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Xcel Energy begins switch to more energy-efficient LED street lighting

MENOMONIE – Xcel Energy is among the first Wisconsin utilities to bring the economic, environmental and aesthetic benefits of LED streetlights to its communities. Over the next four weeks, Xcel Energy and contract crews will begin replacing nearly 1,100 streetlights in Boyceville, Colfax, Knapp, Menomonie, Red Cedar, Spring Valley, Stockholm, Wheeler and Wilson. Xcel Energy’s massive multi-year project to upgrade company-owned, cobra-head style streetlights from high pressure sodium vapor (HPSV) to light-emitting diode (LED) began last October. There is no cost to communities for the streetlight replacements.

“After pilot projects to test the latest LED technology we are making this investment in step with our commitment to support the goals of the communities we serve,” said Bob Schultz, Xcel Energy community service manager. “With new LED streetlights our communities will save money and energy.”

LED streetlights use less electricity than HPSV streetlights and have a longer life which means fewer replacements and less maintenance. They also cast a crisper, white light compared to HPSV streetlights.

“Residents will definitely notice a difference with the new lights. Existing streetlight technology has a light pattern that causes glare and light to spill up into the sky and away from the area to be lit. LED streetlights greatly reduce glare and focus the light directly on the area to be lit,” Schultz said.