Southern Illinois' SOLAR/Electrical Experts solving energy needs and harnessing solar energy

Southern Lights, LLC is a full-service solar integration and electrical company based in Carbondale, Illinois. We do: Residential Solar PV installation for Residential Properties. Southern Lights is passionate about energy efficiency, proper lighting, preserving the environment and promoting renewable energy. Since 2007 Southern Lights, LLC has helped southern Illinois to harness solar energy for powering homes and small businesses, lighting yards and pathways, even lighting mausoleums and helping to pump fresh drinking water to campers in obscure locations where electricity is not available.


A vast range of services for your convenience!
We provide various services that include everything you need to power your home
and business with clean efficient energy.

Electric plug

Electricial Contracting

License electricians who understand the science of electricity both the AC and DC principles. We follow strict National Electrical Codes (NEC code) and complete projects in a neat and timely manner; reflecting our dedication to the success of sustainable energy. We are proud to be in this noble and critical profession.

solar panel

Solar Electric Systems: Design/Installation/Maintenance/Service and Sales

Our licensed electricians use only the highest quality solar panels, equipment and hardware. We provide quality and NEC code compliant systems that conform to local utility companies’ installation and power grid connection regulations. We do it right to insure peak performance.


Fix Problematic/Improperly Installed Solar Systems

We know our business! Fixing problematic or improperly installed solar systems by other solar installers is the initial reason we became involved in solar. Now we are the company people rely upon to fix improper installations, under sized systems and to answer questions about their problematic solar systems. You can count on us to respond and solve your system's problems.

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On-site Solar System Consulting & Electric Load Analysis

We do not offer a one-size-fits-all equipment solution, which is great because every home/business is different. For a roof-mounted system we look at your home/business, your roof ‘s integrity, its structure and square footage and we look at your surrounding land/acreage for the possibility of a land mounted system. All the while taking into account your personal solar goals. We will customize a system specifically to meet your particular needs and wants.


Real-Time Performance Monitoring

Installed on all our systems is a monitoring system that reveals the progress and performance of your panels in real time. A computer and internet connection is required. With this technology, you can also see how much money the panels are saving you, as well as the effect your solar system is having on the environment.

Investment assistance

Wise Investment with High Returns

Illinois Renewable and Solar Energy Incentives

Illinois has plenty of sunshine and laws that are favorable for solar power and renewable energy. In addition, the Federal Government offers a 30% tax credit for the whole installed cost of your system! That's a huge benefit available to you. Talk to Southern Lights about the incentives available to you. Besides all the environmental benefits that solar brings, plus the savings on your monthly bills for power consumption and the high return on your investment it is easy to see why so many people have made the leap over. We help you obtain these insentives every step of the way. Most see a return on their investment in less than 10 years.

Generator icon

Standby Generators: Sales/Installation/Maintenance

DO NOT get caught unprepared from the effects of unpredictable weather and unforeseen power outages. Or do you need a recharger for your battery backup solar system? A standby generator goes on - automatically - protecting you and your home 24/7. Generators are farely economical and are a great way to protection you and your family against possible power outages.

ACT ON Energy

ACT ON Energy ACTON Energy Partnership

Ameren business customers, we can assist you in reducing your lighting costs, brighten your space and help you take advantage of ACTON Energy rebates. A simple evaluation of your business by our ACTON Energy representative and you could have better and brighter lighting for about half the cost you were paying for lesser light. Contact us for an Ameren ACTON Energy evaluation!

Bonding swimming pools

Proper Wiring Saves Lives

Caitlyn MacKenzie's story is a tragic story about the importance of electrical safety and properly bonding outdoor spaces. Caitlyn received a fatal electric shock when she touched a pool side lamp while damp from swimming in her family's pool. Our licensed electricians have extensive training in proper wiring methods needed in safe wiring of swimming pools, hot tubs, boat docks, and outdoor spaces. Educate yourselves and those you love to save your family from tragedy!

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Powered by Solar or the Electric Grid: Lighting Design and Installation

Always an advocate of energy savings we welcomed the new wave of lighting innovations and are experts in energy efficient lighting and green lighting technology. We are all about helping people see better, save money and using less energy.


Distributor of DayStar Natural Lighting System

Fill your space with brilliant, non-electric light. DayStar Natural Lighting System is a skylight using a technologically designed parabolic dome for gathering natural light. The best way to save energy, invest in natural lighting with DayStars!

Customer Service

Excellent Customer Services

We stand behind our work! We back our work with a minimum one year warranty. We stand behind our work and respond to our customers immediately. We provide excellent customer service!

Southern Lights is turning sun light into energy


Learn what we can do for you!!

Solar Division

Paying attention to quality and detail, we design, install and repair all types of solar electric systems.

It’s important to understand that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer to estimating the cost of installing a solar system. Solar panel installation cost depends on multiple factors, including:

  • Whether Illinois and your local utility company continues to provide tax credits, net metering or other incentives
  • The size and other characteristics of your roof/acreage, how much energy you use and the type of solar panels used
  • The cost of utility power in your area

There are many different tax incentives, subsidies and financing and billing solutions at the state and local levels that can make going solar more affordable. To see if you are eligible for renewable energy incentive programs, visit the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency® (DSIRE®), website. Better yet, contact us direct at 618 964-1980 and talk to one of our team members or fill in the "See if solar is right for you webform" or email us at

You may also qualify for a U.S. federal residential renewable energy income tax credit. If you purchase your solar system, you are eligible for the solar ITC, which allows you to deduct 30 percent of the cost of installing a solar energy system from your federal taxes. The full solar ITC is available to home solar owners through 2019. It drops to a 26 percent deduction in 2020 and 22 percent in 2021. After that, the residential ITC is due to expire unless Congress decides to extend it.

Once you get an estimate for the cost of your solar power system, you should subtract what you’ll save on your utility bill over time and the incentives offered by your utility company and state government. Then you’ll have a better understanding of how going solar will impact your finances. We will assist you in every step along the way!

Also, remember that the old adage, “You get what you pay for,” which diffidently applies to solar. Not all solar systems and installers are alike. The durability, reliability, and efficiency of solar panels can vary widely, a well as the competency of installers. Remember we became involved in solar because of competitor's improper installation and their poor customer service. Southern Lights uses the highest quality panels available based on your solar goals.

Ultimately, the easiest way to answer your “How much does solar cost” question is to give Southern Lights a call at 618 964-1980 or fill in and submit "See if solar is right for you webform". We’ll help you get an estimate for your home or business. When you call or submit our solar estimate form, ask about the technology we use, the monitoring software, our past installations and our maintenance plans. It’s important to ask questions! We will happily answer all of your questions to the best of our ability. Take the next step and see if solar is right for you.


Check out some of our accomplishments.

Check back periodically to view our newest projects.

Largest residential system in so. IL

40 KW the largest
residential system in the area

5.4 KW in Pomona, IL

5.4 KW solar system is
an energy reducer in Pomona, IL

south of Goreville, IL

Large array; client paying
only meter charges in Goreville, IL

9.66 KW rural Carbondale, IL

9.66 KW is a great investment
with big returns-Carbondale, IL

Mausoleum in Zeigler, IL

Solar battery backup system is
lighting a mausoleum in Zeigler, IL

9.8 KW solar

9.8 KW system is inflation proof
against future rise in utility costs

Rural Johnson County, IL

First Certified "passive energy" home,
in southern Illinois thanks to 3.75 KW
solar array - Goreville, IL

Johnson checking solar inverter

Providing excellent customer service
by checking 13.8 KW inverter for efficiency

Electric Contracting

Installed safe outdoor
lighting for Etcetera in Marion, IL

Womack system

Proud owner (right) & crew are all
smiles at completion of 5.4 KW -Pomona, IL

Grid-tied ground system

13.8 KW grid-tied fixed ground mount system. Carbondale, IL

Johnson Creek solar panels

Solar powering pumps for drinking
water at Johnson Creek Rec. Area -Ava, IL

Lighting for a log home

Creative cable lighting for log
home in rural Carbondale, IL

Proper generator signage

Adhering to utility companies' required
signage for generator installations

Electric Contracting

View Caitlyn's story and understand
why proper pool and outdoor wiring is important!

Back up generators

Carterville, IL church is prepared for
the worst with a commercial grade generator

Outdoor lighting

Expanding business needed new
outdoor lighting for better visibility

Lighting design and installtion

Not just Bright Lights but the
Right Lights for an elderly client's kitchen

Explaining inverter to customer

Servicing a damaged solar system

Ground rebuild solar system

Rebuilt a ground array after a Spring
2017 tornado destroyed their home's roof.

Electric Charging Station for Electric Cars

Dr. Doug Fulk of Cedar Court Imaging,
using his EV charging station to charge his
new Tesla - Carbondale, IL

New construction wiring

Olivet thanks Southern Lights for
new construction wiring -Carbondale, IL

Installing lighting fixtures

Installing lighting fixtures for a
new General Store in Anna, IL

Lighting up grade

Lighting up grade for Longbranch
CoffeeHouse -Carbondale, IL

Finally has solar

Dream come true. Carterville, IL
client (right) finally has SOLAR!

Battery back-up capable

Battery Back-up capable!
8.28 KW installed in 2019

Southern Lights' solar

Southern Lights' roof mount
array is saving us money, too!

Labeling our solar arrays

Taking credit for our work.

Roof mount solar array in Herrin, Illinois

6.5 KW grid-tied roof mount
in Herrin, IL

About Us

Our company is an end-to-end, customer oriented energy servicing company.

Energy from the sun!

We are an environmentally friendly renewable energy company offering a broad portfolio of technologies, products and solutions for our clients' alternative energy needs! We are experts in our field.

At the heart and soul of the business is Steven Johnson. Described by a client as "A man who greets you with a kind smile and a good, firm handshake." Steven is following his dream after a 22-year career as an industrial electrician for a large industrial complex in Mt. Vernon, Illinois. Trouble shooting and fixing complex electrical systems to keep the 28-acre industrial complex working at peak performance was Steven's training ground to becoming a master electrician. As a conservation minded individual Steven opened an energy efficient lighting business; selling and installing efficient lightening solutions. His dedication to customer service and excellent workmanship helped his lighting business grow. But soon his reputation as a problem solver spread throughout the community and region. He started receiving phone calls to repair faulty solar systems and perplexing electrical problems. Southern Lights is now known and respected as the "expert" in repairing, designing and installing solar energy systems and solving and fixing hard to diagnose electrical problems in southern Illinois. As a known expert, Steven has been called upon to provide testimony in court dealing with electrical arch blast injuries and faulty NEC coding. Southern Lights, LLC; Steven's initial lighting business has evolved into a premier energy servicing business.


  • Licensed Electrician
  • North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) Associate credential holder, 0142917-017090.
  • State of Illinois: Distributed Generation Installer and Energy Efficiency Measures Installer Certifications
  • Member Illuminating Engineering Society of North America, since 2008
  • OSHA 10 Construction Certification
  • Expert witness for Lawler Brown Law Firm, Marion, IL
  • Business owner since 2007
  • Bachelor's of Science in Advanced Technical Studies and Associate of Science in Technology Studies, both from SIUC
  • US Marine Corp. 1975 -1978
Southern Lights' Résumé


Meet our team of energy specialists providing solutions for our clients

Steven Johnson

Steven Johnson


Licensed master electrician and "expert" designer, installer and repairer of solar energy systems and solver of hard to diagnose electrical problems. He weathers the elements to bring environmental benefits to humanity.

Pat Johnson

Customer Service/Generator Sales & Service/Act On Energy Rep

Pat (destine to beome a famous inventor) is Steven's right hand man, youngest son and a valuable member of our energy team.

Jared Ward

Journeyman Electrician/Installer Assistant

Jared is the newest member of the team; helping in all aspects of the business. He is a valuable member of our alternative energy team.

Jeanette Johnson

Partner/Support/Marketing/Office Manager

Retired as a web developer for SIUC and sitting in front of a computer all day, she now, weathers the elements to help bring environmental benefits to humanity. She has also taken over the administrative duties and lends support where needed.


Being a premier energy servicing business requires continued education,
staying innovative and being committed!

Nov. 14, 2018 -Steven and Jeeanette Johnson attended the Greenbuild International Conference and Expo, 25th anniversary, held in Chicago, Illinois. Greenbuild serves as a flagship event for sustainability professionals and offers a forum for the green movement and solar community. By attending this conference, Steven brings to his community a better understand of its role in protecting and perserving the natural environment and leveraging the builting environment to: enhance human health and wellbeing, mitigate climate change, protect our ecosystems, and champion sustainable designs. Johnson's comment to the future of our planet, and the sustainable practices of solar is more than a calling, he feels it is a solemn responsibility.Green Build Expo 2018

Feb. 20 - 22, 2018 -Johnson trained in newest advanced home battery backup power systems in Appleton, WI. Steven A. Johnson, owner of Southern Lights, LLC, a certified, full-service solar integration and electrical contracting company in Carbondale, IL attended the OutBack Power NABCEP-registered Certificate Training Program during February 20th and 22nd at Werner Electric in Appleton, Wisconsin.

The three-day accelerated training focused on all aspects of energy storage-based systems for home battery backup power systems for living off the grid or where solar energy net metering is not offered in conjunction with their local electricity supplier. (Net metering allows consumers who generate electricity to use that electricity anytime, instead of when it is generated and without an increase cost of Kwatt hours imposed by their local electricity supplier.

The training included system concepts, technologies and planning, designing, programming, commissioning, testing, and including new GridZero and Advanced Battery Charging technologies.

Archived News

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Southern Lights, LLC Bulb 2416 S. Wolf Creek Road Bulb Carbondale, Illinois 62902 Bulb (618) 964-1980 Bulb

© 2018 Southern Lights, LLC.