Billboard Insider on Cutting Out of Home Utility Costs

Oct 11, 2019 | Commercial, News, Out of Home Advertising

SmartLink OutdoorLink Panel Billboard Insider

Left to right: Dave Westburg (Billboard Insider), Brian Kline (Reliable Electric), PJ Pedroni (OutdoorLink)


Billboard Insider moderated a panel on cutting out of home utility costs at last week’s IBOUSA show.  Brian Kline of Reliable Electric and PJ Pedroni of OutdoorLink participated in the discussion.  Here’s a summary.

What are the benefits of installing high efficiency LED’s?

  • High efficiency lights use 70-80% less power.
  • Significantly less maintenance cost because there are no lamps or ballasts to replace. Most common item to be replaced in a LED fixture is the driver
  • Copy has much better uniformity
  • Higher CRI makes the color on copy more true
  • Distinction between colors makes the copy appear to be brighter.

How much will high efficiency LED’s cost?

  • Typical fixtures for Outdoor are going to run in the $400 range.  The cost has dropped 30-40% since 2012.  Many utilities have inventive programs which will allow you to reduce your fixture costs even further.
  • Installation cost can vary between fixtures and structure configuration.  SmartLink has a full operations management division to support operator partners with projects like this.  They can provide you with an estimate if they know what fixtures you have.

What’s the return on investment?

  •  The return on invested capital is 30-40% which equates to a 2-3 year payback.  Insider achieved a 37% return on investment by retrofitting lights at a Clear Lake Iowa billboard.
  •  The expense savings is risk-free because you’ll achieve it regardless of economic conditions.

What are the benefits of installing SmartLink in connection with an LED retrofit?

  • SmartLink systems minimize electric bills by automatically adjusting your light hours based on sunrise and sunset. It allows for multiple schedules should a customer require evening and morning illumination.
  • SmartLink increases customer satisfaction by notifying you immediately of lighting outages so you can schedule maintenance trips promptly. The daily monitoring also alleviates any concern post LED fixture upgrade. Would notify you in the case anything should not be performing as expected, i.e. a driver has failed.
  • SmartLink reduces maintenance costs by allowing you to remotely turn on and off lights, and manage operational tasks automatically like adjusting the entire plant for daylight savings without having to roll a truck. The diagnostic software allows you to determine most of your issues at a structure before leaving the plant.
  • One IBOUSA member has added ”SmartLink control” on their contracts and ride sheets for illuminated panels. It differentiates them from their competition and allows them to maintain a premium price for the inventory.

How do I proceed with a retrofit?

  • Inventory the lights which you want to replace.
  • Contact Brian Kline at Reliable Electric (866-250-6445,  and PJ Pedroni at OutdoorLink (253-377-8700, to get a cost quote for the retrofit and for help identifying and securing utility rebates.
  • If you wish to do the install yourself the LED’s can be shipped to your office so you can do the install yourself.
  • If you want help with the install the LED units will be shipped to SmartLink and their installation crews will handle the install.