Trade Ally Network Northwest

Arts Nonprofit Brightens Studio Experience

Case Studies |

Artists need good lighting to pursue their craft, whether they’re established professionals or emerging talents. Teton Arts Council, a nonprofit arts organization in Idaho’s Teton Valley, was frustrated by its poor interior lighting and the impact on program participants. With help from its local utility, the small nonprofit invested in an energy-efficient lighting upgrade to transform the space and the user experience.

The Teton Arts Council’s purpose is to make arts education affordable and accessible for area residents of all ages. Housed in an approximately 2,500-square-foot facility, the nonprofit offers classes in pottery, drawing/painting, printmaking and stained glass. Pre-pandemic, the building also functioned as a community center, where people would gather for classes and open studio nights.

“Quality of experience is important to us,” said Greg Meyers, executive director, Teton Arts Council. “We want our members and students to enjoy coming here so they’ll continue to return.”

“We received constant complaints about the lighting,” he continued. “It was so bad that many of our members wore headlamps or used clip-on table lamps to better see their work.”

Working with Fall River Rural Electric Cooperative and a local contractor, Teton Arts Council upgraded the lighting in its ceramic studio from high-bay metal halide to high-bay LEDs. The result is a dramatic change from what was previously installed. The light quality, lumen level and light distribution have all been improved, and the space is more attractive and usable. Utility incentives covered 50% of the project cost, and reduced energy use will save an estimated $500 in annual energy costs.

“The efficiency of the lights is wonderful,” said Meyers, “but the quality of the experience is fantastic. I wish we’d done it sooner!”