City of Elgin LED Street Light Conversion Project
The City of Elgin will be upgrading over 6,500 street lights to Light Emitting Diode (LED) technology beginning in 2021. LED lighting is proven to reduce energy consumption, reduce glare and create substantial monetary savings over previous lighting technologies. Phase I of the project will focus on the conversion of cobra head type fixtures throughout the city, which will account for approximately 3200 light fixtures.
LED streetlights offer several advantages over older lighting technologies:
- LED streetlights save energy. They consume a fraction of the electricity consumed by metal halide and high-pressure sodium lights to produce an equivalent amount of light. In fact, LEDs can reduce electricity consumption for street lighting by 75%. For example, under Phase I of this project, the City of Elgin will replace a 250 watt metal halide fixture with a 97 watt LED. Doing so will significantly reduce the City’s electricity consumption for street lighting.
- LED fixtures provide better light and reduce glare, improving safety on City streets. LED lighting allows people to see colors more clearly, which makes it easier to recognize people and objects on the streets and sidewalks. In addition, it is easy to aim LEDs to shine light where it should be and to avoid shining it where it is unwanted. The American Medical Association supports the conversion of streetlights to LED technology at lower Kelvin levels.
Current Technology Glare (left) LED Directional Lighting (right)
- LED fixtures will save the city money. Implementing this project will offer significant financial benefits to the City as well. The full conversion, which is expected to be completed in two phases and by the end of 2023, is expected to save the City of Elgin between $250,000 and $450,000 in energy costs annually.
Phase I and Phase II Conversion Details
Elgin will be replacing all city owned and maintained cobra head fixtures under Phase I of the project scope. Phase II of the project will focus on decorative and post top lighting fixtures. Design work for Phase II will begin in 2022. The project is tentatively scheduled to be completed in full by December 31, 2023.
The map below plots out the location of the lights that were contemplated under Phase I of the project. Elgin will be replacing lights on city streets identified as local, collector and arterial. Lights along state or county streets are not being contemplated for replacement nor are lights on private streets within city limits.
ComEd maintains over 2500 lights within city limits, and they are typically mounted on wooden poles. Those lights, while not being replaced under the terms of this project, are being replaced with LED's under a program being led by ComEd. ComEd lighting is not plotted on the map below.
LED Sample Light Fixture Location Maps
All light sources are based on the Kelvin system of measure. A “warm” color temperature is typically 3000K or less. A "cool" white light commonly has a color temperature of 4000K and higher on the Kelvin scale. The City of Elgin will be following guidance from the American Medical Association and converting 85 percent of its current lighting infrastructure to 3000k. This represents approximately 6000 of the cities 7000 total lights. All residential and collector streets within the community fall under this category and varying wattages of 3000k lighting will be utilized. The remaining 15 percent of the lighting conversion project will take place on arterial streets and will be lit using 4000k lighting, proven to improve visibility on higher speed and more traveled roadways.
The current color temperature of existing lighting within the city produces a color temperature of 4000K.
This project will bring a balance of improved lighting and safety, most notably the positive environmental impact of converting lights to 3000k. While this project's main objective is to upgrade lighting infrastructure to reduce annual energy consumption, a noticeable reduction in maintenance efforts and costs will be realized as the lifespan of LED's are over three times that of legacy lighting. City staff will provide a recommendation to the City Council that will allow consistent lighting levels and color temperatures citywide.
Sample Light Signage
Signs have been installed on all street lights posts that have sample light fixtures affixed to them to identify color temperatures. The signs are color coordinated to the neighborhood maps.
The ComEd® Energy Efficiency Program, which is funded in compliance with state law, offers assessments, rebates, discounts and recycling programs to help customers save money and teach them to use energy more wisely.
Under the terms of this program, the City of Elgin has submitted documentation to ComEd relating to our Phase I LED Street Light Conversion efforts and has received preliminary approval for $418,000 in incentive dollars that will help offset the capital expense of this project. The incentive program is in addition to the long term annual savings produced by the reduction of energy consumption. These financial incentives will lead to a full Return of Investment on the project in approximately 5 years.
The ComEd Energy Efficiency Program is offered to residential customers as well for qualifying Energy Reduction efforts in homes.
GE Evolve LED Cobra Head Light Fixture
Elgin has selected the GE Evolve LED roadway fixture as the primary lighting fixture to be utilized for the Phase I Conversion project scope. This fixture was vetted in the the city under numerous applications and will be the sole fixture utilized during phase I conversion work.
Elgin selects The Will Group as overall Project Consultant after a Request for Qualifications in 2019.
In The News
Courier News (11/15/18): Elgin plans to convert all city streetlights to LEDs
Daily Herald (11/15/18): Elgin planning to make all streetlights LED
Daily Herald (9/17/19): Elgin hires firm, will seek residents’ feedback on converting streetlights to LEDs