EcoMod® 2 Aids Restoration of Century-Old Basilica

Completion Date: 09/19/2019
Lighting Rep: Elan Lighting
Location: Milwaukee, WI

Project Details

Built in 1901, the Basilica of St. Josaphat is one of the most architecturally significant buildings – not only in Milwaukee, but the entire country. The catholic church reserves the basilica status for only the largest, most beautiful, and most historically important churches. At 214 ft (65 m) tall, it remains one of the largest copper domes in the world.

In order to ensure that this Milwaukee landmark will be enjoyed for centuries to come, a major restoration project was initiated in 2016. As a part of this restoration, the parish decided to add a new visual element – lighting. Until now, the basilica had never been illuminated.


Because the Basilica had never been lit prior to the restoration, defining fixture placement, strength, and optics would be important for successful illumination. The lighting fixtures would need to be placed in discrete locations so as not to distract from the architectural qualities of the basilica. Yet, these fixtures would need to be powerful enough to cast an even light around the 80 ft wide and 200 ft tall dome.

Plus, selecting the proper combination of optics and color temperature would be necessary to compliment the structure’s fine details while evenly illuminating the dome’s unique shape.


Using Phoenix’s advanced lighting layouts to accurately plan their placement, 26 custom EcoMod® 2 LED floodlights were designed and installed around the dome. EcoMod 2 floodlights are certified for wet locations, utilize marine grade components, and are tested and proven to withstand the harshest conditions, like Wisconsin winters. The fixtures have a color temperature of 2700K, giving the basilica a warm white glow. The luminaires consume just 280 watts, offer a 50,000 hour lifetime, and can be dimmed to the desired light level. Additionally, EcoMod 2s require significantly less energy and maintenance than HID alternatives.

(Photo: Sophie Carson/ Milwaukee Journal Sentinel) Phoenix Lights Basilica of St. Josaphat
​(Photo: Sophie Carson/ Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)


The Basilica’s first illumination prompted a celebratory lighting ceremony which boasted many significant attendees including Milwaukee’s mayor Tom Barrett and Archbishop Jerome Listecki.

To read more about the effect of lighting the basilica and the resulting lighting ceremony, click here.

If you would like to explore options for your project, please contact us by clicking here.