Efficient LED street lights save money and provide other benefits
by Melanie Jongsma
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (January 17, 2018) – Two years ago, in January 2016, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner issued Executive Order 2016-01, which consolidated various technology functions and departments into a single Department of Innovation and Technology. This set the stage for Illinois to become “nationally recognized as the first U.S. state to have a vision and roadmap for becoming a smarter state,” said Hardik Bhatt, Secretary Designate and state CIO of the Department of Innovation and Technology.
In January of 2017, Governor Rauner announced another step in his strategy for transforming Illinois into a Smart State through technology enhancements. The Department of Innovation and Technology released a request for companies to bid on a statewide master contract of Smart Street Lighting for Illinois Municipalities, to help bring LED technology with adaptive controls to communities like Lansing.
This January, the State of Illinois announced its intent to enter into a state master contract for Smart Street Lighting.
As Village Engineer Jeff Pintar explained, it’s beneficial for Lansing to have the state perform the bidding process and award the master contract. The state is able to get a lower price than individual municipalities would be able to get.
The master contract will enable any Illinois unit of local government, qualified under the Illinois joint purchasing program, to upgrade their street lights to light emitting diode (LED) light fixtures. The state says this initiative provides smaller communities like Lansing with the resources needed to manage, maintain, and monitor their street lighting systems to improve efficiencies.
Smart Street Lighting is an emerging area that brings the opportunity for savings in energy and maintenance costs, as well as improved services such as air quality monitoring, traffic management, smart parking, gunshot detection, and electric vehicle charging. Municipalities across Illinois have shown a strong interest in exploring the benefits of Smart Street Lighting.
Village Engineer Jeff Pintar noted that Lansing has already been upgrading certain street lights to LED, along with using LED lighting on new roadway and parking lot improvements. “The Village continually looks at infrastructure improvement projects each year, both through the budget process or when funding opportunities present themselves,” said Pintar. He plans to discuss LED street light conversion with the administration the next time they discuss infrastructure improvements.