museum is a vast and complex space, with a wide variety of exhibits. The lighting designers were faced with the challenge of creating a lighting scheme that would meet the specific needs of each exhibit, while also maintaining a sense of coherence and unity throughout the museum.

The project had a tight construction schedule which meant a shorter lead time and higher uncertainties. Due to that, the lighting designer proposed a "change-tolerant" concept. This adaptable approach involved utilizing luminaires with interchangeable lenses, allowing for beam angle adjustments without the need for fixture replacements. This level of flexibility allows for effortless adjustments to accommodate changing exhibition layouts and lighting requirements. Furthermore, the implementation of Casambi Bluetooth control technology empowered the team to fine-tune the lighting intensity without disrupting the delicate artifacts.

High color rendering index (CRI) for accurate artifact representation

The showcases are lit with ERCO Parscan 48V spotlights in size XS, drawing visitors to the intricate details of the artifacts. These versatile luminaires deliver precise beam control and adjustable light intensity, ensuring that each artifact is illuminated evenly and effectively. The Parscan accessories also allow curators and the museum maintenance team to adjust the light distribution as needed. The carefully controlled lighting eliminates glare and harsh shadows, allowing for the creation of dramatic contrasts and subtle nuances that accentuate the unique features of each piece.

In addition to the beam control and flexibility, the high colour rendering index (CRI) of the Parscan 48V spotlights accurately reproduce the colors of the artifacts. This is especially important for the bronze masks, where the rich hues and intricate details that were once veiled in obscurity now emerge with newfound vibrancy.

Beyond the artifacts themselves, Parscan 48V and Optec spotlights enhance the overall ambiance of the exhibition space. The carefully controlled contrast levels create a sense of drama and intrigue, guiding visitors through a captivating narrative of ancient Chinese civilization. The flexibility of track lighting empowers the museum maintenance team to effortlessly adjust the position of the luminaires or seamlessly add, remove, or replace them as required.

The harmonious interplay of ERCO's lighting solutions and the Sanxingdui artifacts has transformed the museum into a captivating sanctuary of ancient Chinese history. The precise illumination accentuates the textures and details of the artifacts, revealing their hidden beauty and captivating visitors with their enigmatic allure. The lighting design has masterfully transformed the museum into a stage where the history comes alive, illuminating a chapter of human history that continues to fascinate and inspire.

Project data

  • Project:                        Sanxingdui Museum, Guanghan City, Sichuan / China
  • Architecture:                Liu Yi / CSWADI (China Southwest Architectural Design and Research Institute Corp. Ltd), Chengdu / China
  • Lighting design:            iLicht Lighting Engineering Design (Chengdu) Co., Ltd., Chengdu / China
  • Photography:                Studio SZ / Justin Szeremeta, Shanghai / China
  • Products:                     ERCO track, Parscan 48V, Optec, Quintessence

Photo credits:               © ERCO GmbH,, photography: Studio SZ / Justin Szeremeta  

About ERCO

ERCO is an international specialist for high-quality and digital architectural lighting. The family-owned company, founded in 1934, operates globally in 55 countries with independent sales organisations and partners.

ERCO understands light as the fourth dimension of architecture – and thus as an integral part of sustainable building. Light is the contribution to making society and architecture better and, at the same time, preserving our environment. ERCO Greenology® – the corporate strategy for sustainable lighting – combines ecological responsibility with technological expertise.

At the light factory in Lüdenscheid, Germany, ERCO develops, designs and manufactures luminaires with a focus on photometric optics, electronics and sustainable design. The lighting tools are developed in close collaboration with architects, lighting designers and electrical designers. They are used primarily in the following applications: Work and Culture, Community and Public/Outdoor, Contemplation, Living, Shop and Hospitality. ERCO lighting experts support designers worldwide in transforming their projects into reality with highly precise, efficient and sustainable lighting solutions.

If you require any further information on ERCO or image material, please visit us at We can also provide you with material on projects worldwide for your media coverage.