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Portraits of Oklahoma heroes are under less heat at state Capitol

Traditional, heat-producing bulbs that shone over the four large portraits in the state Capitol have been replaced with cooler LED lighting.
BY MICHAEL MCNUTT Modified: March 22, 2013 at 10:34 pm •  Published: March 23, 2013

Old-fashioned, heat-producing bulbs that slowly were damaging the four large portraits surrounding the fourth-floor rotunda of the state Capitol have been replaced.

The last of the traditional 300-watt bulbs were replaced Friday with cooler LED lighting, part of an ongoing effort to replace all lighting on the Capitol's irreplaceable artwork, which includes murals, paintings and portraits.

Fixtures with the bulbs, which were similar to floodlights and the heat they produce, were replaced with two rows of light-emitting diodes. The entire fixture is 22 watts, said Jerry Shelton, sustainability coordinator for the state Office of Management and Enterprise Services' office of facility management.

The colors of the murals appear sharper and much brighter under the LED lights. Shadows caused by the old bulbs are gone on the portraits of former Gov. and U.S. Sen. Robert S. Kerr, Will Rogers, Sequoyah and Jim Thorpe.

“It's a wonderful change,” Shelton said. “When you're dealing with artwork, you want to make it look proper.”

The LED lights and fixture for each of the portraits cost $650; total cost was $2,600, Shelton said.

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