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LED lights installed in Oklahoma State Capitol

New LED lights were recently installed in the Oklahoma State Capitol to illuminate artwork honoring some of the state's heroes. According to The Oklahoman, 300-watt bulbs were replaced with the new fixtures on March 22 to keep the masterpieces cool. The capitol building houses irreplaceable portraits of former Governor and Senator Robert S. Kerr, Will Rogers, Jim Thorpe and Sequoyah, which were being damaged by excessive heat generated by the old lighting system. 

All bulbs were replaced by two rows of LED fixtures that do not produce much heat, making them the ideal solutions for the capitol's artwork. According to National Geographic, many lighting alternatives waste energy by generating heat. For instance, 90 percent of the energy produced by incandescent lights is heat. Over time, high temperatures degrade paintings and diminish their colors. 

Additionally, the new lights also provide a better experience for viewers because the colors are not muted and shadows have been eliminated. Jerry Shelton, sustainability coordinator for the state Office of Management and Enterprise Services' office of facility management, has noticed that the paintings are more vibrant. 

"It's a wonderful change. When you're dealing with artwork, you want to make it look proper," Shelton said. 

In total, the project only cost $2,600. The lights do not consume as much electricity as the older fixtures, so the monthly electricity savings will help the capitol recoup its investment in the near future. 

The upgrade highlights the benefits of using LED technology to illuminate priceless works of art. It's impossible to replace a masterpiece, so Shelton and his crew have ensured that the portraits of Oklahoma's heroes will remain intact. Museums and other facilities that store paintings should take note of the renovation. Additionally, buildings can use aluminum channels to hang their new fixtures and spotlight portraits. The channels can also reduce heat so that the lights will last longer.