Ameren Illinois working to increase visibility with LED streetlights in Beardstown, Mount Sterling

street light-Bobby Davis

Bobby Davis, supervisor of electric operations, Ameren Illinois, checks on the status of a recently installed Ameren Illinois-owned LED streetlight. | Photo courtesy of Ameren Illinois

BEARDSTOWN, Ill. — Ameren Illinois is entering its eighth-year of a multi-year streetlight replacement program to upgrade neighborhood streetlights throughout its 43,700-square-mile service territory with more energy-efficient LED (light-emitting diode) streetlights.

For decades, most streetlights in the United States have used high-pressure sodium (HPS) technology, which emits orange-yellowish light. Ameren Illinois started removing company-owned HPS streetlighting in 2017, replacing it with technologies that emit “white” light – primarily LED, due to its higher efficiency and longer life. White-light technologies – including LED – emit more short-wavelength light than HPS.

Several communities served by Ameren Illinois’ Beardstown Operating Center are already enjoying the benefits and cost savings of the new LED technology. Ameren Illinois will replace more than 200 company-owned streetlights this year in Ashland, Beardstown, Mason City, Meredosia, Mount Sterling and Petersburg.

Ameren contractor partners BRK Electrical and Gerstner Electric are replacing the existing sodium vapor, mercury vapor and metal halide streetlights throughout the area. The work should be completed by mid-June.

In a press release, Langston Rose, director of electric operations, Ameren Illinois, said, “LEDs benefit everyone by reducing the amount of energy that is produced and expended. The newly installed LED streetlights will provide these communities with public safety and environmental and financial benefits for many years.”

LED streetlight benefits include:

  • Saves money with enhanced reliability and 3x longer life expectancy
  • Uses 55-65% less energy than the older technology
  • Reduces maintenance and operational costs
  • Protects the environment by decreasing energy generation and cutting carbon emissions
  • Improves nighttime visibility
  • Produces a cool white light similar to moonlight

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