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LED Lighting Pilot Projects Overview

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and its partners are working to accelerate advances in solid-state lighting – a pivotal emerging technology that promises to fundamentally alter lighting in the future. No other lighting technology offers as much potential to save energy and enhance the quality of building environments, contributing to our nation's energy and climate change solutions.

Lighting types LED

Solid-state lighting (SSL) refers to a type of lighting that uses light-emitting diodes (LEDs), organic light-emitting diodes (OLED), or polymer light-emitting diodes (PLED) as sources of illumination rather than electrical filaments, plasma (used in arc lamps such as fluorescent lamps), or gas.

Compared to incandescent lighting, SSL creates visible light with reduced heat generation or parasitic energy dissipation, similar to that of fluorescent lighting. In addition, its solid-state nature provides for greater resistance to shock, vibration, and wear, thereby increasing its lifespan significantly.

Solid-state lighting is often used in traffic lights and is used frequently in modern vehicle lights, train marker lights, remote controls, etc. As the technology emerges to include additional applications, solid-state lighting is expected to play an increasing role in electric utility company’s efficiency programs.

PowerHouse TV video - LED Technology

Learn more about LEDs

Pilot studies provide real-world examples

Rapid advancements in LED technology – coupled with an increasing number of LED products in the market place – are creating early market confusion among researchers, buyers and manufacturers.

Electric utilities in general remain cautiously optimistic about emerging SSL/LED technologies because:

  • Most LED products are newly designed
  • There is limited field information about existing LED products
  • Energy efficiency and quality of lighting is improving in a number of LED applications

The intention of the Alliant Energy's LED pilot studies is to provide real-world examples in which we can evaluate the effectiveness, efficiency, and usefulness of LED lighting. The results of the pilot programs will be applied to future program design and will be shared with interested parties.


In its recent Energy Efficiency Plan, Alliant Energy has pledged to:

  • Collaborate and coordinate with the Iowa Energy Center and/or other Iowa utilities in the design and implementation of LED pilot programs
  • Offer pilot programs:
    •  For specialty LEDs, such as holiday lighting
    • To identify and implement good quality LEDs in new construction
    • To implement interior and exterior LED lighting in a public setting, such as a museum, library, airport or other commercial space
  • Apply the results of its LED pilots to future program design, including any appropriate incentives to increase market penetration
  • Report ongoing developments and status of the LED pilots and plans to the collaborative group and include results in its annual reports

Pilot Results

See real-world examples for pilot projects undertaken to date.

Holiday Lighting
2009 Cash-Back Reward program saves customers $121,000 and 167,000 kWh of electricity.

Mt. Vernon Road Hy-Vee Store - Cedar Rapids, IA
Hy-Vee's goal is to minimize energy usage to reduce operating costs - dollars that can be used to keep prices low.