EcoMod® 2 highlight historical Wisconsin Capitol Dome

Completion Date: April 6, 2019
Lighting Rep: Elan Lighting
Location: Madison, WI

Project Details

Sitting in the heart of downtown Madison, Wisconsin in between Lake Mendota and Lake Monona is the beautiful State Capitol Building. Rebuilt in 1917, the building sits on 13.5 acres and stands 284.4 feet high from the ground floor to the top of the statue on the dome.

The capitol building has been lit from day one, beginning with old search lights, then upgrading to tougher, marine grade metal halide fixtures produced by Phoenix Lighting, and now retrofit with durable, long-lasting LEDs.

The building’s old metal halide fixtures were reaching end of life and causing increased maintenance as lamps aged and failed. The lights were also making the dome look an odd greenish color rather than the historical white due to the chemical degradation of the elements inside the MH lamps arch tube.

Switching to LED was a no brainer, but lighting a historical landmark with the size of the Wisconsin Capitol dome had its own set of considerations. For one, any replacement fixtures would need to be tough and durable to withstand a Wisconsin winter. Secondly, the fixtures would need to have flexible mounting options and a beam powerful enough to throw light approximately 300 ft high. Lastly, the capitol wanted to reduce the number of fixtures and reduce lighting pollution to make the dome really stand out without upsetting the growing number of commercial and residential ‘neighbors’ in downtown Madison.

48 old Phoenix “Long Beam” fixtures were replaced with just 40 Phoenix EcoMod®2 LED floodlights. The EcoMod® 2s are certified for wet location, marine grade, and are tested and proven to withstand the harshest conditions. The fixtures, all custom painted white to match the coloring of the building, have a color temperature of 4000K creating a beautiful  consistent white. Additionally, a very narrow spot optic was chosen in order to reduce lighting pollution and illuminate the dome evenly and stategically. The luminaires consume just 270 watts and offer a 50,000 hour lifetime, which will generate significant energy and maintenance savings over the legacy metal halides.


  • Projected annual kWh saved: 72,562 kWh
  • Projected annual energy and maintenance savings: $10,084 (61% YoY)
  • Projected 15 year operating costs savings: $151,266 (61% savings)

Interested in more? Watch an interview with the Capitol!

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