The Washington Monument
Architectural Lighting Installation

The Washington Monument towers just towers over 178 feet above the Mount Vernon neighborhood in Baltimore City. When the conservators of the almost 200 year old monument decided a multi-million dollar renovation was needed, they turned to Image Engineering to design and install new exterior lighting that would showcase the brand new facade and other architectural improvements at night.

First and foremost, the illumination had to be distributed uniformly – no hot spots. Accomplishing this would present certain challenges due to the monument’s cylindrical shape. A custom lensing solution was developed to evenly distribute the light across the entire surface of the column. Next, the actual fixtures could not be visible from street level, as not to interfere with the landmark’s aesthetics. Finally, the management of the entire lighting system needed to be designed to allow for remote monitoring and control of the lights.

Once illuminated by old metal halide fixtures, the new color mixing LED fixtures have allowed the monument to achieve a custom “egg shell” white that highlights the fine details of the masonry at night. The new lighting capabilities go into overdrive once a year during the annual “Lighting of the Washington Monument” when the LED fixtures project fanciful colors onto the monument to signal the start of the holiday season.

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