Cathedral Caverns State Park is receiving a grant from the National Park Foundation to support renovations of the cave’s lighting system. The $9,625 grant will be used to purchase LED lighting to replace older incandescent lights in the cave. “We will now be able to make necessary renovations inside the cave and finish a project we started last year,” said Park Manager Lamar Pendergrass.
LEDs, or light-emitting diodes, are increasingly being used instead of incandescent or florescent lights for a number of reasons, the main one being energy efficiency. LEDs emit more light per watt than incandescent bulbs, and their efficiency is not affected by shape and size, unlike florescent bulbs or tubes. LEDs also have a long lifetime, radiate little heat, and can be designed to focus light better than incandescents or flourescents, which is beneficial inside a show cave like Cathedral Caverns.
Cathedral Caverns has begun converting the existing lighting to LEDs. “We have already noticed a decrease in our power bill, just from the 200 lights we’ve replaced,” said Pendergrass. “We hope to cut our power consumption in half after all the new lighting is installed.” The conversion is expected to be completed by September 2012.
The grant is part of the National Park Foundation’s Impact Grant program, which gives parks and other significant areas the financial support needed to transform innovative, yet underfunded ideas into successful on-site programs and initiatives.