Premier Lighting Case Study: LEDs Lighting up the Cathedral of St. Paul

new LED Lighting at the cathedral

Customer Profile:

The City of Saint Paul was known as the Pig’s Eye Settlement until in 1841, when the first Catholic priest in the area, Fr. Lucien Galtier, dedicated his log chapel on the bluff to Saint Paul, requesting that the settlement adopt the name as well. The Cathedral of Saint Paul is now a civic landmark and the mother church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Paul and Minneapolis. The cornerstone was laid on June 2, 1907. The first liturgy was held on Palm Sunday, March 28, 1915. Work continued on the interior for decades. On October 14, 1958, it was consecrated by Archbishop William O’Brady, securing it’s place among the premier houses of worship in the United States. It was placed on the National Register of Historical Buildings in 1974


Given that the building is over 100 years old, there is always room for improvement. One of the key areas to preserve and maintain any historical building’s appeal is through the lighting. The issue often times with lighting up a space like the St. Paul Cathedral is to make sure there is enough light first and foremost, and only consider energy-saving alternatives if they can provide as much or more quality light than what is existing. Given the energy-saving lighting projects Premier Lighting has done throughout the country with churches, the St. Paul Cathedral reached out for advice on how to reduce energy and save on maintenance costs while maintaining the quality of light necessary.


As with any space this size there are a lot of light fixtures and types of light sources needed to maintain the illumination required. Premier Lighting conducted a detailed analysis of the lighting and determined that all of the current light fixtures could be retrofitted to LED lighting that would provide as much or more lighting while reducing energy by over 75% and improving expected life by 5-10 times. The most unique portion of this project was retrofitting the lighting in the high ceiling domes to LED. The center dome is over 180 feet from the ceiling to the floor and was lit with a mixture of 500 watt halogen and 400 watt HID fixtures. Without changing the fixtures, Premier Lighting was able to retrofit each of these fixtures to LED lighting that used less than 135 watts each.

New LED Lighting at Saint Paul's Cathedral


With all of the lighting converted to LED, the St. Paul Cathedral reduced the lighting portion of their energy bill by over 75% while improving their light levels by 10% or more throughout. In addition with significant rebates from Xcel Energy, the payback on this project was less than 2 years.


  • Reduced Energy Usage
  • Increased Light Quality
  • Increased Light Levels
  • Improved Quality Control
  • Longer Lasting Products = Reduced Maintenance Costs
  • Light Level and Color Uniformity
  • Enhanced Image
  • Environmental Impact
  • Rebates

Premier Lighting:

Our mission at Premier Lighting is to provide our customers with the optimal and practical lighting system. No matter what the industry – hospitality, health care, educational, retail, industrial – we can deliver solutions to every vertical market. We understand the needs of your organization and have served others like you in the past. If you are interested in the optimal lighting solution for your facility, complete this form and we will promptly reply.

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