After five years of restoration, modernization and seismic retrofitting, the historic Rotunda building of the Los Angeles County Natural History Museum in July 2010 reopened with a new face and a whole new set of lighting—decorative LED bulbs supplied by Torrance, California–based LEDtronics, Inc.
The DEC–G25F–style frosted globe lamps were used as accent lighting all around the inside perimeter of the Rotunda. The complete installed set of 1–watt LED bulbs only consumes about 160 watts, compared to the 2,240 watts that would otherwise be consumed had the architect designed in a similar set of standard 14–watt G25 incandescent bulbs.
The LED bulbs were installed not only to reduce energy consumption and improve light quality but also to reduce maintenance costs. Incandescent bulbs would
go out often and the poor accessibility made replacing them difficult. Based on the LED’s 50,000–hour operational lifetime and the museum’s weekly hours of operation, maintenance teams will need to replace the LEDtronics lights only about once every 15–plus years.
Renovation of the 97–year–old Beaux Arts–inspired building was part of a multi-phase, $107–million project that included the modernization of the electrical system to support multimedia presentations and events, improve climate control and enhance exhibition lighting in an energy–efficient manner. Modernizing of the lighting system involved a retrofit from incandescent light fixtures with custom–manufactured LED systems without compromising the historical integrity of the original fixtures, notably in the Rotunda. The museum is the largest in the western United States, and its collections include nearly 35 million specimens and artifacts and cover 4.5 billion years of history.