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Lighting the Path toward Energy Efficiency

The Obama Administration flipped the switch illuminating the capitol mall with energy efficient lighting.

As dusk set on January 30th Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and Energy Secretary Steven Chu flipped the switch illuminating the capitol mall with energy efficient lighting. The Mall's 174 lamps, originally installed in 1936, were retrofitted with light emitting diodes (LEDs). The LED lighting provides a brighter glow using less energy. 

National Mall

Tourists and joggers using the elm path, underneath the LED lighting, with the Capitol Building in the background.

Many cities have installed LEDs in public spaces and are already taking advantage of the benefits, and the Federal government continues to lead by example by installing LEDs and implementing other energy efficient measures.

The lighting installation on the Mall provides a 65 percent savings on electric bills and maintenance costs incurred by the National Park Service. The brighter light from the LEDs, as compared to the old bulbs, will also help to create a more secure park area.  

Energy Secretary Steven Chu noted that "Using energy-efficient LED light bulbs is an important way Americans can save money by saving energy." Secretary Chu also commented that "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." The bulbs are expected to last 25 years.

National Mall LED

Close up of one of the 174 LED Retrofit Kits for Outdoor Lighting on the National Mall.

View Slideshow: Flipping the Switch on LED Lighting for the National Mall.

Michelle Moore is Federal Environmental Executive at the White House Council on Environmental Quality