Alliant Making Progress on LED Streetlight Switch in Cedar Rapids

By Forrest Saunders, KCRG-TV9

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — Alliant Energy is slowly making progress in an effort to upgrade its Cedar Rapids streetlights.

Since starting in 2012, the city estimates the company has installed more than 2,000 LED lights in its 9,600 streetlights.

The LEDs are put in as soon as old high-pressure sodium lights burn out or stop working.

Alliant officials said compared to the yellowish light from sodium units, LEDs emit a whiter light that eliminates dark spots. They said LEDs also last longer, and though they cost more to install, use about 30 fewer watts of energy.

That’s enough to save the city about $2,000 a month.

Cari Pauli, the city’s traffic engineering project coordinator, said residents like the LEDs too.

“We’ve been getting a lot of positive feedback from citizens about the light. It actually is a directional light. You can point it more downward toward the pavement. You get less light pollution,” Pauli said.

The switch isn’t just happening in Cedar Rapids. Alliant is changing out all of its about 53,000 streetlights across Iowa. So far, they’ve done about 14,000. Officials estimated they’ll be done within seven years.

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