The Cathedral of the Assumption has been recognized as a runner-up in the Cool Congregations Challenge. The Challenge is a nation-wide contest sponsored by the national Interfaith Power and Light organization that evaluates a congregations sustainability in a several different categories. The Cathedral of the Assumption was awarded runner-up in the Energy Saver category for their work in retro fitting their campus with energy efficiency lighting.
Motivated by the environmentally conscientious ideas of the congregation the efficient lighting retrofit initiative grew under the leadership of facility manager Ken Garrett. One of the primary challenges facing the initiative was accommodating all the different lighting needs of a large campus which would require more nuance then a “one size fits all” approach.
The campus consists of a large sanctuary, a food kitchen and eating area that serves more than 100 meals daily, a multitude of office spaces and a rectory with living quarters. Many of these areas were additions made to the original church but constructed years apart from each other. Each had its own lighting style and needs.
Since the retrofit began the church has made great progress. Over 200 energy efficient bulbs, mostly LED, have been in various fixtures throughout the campus. In addition, the church has retrofitted seventy t12 fluorescent tube light fixtures with the more efficient t8 fixtures.
In 2016, the church took on their largest lighting challenge to date: the replacement of nearly 400 chandelier bulbs with their LED counterparts in the Cathedral’s historic sanctuary. The original construction of the church is over 170 years old and maintaining the aesthetic of the sanctuary was a primary concern in the retrofit.
The sanctuary at Cathedral of the Assumption is now retrofitted with LED filament bulbs.
After extensive research Ken Garrett identified LED filament bulbs as a good replacement. LED filaments, while used in Europe for several years, is an emerging technology in the US. The bulbs retain the look and warm color of traditional Edison style bulbs but with the same efficiency of standard LEDs. Additionally, the church was able to identify energy efficiency rebates that reduce the final costs of the bulbs by nearly two thirds. Today the sanctuary is illuminated in the same way it has always had been but at only about 15% of the original energy cost.