First Step Is To Evaluate Bill

Lark Turner, Contributing Writer

UPDATED: 9:51 am CDT July 2, 2008

Let’s talk LED traffic lights. For utility bills for traffic lights can add up quickly. Taking the time to evaluate your payment plan and survey your energy use can take the pressure off your wallet.

LED traffic lights

As an added benefit, cutting your electricity costs nearly always helps the environment, too.

First, contact your utility company. Evaluate your bill and make sure you understand how it’s calculated.

Posted Monday, May 28, 2007

In an effort to reduce its energy costs, Harper College recently used an $83,323 grant from the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation to upgrade the lighting throughout the campus. The grant, in conjunction with $56,000 in matching funds from Harper, allowed the school to retrofit 2,800 interior light fixtures. Now while they are not LED traffic lights, they are important lighting. Thereby making those fixtures more energy efficient.

Harper Physical Plant Director Jim Ma estimates the upgrade, completed in April, will save Harper 148 kilowatts of electrical power a year.


A heavily traveled area used to cost upwards o f$ 1 0 0 per month to operate. This cost resulted from existing traffic signals using ordinary household incandescent light bulbs. Those that are costly to operate and maintain. With over 8,000 signalized intersections and 100,000 traffic signals in Illinois, that’s too much. Too much for operation and maintenance costs. All to local and state government are estimated at upwards of $15 million annually.

LED Traffic Lights

Starting in 2003, the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation and Illinois Municipal League. It began to work together to design and implement a grant program to bring 21st century traffic signal lighting technology to Illinois municipalities. The program supported the use of LED (Light Emitting Diode) bulbs in traffic signals throughout the state. In addition, LED bulbs use approximately 85% less electricity than the conventional incandescent bulbs. For they replace and last over 10 years before they need to be replaced. Besides high operating costs, incandescent light bulbs burnout quickly. For that’s potentially leading to traffic problems and public safety concerns.

In addition, Illinois Clean Energy completed the final cycle of the LED Lighting Upgrade Program with its 2007 grants. Over four years, its $10.2 million in grants helped 150 local governments. All around the state upgrading traffic signals at nearly 5,400 intersections to use energy efficient LED bulbs. The program benefited Illinois municipalities of all sizes. That’s from those with one traffic signal to those with tens or hundreds of signals. All to begin benefiting from this 21st century traffic signal lighting technology.

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