Case Study: Following the Sage of Monticello's Legacy

Since the 1960s, the Thomas Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C., has been illuminated around-the-clock by high-wattage incandescent lamps—not the most apropos tribute to one of America's greatest innovators...


Since the 1960s, the Thomas Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C., has been illuminated around-the-clock by high-wattage incandescent lamps-not the most apropos tribute to one of America's greatest innovators.

Last September, on the 200thanniversary of Jefferson's inauguration as the third president of the United States, the National Park Service decided it was time for a more energy-efficient exterior lighting scheme.

'The replacement of dated incandescent lighting with new, lower watt, energy-efficient products clearly illustrates the advancements that have been made in architectural lighting,' says Arnold Goldstein, National Park Service Superintendent for the monuments and memorials. In fact, nearly an 80% savings is expected. 'The original energy requirement at the memorial was over 125,000 watts. The new design requires a little over 25,000 watts to produce the same levels of light.' A modern design

The lighting design, which was created by New York City-based design consultants Mintz Lighting, utilizes high-intensity-discharge (HID) metal-halide lamps throughout the interior and exterior.

In areas where it is not convenient to regularly change lamps, long-lasting lamps that have a normal life expectancy of nearly 11 years were also installed.

In addition, more than 17,000 LEDs-which consume virtually no energy and last up to 100,000 hours-have been mounted around the interior circumference of the memorial's dome, illuminating the famed anti-tyranny text inscribed near the 19-ft.-tall statue of the author of the Declaration of Independence. Thanks to this subtle, daylight-quality effect, the inscription is now fully visible even at night.

Other improvements included the installation of new lighting controls, as well as the relocation of some outdated exterior lighting poles into positions that take into account both the capabilities of the new lamps and the maturation of landscaping surrounding the rotunda.

For more information on HID lamps and LED lighting systems from Osram Sylvania, visit our reader service site at and enter # 101 for March 2002.

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