Creating a Plan to Convert Streetlights in Southeast Michigan to Energy Efficient LEDs by 2025 (2016)

Client Organization: 
Southeast Michigan Regional Energy Office
Project Location : 
Southeast Michigan region - 25 communities
Summary of Project Idea: 

Street lighting is a little-noticed but indispensable element of community life. For municipalities, it provides both public safety benefits, through discouraging crime and improving visibility for pedestrians and drivers, and place-making benefits. However, street lighting also creates considerable electricity demand, hikes up costs for municipalities, and has associated environmental impacts from energy use. The Southeast Michigan Regional Energy Office (SEMREO) Street Lighting Consortium, a regional nonprofit comprised of 25 communities in Southeast Michigan, has commissioned this Master’s Project to create an ideal vision for communities to complete 100% LED lighting upgrades by 2025. To this end, our team has researched best practices in lighting technology, financing options to support these conversions, associated environmental impacts, and elements of local, state, and federal policies that present opportunities or challenges for implementation. In addition, this project examines member communities through focus groups to determine what lighting will best suit the needs of residents and businesses. Our research will be presented in five sections: technology, environmental impacts, financial vehicles, policy drivers, and social changes. Strategies for communicating street lighting changes to community members will also be addressed.

SEAS Program Areas: 
Environmental Policy and Planning
Sustainable Systems
SEAS Faculty Advisor: 
Jeremiah Johnson
Master Students Involved in Project: 
  • Nalin Deshpande, MS Sustainable Systems 
  • Emily Durand, MS Environmental Justice 
  • Yun Liang, MS Sustainable Systems 
  • Yuqiao Liu, MS Sustainable Systems 
  • Grace McGinnis, MS Environmental Policy and Planning/Sustainable Systems 
Project Status: 
Past Project