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Alliant Energy bringing energy-efficient technology to Fond du Lac streetlights

Project includes installing 30 LED streetlights

4:05 PM, Jul. 29, 2013  |  Comments
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Alliant Energy will be replacing approximately 30 streetlights in Fond du Lac over the next few weeks, with light-emitting diode (LED) units as part of a pilot project to test the performance of LED technology. Once installed, the LED streetlights are expected to last longer and increase the lighting quality compared to the units now in use.

"We have chosen Fond du Lac as one of 20 Wisconsin communities where we will install and test LED streetlights," said Kathy Leifer, Alliant Energy key account manager. "We will monitor their energy usage, as well as the quality of light they emit, to see how they work under everyday traffic and weather conditions."

The new streetlights are being put in along Martin and Fond du Lac Avenues near the FDL County Fairgrounds. The location was chosen to test the performance of the lights in a higher-traffic area and one that includes dense residential development.

The current streetlights in Fond du Lac, as well as those throughout most of Wisconsin, are high-pressure sodium (HPS) streetlights. The majority of these lights feature a 100-watt or 150-watt equivalent, or class of bulb. The new LED streetlights are 80-watt units and tests of similar wattage bulbs have shown that they use considerably less electricity and produce a higher-quality light for the roadway.

Many people in the communities across the country where the LED streetlights were first piloted reported very positive changes on the roads. The LED light is whiter, more defined, and sharper than HPS-produced light. The light is directed more on the street, allows the human eye to see details and colors better, and it is less yellow-colored than HPS-produced light. In addition, LED streetlights are designed to have a much longer useful life than HPS streetlights.

"While LED technology has been around for a long time, the considerably higher upfront cost of LED streetlights did not make them cost-effective in the past for our company and customers," added Leifer. "As the technology has evolved, the overall costs associated with LED streetlights have dropped, which has started to make them a viable alternative."

Alliant Energy's 2013 LED streetlight pilot project will include installing several hundred LED streetlights across the state in communities the company serves.

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