Forward thinking city officials in the village of Oak Lawn, Illinois, are developing a city-wide LED streetlight conversion strategy that involves metered lights, energy audit findings, and cold weather performance.
The village’s goal is to replace 3,000 existing streetlights with more efficient LED technology over the next 8 to 10 years. The first step toward this goal will be a 379 streetlight retrofit using Department of Energy EECBG funding of $100,000. The city is currently running a pilot project with nearly fifty LED streetlights deployed in one block increments near schools and parks.
Village officials’ initial response to LED streetlights has been extremely positive. Gerald Chickerillo, public works street division manager, said, “We’re going into our third winter with these lights in our pilot project. Winter is what determines whether or not a light will be successful here.”
Reduced maintenance and electricity costs are also of significant importance as municipal budgets continue to shrink. LED streetlight installations have shown to reduce electricity consumption up to 50%. According to Chickerillo, “Oak Lawn did a full energy use audit, so we know exactly where high electricity consumption is occurring”. This, as well as metered lights, has enabled Oak Lawn to accurately measure the impact and success of LED streetlights. Oak Lawn anticipates receiving the EECBG funds in the winter of 2010.