Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Chris Burden, Urban Light, 2008, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The Gordon Family Foundation's gift to "Transformation: The LACMA Campaign" © 2018 Chris Burden / licensed by The Chris Burden Estate and Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo © Museum Associates/LACMA

In honor of the 10th anniversary of Chris Burden’s Urban Light at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation is proud to announce our support of the exhibit’s replacement of all 309 incandescent light bulbs with LED bulbs. This retrofit will result in approximately 90% in power savings for LACMA while also reducing emissions of greenhouse gases and other harmful pollutants. 

Situated on Wilshire Boulevard at the museum’s entrance, the sculpture incorporates 202 vintage street lamps of 17 different designs from various cities in and around the Los Angeles area. Urban Light joined LACMA’s collection in February 2008 as a gift from the Gordon Family Foundation to “Transformation: The LACMA Campaign.” 

LDF is excited to partner with LACMA to not only support the conservation of such an iconic sculpture, but to also introduce an energy efficiency solution that will produce real benefits to LACMA and our planet. 

The switch from incandescent light bulbs to LED bulbs in Urban Light will save approximately 3,173,047 kilowatt hours of electricity over the next 10 years, which is enough to power about 295 average American homes in a year. Additionally, this reduced energy demand will prevent the release of 5,206,074 pounds of carbon dioxide equivalent, which is equivalent to preventing greenhouse gas emissions from burning 2,583,627 pounds of coal or consuming 265,718 gallons of gasoline. Conversely, this can also be imagined as the carbon captured by planting 61,199 trees and letting them grow for 10 years. 

During the museum’s visiting hours, Urban Light is experienced by over 1.5 million ticket holders annually, countless after-hours visitors and has contributed greatly to LACMA being the fourth most geotagged museum in the world. An immeasurable amount of graduations, engagements, quinceañeras and family photos have been taken with Urban Light as the backdrop including Mayor Eric Garcetti’s “Welcome to Los Angeles” campaign seen by over 40 million annual visitors to the Los Angeles International Airport.

By replacing all 309 incandescent light bulbs in Urban Light to LED light bulbs, LACMA will realize significant energy and environmental benefits over the coming years. That is as many light bulbs as can be found in 10 American households, which, on average, still favor the use of incandescent light bulbs over LED light bulbs for indoor lighting. Though cost savings will differ by region, energy reduction and subsequent environmental benefits can be achieved by households that switch to LED light bulbs. 

In fact, changing a light bulb is one of the easiest, and most direct ways individuals can take action in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Have you made the switch yet?

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