New London-Spicer

School district studies up on which LEDs work best

Shedding light on energy-efficient choices

Studying up on lighting


There are a lot of lighting choices out there. And when you are a school district looking into swapping out your exterior and interior lights for energy efficient LEDs, you have a lot of decisions to make. Even one aspect—creating a sense of personal safety immediately outside of the buildings—has a lot to it. Time to commission a lighting study!


With the analysis the district was able to create a project specification criteria that a variety of companies could use to submit proposals to replace all of the existing lighting to LED lighting. This made it easier to make a decision and compare similar proposals to find out what would be the best proposal and solution.

Paul Carlson, New London-Spicer Superintendent

Conducting a school-wide LED lighting study

A CERTs Seed Grant helped the New London-Spicer School District commission a lighting study to compare the best LED retrofit solution for interior lighting and exterior lighting, with a specific emphasis on lighting for the parking lot and sidewalks, including lighting by each entry to the building. The grant allowed the district to finally complete a lighting retrofit and LED lighting upgrade. The primary goal for the lighting in student and staff areas should be brought to a 1 footcandle minimum to improve safety and security of people and property. This is often considered the most important safety element, deterring crime and vandalism, and creating a sense of personal safety.

Securing support from leadership

The project was presented to the New London-Spicer School Board and was formally adopted by the school board. During this process the school board felt that it was important to generate enough savings to pay for the project. The analysis showed that the district would be saving approximately $1,100 per month which would cover the monthly finance amount for the total project. To emphasize the importance of energy efficiency and conservation, the local YES! team partnered with Kandiyohi Power Cooperative and sold LED bulbs to community members.

The project has spurred the complete retrofit and change to LED lighting. The district will be completing the exterior LED lighting retrofit and then complete the interior retrofit LED lighting.

Paul Carlson, New London-Spicer Superintendent

Project Snapshot

  • Technology: Lighting upgrades
  • WC CERT Seed Grant: $1,000
  • Total Project Cost: $21,106
  • Other Funds: Capital funds, district funds
  • Project Team: Paul Carlson and Darren Rutledge - New London-Spicer Schools, Laura Molenaar - YES! Advisor, Lucinda Daulberg - New London-Spicer Schools Board Chair, Chad Carver - Ideal Energy
  • People Involved and Reached: 280
  • Annual Energy Savings: 25,116 kWh

We encourage reuse and republishing of this story. All Clean Energy Resource Teams stories are made available under the Creative Commons Attribution license, meaning you can share and adapt the work as long as you give us credit. We'd also love it if you link back to the original piece. Have questions or want to chat? Drop us a line.