Seeing Hoover Dam in a Whole New Light

One of the nation's most impressive national landmarks just became even more energy-efficient and aesthetically appealing, thanks to a recent lighting retrofit. For the past 30 years, Hoover Dam, a massive man-made structure saddling Nevada and Arizona across the Colorado River, has sported a yellowish glow—a result of high-pressure sodium fixtures.

07/01/2001


One of the nation's most impressive national landmarks just became even more energy-efficient and aesthetically appealing, thanks to a recent lighting retrofit.

For the past 30 years, Hoover Dam, a massive man-made structure saddling Nevada and Arizona across the Colorado River, has sported a yellowish glow—a result of high-pressure sodium fixtures.

But now that the 64 lamps formerly illuminating the dam have been replaced with 32 metal-halide fixtures, energy use has dropped 23 percent, and the dam wall now bathes in an attractive white light.

In addition to the impressive color rendering offered by the 1,000-watt metal-halide fixtures, the lamps provide better efficiencies due to a smaller outer jacket, better control and improved fixture optics.

"We have received numerous positive comments on this new lighting system," notes Harvey W. Boyce, a public utilities specialist with the U.S. Department of the Interior Bureau of Reclamation. "In this era of electric power shortages in the Western states, every kilowatt-hour saved by reducing our plant losses provides more energy to our consumers."

As the second largest producer of hydroelectric power in the United States, each of Hoover Dam's 17 generators has the capacity to power 100,000 homes. The generators are utilized to send electricity as far away as Los Angeles, through 2,700 miles of transmission lines.





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