Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, the National Park Service and the Trust for the National Mall hosted a ceremony on Jan. 30, 2012, to celebrate the installation of energy-efficient light-emitting diodes (LEDs) on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The LEDs, donated by Osram Sylvania and installed by Pepco, the electric utility that serves Washington, D.C., will reduce lighting energy use for the streetlamps by up to 65 percent.

“There is no more fitting place to build a model of energy efficiency than right here in America’s front yard, the National Mall, with the installation of these LED lights,” Salazar said.

“Investing in an American economy that is built to last includes taking advantage of all of America’s energy resources while working to improve efficiency. Installing these energy-efficient bulbs on the National Mall is an important demonstration of our commitment to partnering with the private sector to promote energy saving technologies,” Chu said.

Osram Sylvania contributed 174 LED lamps and the retrofit kits needed to install them in the historic bronze streetlamps that line the Mall from 3rd to 15th streets. The kits replaced the Mall’s high intensity discharge (HID) and compact fluorescent lamps.

The new LED technology provides a better-lit and more secure atmosphere for visitors after dark, while preserving the architectural integrity of the original fittings. The technology is not only brighter, but it lasts longer and saves on maintenance better than most conventional light sources. In fact, the park service will not have to replace these lamps for an estimated 25 years, lasting two to six times longer than HID lamps. The directional light distribution of high power LEDs allows the delivery of light only where needed, reducing wasted light and minimizing light trespass and upward emissions.

“The National Park Service is grateful for the generosity of Sylvania and Pepco, and for the support of the Trust for the National Mall. We are committed to promoting sustainability on the Mall and this project is helping us do that,” said Bob Vogel, superintendent of the National Mall and Memorial Parks.