Cape Girardeau, MO Cuts Energy Consumption in Half


Cape Girardeau, MO Cuts Energy Consumption in Half

The city of Cape Girardeau, Mo. has upgraded its municipal lighting to reduce energy and maintenance costs, replacing 104 conventional high-pressure sodium street lights with new LED street lights. The project, aimed at saving electricity and eliminating frequent bulb changes along busy highways, has slashed the city’s energy consumption nearly in half and provided a worry-free lighting solution that promises safe, reliable, community-friendly lighting for at least 10 years.
Home to the world’s only inland cape, historic Cape Girardeau took advantage of a $190,000 Energy Efficiency & Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) through the U.S. Department of Energy to fund the upgrade. Each of the 250W high-pressure sodium lights along North Kings Highway and the Missouri Highway 74 corridor through downtown leading up to the Emerson Memorial Bridge were replaced with the 120W StreetSense units.
According to Geoff Dial, special projects coordinator in the Public Works Department in Cape Girardeau, the existing street lights kept maintenance crews perpetually busy with frequent bulb changes.
“Each was equipped with a photocell, which means we’d have to send a crew out to scout for burn-outs each night, an overtime expense that we’d prefer to avoid,” Dial said. “Because I know these new lights will last for at least 15 years, I’m looking forward to not having to touch these LED fixtures for a long time.”
The lighting project was part of the city’s overall plan to achieve more sustainable operations. Having already replaced traffic signals in 21 intersections and rail signals in one railroad crossing with Dialight’s LED signals, the city looked to the leading innovator in LED technology to once again meet its needs.
The EECBG grant mandated that all equipment purchased must comply with the Buy American requirement of the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act. Not only did the Dialight StreetSense fixtures meet Cape Girardeau’s technological and performance needs, but they are also manufactured at its Roxboro, NC facility, satisfying the Buy American requirement.
“The change out to the LED units was extremely fast and easy for our crews,” Dial said. “I personally witnessed them replace one in less than 10 minutes from the time they stepped into the bucket truck to getting back onto the ground.”
The first 104 units installed represent about one-fourth of the street lighting under the city’s charge and will reduce the city’s total annual energy consumption by nearly 70,000 KWH, from about 160,000 KWH to just 89,000 KWH, to help offset future increases in energy costs. Plus, with a new casino planned for the north end of town, the new lighting is not only safer and more reliable but also offers a much more welcoming environment for the anticipated influx of tourists expected in Cape.
“The city of Cape Girardeau has taken a very progressive, proactive approach to its municipal lighting that will deliver immediate maintenance and energy savings now and for years to come,” said Dialight’s Group Chief Executive Roy Burton. “It’s our hope that other municipalities will realize the benefits of LED technology and look at opportunities like the DOE Block Grant program to help fund their own upgrades to save energy, help protect the environment and reduce maintenance costs.”
Dial says he frequently fields calls from residents complaining about burned out high-pressure sodium lights in other areas of the city.
“We are continually reviewing ways to conserve energy and resources throughout the city,” Dial said. “The Dialight LED street lights offered us the energy savings and long life we require to ensure a safer and more hospitable environment for residents and visitors.”
The LED technology was Dialight’s StreetSenseā„¢ Series LED Street Light. For more information, visit

Article contributed by the Parking PT team.
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