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City of Madison

Traffic Engineering - Yang Tao, Director


LED Conversion Project

The City of Madison has begun a project to convert outdated, less efficient streetlights to LED fixtures. The goal of the project is to become more energy efficient, and to reduce energy costs. Cities like Seattle, Boston, and San Francisco are undertaking similar projects because LEDs are greener, most cost effective, and provide higher quality lighting than older fixtures. Converting to LEDs will save the City over $300k in annual electricity costs, and reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. This initiative is part of the City’s Green and Resilient program.

Why LED?

  • LEDs are much more energy efficient than incandescent, mercury vapor, and high pressure sodium fixtures. Since they consume less power, the City expects to greatly reduce our energy usage. Converting existing street lights to LED is estimated to save the City over $390,000 per year in electricity costs.
  • LEDs have a longer life span than older fixtures. LEDs have a service life of over 10 years compared to the 3 year service life of an incandescent fixture. Extending the time period between maintenance visits will save City resources, and improve reliability for residents.
  • LEDs can be brighter than older fixtures. Brighter fixtures can increase a sense of safety and security for residents. We are continuing to use full cut off fixtures and install LEDs with a warm color temperature. This means the lights will be a softer white (as opposed to some harsh blue-white LEDs), so the visual quality of the lights will remain pleasant for residents.


Which areas will be converted?

  • Our goal is to convert all street lights in Madison to LEDs. We are starting with city-owned circuits, and will eventually make our way to more residential areas. This process is expected to take years, and the time line is dependent on the City’s budget and resources.
  • Any new street lights installed at this time will have LED fixtures.