June 25, 2018
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Green Light: LED Lighting Retrofit at Illinois Terminal

Jane Sullivan, MTD’s Sustainability & Transportation Planner, returns to deliver another installment of Green Lights. Take it away, Jane!

Has your world recently looked a little brighter when stepping inside Illinois Terminal to wait for your bus, catch your Amtrak train, or visit MTD’s Customer Service counter? It may be the relief of escaping the cold weather. It may also be the near completion of an LED lighting retrofit at this community transportation hub.


Efforts to replace all fluorescent lamps and ballasts throughout the first two floors and exterior of the building with LED light fixtures began last fall. MTD undertook this project with the desire to lower costs and reduce the environmental impact of this facility.

Cost Savings

Replacing fluorescent lighting with LED technology saves money because LED fixtures are more efficient, more durable, and longer lasting.

LED lighting fixtures use light emitting diodes (that’s where “L.E.D.” comes from) to produce light very efficiently. LEDs are “directional” light sources, emitting light in a specific direction and therefore using the light and energy more efficiently in many applications. This efficiency results in lower utility costs.

The improved technology has a direct impact on the lifespan of the lighting fixture. The entire LED fixture has a much longer expected lifespan than traditional lighting products, resulting in a reduced demand for labor and purchasing.

Cost savings resulting from this retrofit are estimated to be $20,400 annually. These savings arise from lower purchasing costs, fewer labor costs to replace lamps and ballasts, and reduced utility bills.

Environmental Benefit

Amtrak, LED, lighting

LED lighting retrofits occurred on the first and second floors of Illinois Terminal. The second floor contains the Amtrak Waiting Area which gets, to say the least, high traffic.

With the high volume of visitors that Illinois Terminal hosts daily, this facility demands a significant amount of energy consumption. Producing light with light emitting diodes uses far less energy than other lighting technologies because of improvements in efficiency. The LED lighting retrofit greatly decreases energy usage, while continuing to keep the building nice and bright for all occupants.

The extended lifespan of LED fixtures results in fewer materials being produced, packaged, and transported over time. Another important benefit of the MTD retrofit is reduced direct energy consumption.Changing to LEDs also results in a decrease in harmful chemicals commonly found in fluorescent lighting product.

We are beaming with excitement as we prepare to watch our electric bill shrink and our lighting fixtures live long and purposeful lives. Have you noticed this recent improvement at Illinois Terminal? Tell us what you think!

About Amy Snyder

Amy Snyder is the Customer Service Manager at the Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District. She writes and manages content for this blog, The Inside Lane, as well as the social media pages for CUMTD.
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Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District
1101 East University Avenue
Urbana, IL 61802-2009
(217) 384-8188
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