National Mall Lighting Gets LED Retrofit

In Washington, DC, The Trust for the National Mall, in partnership with OSRAM SYLVANIA and utility company Pepco launched the installation of LED lights on the National Mall from 3rd to 15th Streets earlier this month. The installation of 173 LED lighting retrofit kits is expected to reduce lighting energy use by nearly 60%.

“Through the generosity of OSRAM SYLVANIA and Pepco, we are directly advancing the National Mall Plan’s call for sustainable, yet respectful, enhancements to the National Mall,” said Caroline Cunningham, President of the Trust for the National Mall. “This project is an outstanding example of the power of our public/private partnership.” The Trust for the National Mall is the official non-profit partner of the National Park Service dedicated to restoring and improving the National Mall.

In 2001, OSRAM SYLVANIA illuminated the Jefferson Memorial with energy efficient lighting that included LED technology. Ten years later, the company has contributed new bulbs, along with the equipment to make the LED bulbs fit into the historic fixtures that line the elm walks along the Mall. In order to relieve pressure on the Park Service staff, who would have been responsible for installation, Pepco overhead line crews (complete with hybrid bucket trucks) are installing the bulbs pro bono. The original historic Olmsted streetlights were installed by Pepco in 1936 as part of the federal reconstruction and beautification of the National Mall.

“The National Mall Plan calls for the National Mall to be a ‘role model in sustainable urban park development’,” said Bob Vogel, the Superintendent of the National Mall and Memorial Parks. “Our partnership with the Trust, and the generosity of their private sector partners, has allowed us to take a significant step in that direction.”

The SYLVANIA LED Retrofit Kit for Outdoor Area Lighting replaces the high intensity discharge (HID) and compact fluorescent (CFL) technology currently located on the National Mall. This improves the area by providing a better lit, more welcoming and secure atmosphere for visitors after dark. The Kit ensured the historic architectural integrity of the original fittings while providing all of the benefits of LED technology. The existing streetlight posts are made of fluted bronze and stand 21′ tall. The light fixtures are made of cast iron and weigh approximately 300 pounds each. The Pepco crews are removing the existing mercury vapor light bulbs, cleaning the glass lamps, and installing the new LED lights.

Installation work is ongoing through December 1st, and the Trust and the Park Service will host an official lighting ceremony shortly thereafter.