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Dynamic New Lighting for Submarine Exhibit

In June 2011, the Naval Historical Foundation cut the ribbon on the brand new Covert Submarine Operations exhibit, at the Cold War Gallery, Washington Navy Yard (see photos of the ceremony, which was attended by CNO Admiral Jonathan Greenert, on our Flickr page). The exhibit is the latest display built by the Foundation on behalf of the National Museum of the United States Navy, and it is now open to the public with advance notice. Even though the exhibit is complete, we continue to tweak it to ensure that it is a first class museum experience. This latest tweak occurred as a result of a visit by Naval Historical Foundation Advisory Council member Bran Ferren. Ferren, who is a co-founder and Chief Creative Officer of Applied Minds and was the former president of research and development of Walt Disney Imagineering, had toured the exhibit with NHF Chairman Admiral Bruce DeMars. Ferren made several constructive suggestions for the Cold War Gallery, such as this water-effects lighting, that will greatly enhance the visitor experience. This latest effect was installed in September. Working with Design and Production, Incorporated (D&P), the organization that installed the exhibit in the first half of 2011, we installed Ferren’s eye-catching new solution that greets visitors as they approach the exhibit.

By using a series of ceiling mounted lights, we can now simulate the effect of light reflecting off water. These reflections bounce off the massive submarine sail at the entrance to the exhibit. The short video clip below shows the effect in action. In addition to this new lighting on the submarine sail, we also installed new lighting to brighten the “Life on Board” section of the exhibit, and added new short video loops playing on two of the monitors in the exhibit.


To take a virtual tour of the Cold War Gallery, please visit If you are interested in visiting the Cold War Gallery, please call the National Museum of the United States Navy in advance to arrange your visit.

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