St. Cloud Street Light Improvement Project Case Study

Street Light Improvement Project - St. Cloud, MN


Left: HPS Lighting  Right: LED Lighting

Left: HPS Lighting

Right: LED Lighting

The City of St. Cloud is committed to reducing energy use and maintenance costs of the street light and traffic signal system. In addition the City was faced with several areas of aging infrastructure supporting the street light system, including failed under ground wiring, and aging electric services. The City partnered with Apex Efficiency Solutions, SBC to develop options for energy conservation, maintenance savings, and address infrastructure issues. The collaborative effort between the City, Apex, and Design Electric (an electrical contractor) resulted in the retrofit of existing street lights and traffic signals city wide. Also included in the project were interior lighting of several facilities. The savings resulting from the new LED lighting technology was leveraged to allowed the City to also make the infrastructure improvements as part of the project. Additional benefits achieved in the project included; increasing lighting in several issue areas resulting in improved safety to the community, and installation of a high tech upgrade using a smart technology bringing both sound and digital displays to the City’s central business district.

Project Overview

  • Project Start Date: April 2016 Project

  • End Date: September 2017

LED Lighting Upgrades & Replacements:

  • City Wide Street Lights & Traffic Signals

  • Parking Ramps

  • Airport

  • Municipal Athletic Complex

  • River’s Edge Convention Center

  • Central Maintenance Facility


  • Utility and Maintenance Cost Savings: $502,578

  • Annually Infrastructure Work Paid by Savings: $1,600,000

  • Total Cash Savings: $4,600,000 over 20 years

Project Summary


Street lights were converted to LED City wide with several areas receiving increased lighting levels while still reducing the energy costs. Several unmetered lighting services were converted to metered, and 36 new or replacement services were installed. Traffic signals were all converted to LED technology. A new smart technology was installed and a facelift was given to the central business district. The new Intellistreets technology included several interactive banners, a new programable sound system with real time announcement capability, infrastructure for future cameras, and independent lighting control. The athletically pleasing upgrade also increases safety and security. The City’s parking ramps were retrofitted with new LED lighting and lighting controls. The upgrade reduced energy use form the parking ramp lighting by more then 50% and improved lighting. These improvements made security cameras more efficient and provided the public a much brighter view of the ramps. Parks facilities were retrofit with new LED lighting including some of the City trails resulting in significant energy savings and improved lighting and security at these locations. The St. Cloud Municipal Athletic Complex (MAC) was retrofit with new LED lighting over both of the facilities ice sheets. The lighting was designed to increase light levels for events to 80 foot-candles and have the ability to drop to 40 foot-candles for practices. The lighting significantly improved the look of the ice sheet and visibility for the skaters while reducing energy use by over 50%. The Rivers Edge Convention Center and Airport received LED replacement fixtures in several locations where significant energy savings were realized and aesthetics were improved by the lighting upgrades.

Environmental Benefits


In addition to expected savings on energy and operating costs, greenhouse gas emissions are expected to be reduced by 2,240 metric tons of CO2 per year, which is equivalent to:

  • 480 passenger vehicles driven for 1 year.

  • 2,450,235 pounds of coal burned

  • 242 homes electricity use for 1 year.

  • 5,489,007 miles driven by an average passenger vehicle

MunicipalitiesBrynne Turner