LED Lighting Blog

The Solution to Detroit's Street Lighting Crisis

Posted by Electro-Matic on Dec 15, 2014 6:00:00 AM

A city using conventional street lighting can experience many issues and waste millions on energy and maintenance costs. Conventional lighting has a short lifespan and can go unrepaired if the city has a limited amount of money and staff. Detroit has been experiencing a streetlight epidemic for years, leaving many residents living in the dark at night. With the implementation of LED lighting, Detroit can solve their lighting dilemma, and transition out of the darkness.

Detroit's Lighting Crisis

Detroit has been experiencing public street light complications for years because of a 40 year disinvestment period. Detroit streets utilize equipment that is as old as 70 years, which leads to serious maintenance issues and costs. 40% of public fixtures that are supposed to light the streets of Detroit are dark. Some are out simply because the bulb is out, or there is a minor circuit issue. Other lights flicker on and off frequently, never turn on, or go on once they’re fixed, but quickly break again due to copper thieves. The darkness has caused an increase in crime and accidents, and is affecting the daily lives of Detroit’s residents. With over 2,400 residential work orders, the little staff Detroit has cannot simply fix every light. It’s been estimated to cost Detroit $185 million to replace current lighting with LED bulbs, which is an investment that will see a huge amount of return in the future.

How LED Lighting Can Help

Making the switch to LED lighting can be the beginning of enormous energy and maintenance savings for Detroit. LED lights are highly efficient, and uses about half of the energy conventional bulbs use. Conventional lights also need to be replaced three times for every one LED light, saving a lot of money on replacements. With Detroit’s lack of staff, there wouldn’t be as many replacement or maintenance requests from residents. LED light fixtures are also not affected by weather conditions, making it simple to survive without maintenance or repairs through Detroit’s frigid winters. The whiter glow of LED lighting provides a truer color, and can limit the amount of crime and accidents through an increase in depth perception and clearer peripheral views. Using our ROI Calculator, Detroit could experience energy and maintenance savings of $237 million over 10 years by switching to LED lighting.

Evidence of LED Lighting Success  

Seattle is a prime example of a city that converted to LED street lights. Whenever an existing light in the city goes out, it is replaced with an LED bulb. The city has seen a 48% decrease in energy consumption and a significant reduction of greenhouse gas submissions. Seattle has saved $2.4 million in energy and maintenance costs annually since LED installation, and will see a return on their investment in 7.7 years.

The facts and numbers don’t lie; LED lighting can save enormous amounts of money on energy, maintenance, and repair costs. LED lighting is safe for the environment, limiting the amount and energy used, and greenhouse gas emissions given off. LED also has a long lifespan, limiting the amount of repairs and maintenance needed, which is significant for Detroit’s 88,000 fixtures. Switching to LED lighting can help end Detroit’s darkness, decrease crime and accidents, and help save millions of dollars for the city annually.

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Topics: LED Technology, LED Lighting