US’s third president to use energy efficient lighting

The Thomas Jefferson Memorial, in Washington DC, will have a new high-tech, energy-efficient lighting system from September, resulting in an 80% cut in energy use.


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Work on the new lighting is due to start next month, and will reach parts of the memorial not previously illuminated by the now out of date 1960s and 1970s system of high wattage incandescent lamps and high pressure sodium lamps. The new system, for which over US$800,000 was donated by Osram Sylvania, to mark the 100th anniversary of the company and the 200th of the inauguration of Thomas Jefferson, will consist of high-intensity halide lamps as the primary light source, with more than 12,000 light emitting diodes (LEDs) placed inside a narrow ledge around the dome base, illuminating the third president’s words on independence and freedom.

The memorial, which currently receives two million visitors per year, was opened to the public in 1943, but remained unlit for around 20 years. “The public will see the memorial as never before, thanks to this generous donation from Sylvania and the National Park Foundation which will allow the National Park Service to showcase this historic icon while substantially improving energy efficiency, public safety and the Park Service’s ability to sustain and care for the memorial,” said Arnold Goldstein, National Park Superintendent for the monuments and memorials in Washington DC.

“The new lighting for the Jefferson Memorial, with Sylvania lighting products, as well as fixtures and control systems that will become part of the overall schematic, is a fitting project as our birthday gift to America,” said Dean T Langford, President and CEO of Osram Sylvania. “It’s a perfect fit with our legacy of lighting, standing in testimony to our first 100 profitable years in the lighting industry, setting the course for our second century, and providing a public service for the millions of Greater Washington residents and tourists who pass by and visit this marble landmark every year.”

A ceremony in September will be used to showcase the freshly illuminated memorial.

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