The actor’s foundation urged LACMA to reduce its carbon footprint with energy-efficient bulbs.
Henri Neuendorf, February 13, 2018
Chris Burden’s Urban Light (2008) outside of LACMA. Courtesy of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
Chris Burden’s Urban Light installation just got a green makeover courtesy of actor Leonardo DiCaprio. The Hollywood star has convinced the Los Angeles County Museum of Art to swap the work’s 309 incandescent lights with more energy-efficient LED bulbs.
The installation on Wilshire Boulevard, outside the museum’s entrance, consists of 202 vintage street lamps taken from 17 different cities and municipalities in southern California. The work has become a symbol of the museum since it was donated to LACMA in 2008.
The change will cut the artwork’s energy consumption by 90 percent and will save more than 3 million kilowatt hours of electricity over the next decade, enough to power 295 average-sized American homes for a year, according to the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, which is dedicated to environmental causes. Just by switching the light bulbs, the museum is preventing the release of 5.2 million pounds of carbon dioxide, which is equivalent to burning 2.5 million pounds of coal, or 265,718 gallons of gasoline. The energy savings can also be compared to growing 61,199 trees for 10 years, the foundation says.