Indiana Michigan Power upgrading South Bend streetlights to LED lights

Published: Jun. 30, 2022 at 6:42 PM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - Indiana Michigan Power is upgrading South Bend streetlights to LED lights.

City leaders and I&M officials were on hand on Thursday morning as a crews replaced the fixture along Northside Boulevard.

The lights could help make the city a little safer by improving visibility on public roads. They’re also better for the environment since they use less energy, but also last longer.

“We know these LED lights not only are they brighter and able to be more focused, which is good for both increasing the lighting in our neighborhoods, but also making sure that light pollution doesn’t get up into the sky,” says South Bend Mayor James Mueller. “So, it is going where it needs to go but nowhere else.”

I&M estimates that South Bend’s upgrade to LEDs will reduce electricity use for streetlights.

The project is scheduled to be finished before the end of the year.

Press Release from Indiana Michigan Power:

Indiana Michigan Power (I&M) is partnering with the city of South Bend to upgrade streetlights that I&M owns and operates as part of the company’s Public Efficient LED Streetlight Project.

I&M crews and business partners will convert more than 8,000 streetlights along public roadways at no cost to the city of South Bend or its residents. Conversion work started earlier this month and is expected to finish this fall, depending on weather.

The LED streetlights will help improve safety and visibility on public streets and across South Bend’s neighborhoods. The upgraded streetlights provide more direct and focused lighting along public roadways – increasing driver and pedestrian visibility with significantly less glare.

“I am excited to partner with Indiana Michigan Power to bring better visibility to our neighborhoods and roadways in South Bend,” Mayor James Mueller said. “Enhancing community safety in the City of South Bend is a top priority. This technology being deployed in the LED Streetlight Project is better for the environment and will make our streets safer for our residents, drivers and pedestrians.”

The LED streetlights being installed can last up to 10 to 12 years. This is four to six times longer than the current high-pressure sodium streetlights. The bulbs also use 40% to 65% less energy compared to existing streetlights. I&M estimates South Bend’s upgrade to LEDs will reduce electricity use for streetlights nearly 2.1 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) annually, which is enough energy to power 219 homes.

“Indiana Michigan Power is dedicated to utilizing advanced technology to improve the lives of our customers in the communities where we live and work,” said William Tokash, I&M’s manager of Clean Energy Solutions. “We are proud to partner with the city of South Bend to provide efficient and safe LED streetlights the city and its citizens can take advantage of for decades to come.”

Through May 2022, I&M has installed just over 18,000 new LED streetlights across the service area under the I&M Public Efficient LED Streetlight Project, which is available to all eligible municipalities in Indiana within I&M’s service area. I&M is partnering with 46 municipalities across Indiana, including Elkhart, Muncie, Marion and Yorktown to name a few.

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