Two of Frank Lloyd Wright’s historic estates are being updated with super efficient LEDs as part of an overall effort to reduce energy use, while keeping true to Wright’s vision. Taliesin West and Taliesin, located in Arizona and Wisconsin, respectively, are gaining over 2,000 LEDs in the upgrade. After an energy audit of the property, caretakers learned that they could offset the utility costs by 51 percent by providing more energy efficient lighting. After an extensive search for new lighting that would keep the look and feel of the property in alignment with the Wright’s vision, OSRAM Sylvania was selected to supply the cost-effective lighting upgrade.
The careful review of the homes’ lighting systems is part of a larger effort to make the property net zero for energy usage, which we have covered in the past. Specific to the lighting, designers had three questions to answer as they considered the available options. Firstly, they sought lights that would keep the warm, incandescent feel that is characteristic to the design of the home. Secondly, they wanted to reduce the energy usage in alignment with the broader net zero goal. And lastly, they hoped the new lighting would help reduce maintenance and operating costs, since higher efficiency lighting last much longer so less time is spent changing lightbulbs.
Sylvania has donated more than 1,000 LED lamps and many have already been installed at both properties. At Taliesin West alone, the new bulbs are expected to translate into a 60 percent energy savings.
Jim Sultan, studio manager and senior lighting designer at Studio Lux, the firm responsible for the property’s lighting, believes that Wright himself would approve of this move, saying, “he would totally embrace the concept of updating the lighting system using the latest technology” while keeping the architectural form intact. Check out this time-lapse photo of Taliesin West from day to night and decide for yourself.