The new lighting is made possible by a $25,676 American Recovery and
Reinvestment Act grant through the Illinois Capital Development
Board, with $25,676 in matching funds provided through the Abraham
Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation.
"As the only U.S. president to hold a patent, Abraham Lincoln was
always interested in the latest innovations of his time and
personally tested some inventions developed during the Civil War. He
would no doubt be delighted that the latest technology of the 21st
century is being used to save energy and prolong the life of the
museum built in his honor," said Illinois State Historian Dr. Thomas
The presidential museum has replaced high-energy-use incandescent
lighting with more efficient light-emitting diode lighting in the
waiting area for the "Ghosts of the Library" show and in the two
exhibit journeys. The staff is also ready to replace similar
high-energy-use light fixtures with LED lighting to illuminate the
museum's gift shop, the waiting area outside the Union Theater, the
Illinois Gallery and the central plaza mural.
LED lighting provides the same light levels for the visitor
experience while using significantly less energy. In addition, LED
lights need to be replaced less frequently, operate at a cooler
temperature and do not produce mural-fading ultraviolet light.
Over the expected 10-year life of the LED lights, the museum
expects to save more than $293,000 in energy costs, a reduction of
approximately 272,500 kilowatt hours of energy usage per year.
Because of this expected energy savings, the payback on the LED
installation will be about 10 months, and since the LED lights
produce no ultraviolet light, they will not cause fading on the
original painted sky mural in the central plaza area.
According to the U.S. EPA Clean Energy Greenhouse Gas
Equivalencies Calculator, this energy savings is equivalent to
eliminating the emissions from 34 passenger vehicles, or the carbon
dioxide produced by burning 20,001 gallons of gasoline, or the
greenhouse gases produced by heating 21.6 homes for one year.
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In addition, LED lights produce much less heat than incandescent
bulbs, which will allow the museum's air-conditioning system to
operate more efficiently. The reduced heat load on the
air-conditioning system is the equivalent of removing 15 tons of
cooling from the museum.
The presidential museum is examining other potential uses for the
latest "green" technology in other areas of the building.
The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum, which welcomes an
average of 425,000 visitors per year and is the nation's most
visited presidential library-museum complex, is open every day
except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day. Its immersive
exhibits and engaging theatrical productions provide visitors with
an educational, emotional and enjoyable experience as they take part
in a journey of discovery about Lincoln's life and legacy. Visit
for more information about the museum and the adjacent Abraham
Lincoln Presidential Library.
[Text from the
Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum]