Statue Of Liberty Receives LED Makeover

For 129 years, the Statue of Liberty has towered over New York Harbor as a symbol of freedom. In July, a lighting change gave the iconic landmark a brighter look.

On July 7, at sunset, the Statue of Liberty was illuminated for the first time with light-emitting diode (LED) technology, thanks to a donation by Musco Lighting, Oskaloosa, Iowa. Musco has been involved in lighting many national landmarks in the past, including the Washington Monument, Mount Rushmore, and the White House.

Musco has been working to improve the statue’s lighting since Hurricane Sandy in 2012, after which the company helped install a temporary system. The permanent LED solution increases brightness while reducing energy consumption and light pollution.

“We are thrilled with Musco’s outstanding donation,” said John Piltzecker, superintendent of the Statue of Liberty National Monument and Ellis Island, in a press release. “The good lighting practices that have been initiated will result in energy efficiency and enhance the experience of millions of people who view Lady Liberty from New York Harbor in the evening hours.”

The statue’s lighting has changed several times in the past century. It began with a floodlight system in 1916, and, in the years since, it has been illuminated by incandescent floodlights, mercury vapor lamps and other types. Until Hurricane Sandy, the system was housed in below-ground light wells. Musco’s new system is a complete makeover, and it should have the monument looking better than ever.

“After the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, we were honored to bring the monument back to light with our temporary system,” said Joe Crookham, president, Musco Lighting. “With the new permanent system in place, we continue our partnership with the National Park [Service] and our shared commitment to bringing good lighting practices to the nation’s parks.”

About the Author

Matthew Kraus

Matthew Kraus is director of communications at NECA and previously was senior editor of ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR for five years. He can be reached at

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