The first set of LED street lights — deemed brighter and more energy efficient — will be installed today at the intersection of Greiner and Hamburg streets on Detroit’s east side as part of the Detroit Public Lighting Authority’s plan to rebuild the street lighting system.
“We’re going to be installing a lighting program in the city that’s on par with cities like L.A., Seattle, Boston, and Denver,” says Odis Jones, executive director of the authority. “And today is the beginning of doing that.”
During today’s kick-off event, Mayor Mike Duggan and Jones will outline key revisions to the lighting plan, which includes converting the city’s entire system to LED lights.
“It’s the modern way that cities across the country are going,” Jones says. “More importantly, it saves anywhere between 40 and 50 percent on energy (costs). At a time when the city is pinching its pennies, so to speak, we are making sure we’re being fiscally prudent.”
The 150-watt LED street lights are more than twice as bright as the past standard 70-watt high-pressure sodium lights, which will help deter crime and “create the sense of place our community deserves,” Jones says.
The updated plan also accelerates the pace of installation, with the goal of completing the pilot project by the end of May. The east side project is comprised of an area with boundaries of Eight Mile, Kelly Road, Hoover, and Houston Whittier. The west side project has boundaries of McNichols, Southfield, and Telegraph, with a small extension into the Five Points area of the city.
Jones says he expects the lighting in all neighborhoods to be updated within the next 18 months, although some of the underground work will extend into 2016. Currently, many streets in the city are dark, including Boston Boulevard, between 12th and 14th streets.