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Midwest is being illuminated by LEDs

Throughout the Midwestern United States, cities, businesses and contractors are looking to LEDs for energy savings solutions and to meet home and commercial lighting needs. From a minor league baseball team's diamond in Saginaw, Mich., to a small Wisconsin town to a contractor in Indiana, LEDs are illuminating the Midwestern summer.

The Great Lakes Loons light up their stadium with LEDs
The Saginaw Bay Watershed Initiative Network has awarded a $33,679 grant to the Michigan Baseball Foundation to help them convert lights and occupancy sensors to LED lighting at Dow Diamond, home of the Great Lakes Loons, a minor league affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers. The grant is part of helping the Loons achieve their goal of 50 percent energy reduction by 2020.

"We are grateful for the partnership with Saginaw Bay WIN on this project," said Paul Barbeau, Loons president and general manager. "This gift will accelerate our conversion to LED lighting fixtures. We hope our ambitious efforts to conserve energy resources will inspire other businesses and households to consider ways that they, too, can conserve resources and reduce costs."

The project, which is being installed in three phases, is expected to reduce energy use at Dow Diamond by 3.6 percent annually, saving a total of 59,841 kilowatt-hours. The new LED lighting systems will make higher traffic and high visibility areas in and around the facility, including the parking lots, front light posts, trophy cases on the main concourse and facade lights, friendlier in terms of environmental impact and provide an enhanced experience for fans.

Wisconsin tourist town turns to LEDs
Sheboygan, Wisc., situated on the western edge of Lake Michigan and renowned for its recreational activities, including fishing, golf and sailing, has recently installed 40 LED streetlights as part of a pilot program. Sheboygan is the third city in Wisconsin to launch such an effort, and similar projects are expected to be tried in at least 20 other municipalities throughout the state in the coming months and years.

A major reason for the switch, beyond financial and energy efficiency, is that the lights provide a better visual experience for residents and tourists. With sharper, whiter, more defined luminescence, the LEDs offer a stark alternative to the yellow-colored sodium lights the city had been using, and allow the human eye to better see colors and details.

Indiana contractor relies on LEDs for landscaping projects
A two-time winner of the prestigious Kichler Landscape Lighting Contractor of the Year award, Landscape Illumination, Inc., based in Valparaiso, Ind., and serving businesses in Indiana, Illinois and Michigan, uses LEDs to light most of its exterior projects.The company's owner and operator Darrin Selking is a big fan of the benefits LEDs can bestow on most outdoor spaces.

Selking uses LEDs for accent lighting, lighting for pools and other water installations, deck lighting and security features. He emphasizes their ability to show off structures, enhance the effects of fountains and streams, illuminate areas for outside entertaining and home security, especially when used in motion sensors. LEDs have become standard operating procedure for the company with 13 years of experience lighting homes and businesses throughout the Midwest.

The Midwest is just one region of the country that has found LEDs can help enhance living quality for residents and visitors. Installing light bulbs and other LED-reliant products in homes, businesses and street lamps throughout the region is quickly becoming a popular idea. And with outside funding, incentives and tax breaks increasing around the country, not just in the Midwest, it appears to be a trend that will continue to increase in popularity among operators of high foot traffic facilities like ballparks, tourist destinations and with contractors in the years to come.

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