Living Light, UT’s solar-powered house, stood on the National Mall in the shadow of some of the nation’s most recognizable architecture as an exhibit at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, which concluded earlier this month.
The ten-day event coincided with the 150th anniversaries of the US Department of Agriculture and the Morrill Act, which created land-grant universities. An estimated one million people saw the home and nearly 16,000 toured it during the festival.
The zero-energy home demonstrated the merits of solar-powered living when a large storm struck the nation’s capital on June 29, leaving thousands of residents without power and forcing the festival to close for a day.
Living Light maintained full-power during this time, producing twice the energy the house needed for all its normal day-to-day functions, such as powering its air conditioning, television, kitchen appliances, and lighting. Throughout its entire stay at the festival, the house was completely removed from the electrical grid and self-sustaining in all of its energy production.
The house was one of only seventeen projects selected to represent the nation’s land-grant universities at the Smithsonian festival.
Discover more about the house's visit to the Smithsonian Folklife Festival at its featured story here.