National Mall Getting New Energy-Efficient LED Lights

WASHINGTON -- While Congress may be trying to dim the federal incandescent bulb ban, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar is getting ready to brighten up the National Mall. This Monday, 173 LED lighting retrofit kits will replace the National Mall's old illuminators in a move toward greater environment efficiency.

According to the Trust for the National Mall, this move will reduce the lighting energy use by an estimated 65 percent.

The project united the Trust for the National Mall, the Department of the Interior and the National Park Service, in a combined mission to make the National Mall "role model in sustainable urban park development," according to Bob Vogel, the superintendent of the National Mall and memorial parks.

Ultimately, assistance from outside the government helped the project a reality. Private-sector lighting company Osram Sylvania donated all the required bulbs and the retrofit kits for the new lighting scheme. D.C.'s own Pepco electric utility installed all the bulbs pro bono with its overhead line crews.

The new lights will stretch from 3rd Street to 15th Street -- roughly the area between the Capitol Reflecting Pool and the Washington Monument -- to provide a brighter atmosphere for the National Mall's 25 million annual visitors.