Chicago Smart Lighting (Streelight Modernization Program) Activated!

270,000 Upgraded Lights to be Installed Citywide Over Next Four Years

Mayor Rahm Emanuel recently launched the historic modernization of Chicago’s streetlight system by flipping the switch to activate the first four-block stretch to receive the new lights on South Chicago Avenue from 79th to 83rd Streets. The ambitious Chicago Smart Lighting Program will replace 270,000 of Chicago’s public lights with high-quality LED fixtures over the next four years and add a management system that will give the city a state-of-the-art smart lighting grid.

In 2017, streetlight fixture replacement will be focused in neighborhoods with heightened public safety concerns on the west and south sides. In addition, during the first twelve months of work, new lights will be installed along key arterial streets in every ward of Chicago, to ensure neighborhoods throughout the City benefit from the improved lighting. The project will also include targeted repairs to poles and wiring to extend the life of existing infrastructure.

The program website,, provides the ability to track the progress of the program as new high quality LED streetlights are installed across the City over the next four years.

The new lights, which will be owned and operated by the City, will consume 50-75 percent less electricity than existing high pressure sodium (HPS) lights, generating significant electricity cost savings that will offset the cost of the modernization. LED fixtures also last two-to-three times longer than HPS lights. In addition, ComEd has committed to providing $6.2 million in rebate funding for the program in 2017 as part of the company’s energy efficiency incentive efforts.
The program was procured by the Chicago Infrastructure Trust in close coordination with the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) and the Department of Innovation and Technology. This is the largest project to date from a rebooted CIT, which is dedicated to assisting the City with executing large-scale and complex public projects.
The project is expected to be completed in four years and cost up to $160 million. The City of Chicago has contracted with a team led by Ameresco Inc., a national leader in the field of energy efficiency and renewable energy projects, to implement the program.

The program includes three components:

  • Replacement of approximately 270,000 existing street, alley and viaduct light fixtures with modern, more reliable, energy-efficient LED lights that deliver higher quality lighting.
  • Installation of a state-of-the-art lighting management system that will enable remote monitoring and control of the City’s outdoor lighting. It will greatly improve the city’s responsiveness to service requests by providing real-time updates when outages occur. It will also allow lighting levels to be controlled remotely. The system will be phased into operation during the project and the first portion of the system is expected to be operational by spring of 2018.
  • Targeted stabilization and repair of light poles and wiring on an as-needed basis and subject to available funding in order to extend the life of existing infrastructure.

For more information, click on the following links to read the full press release or fact sheet.

Source:  Alderman Reilly Reports 9/22/17