The Grandfather Mountain Nature Museum, home to more than two dozen comprehensive exhibits designed to teach guests about the natural history of Grandfather Mountain and the surrounding region, recently received a lighting upgrade.

The obsolete Halogen bulbs lighting the exhibits have been replaced by LED lighting, providing a better experience for guests, saving energy and preserving one-of-a-kind exhibits.

Before this change, Grandfather Mountain staff were forced to constantly run fans inside the display cases in an effort to cool them and prevent damage from very high temperatures, a side effect of running halogen light bulbs in a confined space for an extended period of time.  Cutting out the need for fans and transitioning to a more sustainable light source exemplifies Grandfather’s commitment to sustainability and good environmental stewardship.

In addition to saving energy, switching from the halogen bulbs protects the unique exhibits, some of which are priceless works of art.  When the Grandfather Mountain Nature Museum was constructed in 1990, an exhibit depicting the unique plant life of the Mountain was desired.  This task fell to world-renowned artist, Paul Marchand.

Marchand was a world leader in the production of incredibly lifelike artificial plant life during his time.  He was known to be so meticulous about his craft that he would place one of his creations among several of the real thing and if someone was able to spot the fake, he deemed it unfit and started over.

The display of indigenous plant and fungal life in the Grandfather Mountain Nature Museum is home to countless examples of Marchand’s shockingly realistic depictions.  With the upgraded lighting method in these displays, his work will last much longer, ensuring that future generations of park guests will be able to enjoy them.

Grandfather Mountain is open from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. during the winter months, with admission sales ending at 4 p.m.  For more information about the Nature Museum, Paul Marchand or Grandfather Mountain, please visit or call 800-468-7325.