By Correne Martin
The city of Prairie du Chien started an exterior LED lighting program in 2013 with goals of becoming more energy efficient and saving money. These days, the program is about 95 percent complete, according to Co-Manager of Public Works Terry Meyer.
“This fall, we did from Main Street west on Blackhawk Avenue, including Water Street, all of the (Highway 18) bypass and all of the city-owned lights on St. Feriole Island,” Meyer noted. “We have a couple parking lots to go yet and some small miscellaneous lights, like the ones in front of city hall, but that’s all we have left.”
LED bulbs draw less power, cost less per year in energy and maintenance, and last up to 50,000 hours, which is much longer than a typical incandescent, Meyer pointed out. The upfront cost of LEDs is higher, yet payback takes roughly three years, he said, and then the city begins saving money.