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Illini Lights Out (Ongoing)


Illini Lights Out engages student volunteers to turn lights out in key campus buildings, to conserve energy and raise awareness of the need to work together toward our energy conservation goals. This campaign addresses Objective 4 of the Energy Conservation and Building Standards SWATeam (Chapter 2 of iCAP) – to engage and incentivize the campus community in energy conservation and to contribute to a comprehensive energy campaign. 



During an Illini Lights Out event, pairs of students accompanied by campus security/other personnel (as necessary) are assigned buildings to audit on the main Quad to turn off non-essential lights in classrooms/bathrooms not in use. Conducting these light audits is a simple, fun and interactive way of engaging students with energy conservation while raising awareness of energy usage as it relates to climate change. Initiating a year-round light auditing program provides a way of sustaining engagement with energy conservation for the duration of the academic year. Engagement levels are easily identifiable (total number of student volunteers throughout the year) and the cost savings through emissions and dollars saved can be calculated with relative ease. 

A one-time initial pilot of Illini Lights Out was conducted by ECBS SWATeam members on April 15, 2016. A total of 1,533 lights were switched off during this event in 8 campus classroom buildings. In addition, volunteers closed 71 windows that had been left open. The SWATeam estimates that this one effort alone resulted in approximately $250-300 in energy savings for the campus. In 2016-17, the Student Sustainability Committee awarded funding for a year-long run of monthly Illini Lights Out events.

Project Video(s)

Project Team

  • Project Leader:

    Alex Dzurick

    Team Members:

    • Jessica Tran
    • Marian Huhman
    • Olivia Webb


  • Proposed March 4, 2016
    Proposed by ECBS SWATeam members
    Investigated April 15, 2016
    Investigated by ECBS SWATeam members
    Approved October 21, 2016
    Approved by Student Sustainability Committee
    Started November 17, 2016
    Started by Alex Dzurick