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Crime Fighting Street Lights?

At Outdoor Lighting Perspectives, we are always intrigued by new lighting technologies, so it isn’t surprising that an article discussing crime fighting street lights piqued our interest. The city of Chattanooga tested new LED technology in a crime-ridden park in their city and now they are looking to switch out lights across the rest of the city.

Coolidge Park in Chattanooga is a large park in the city that had become dangerous for visitors at night. Gang violence had pushed the city towards incorporating large stadium lighting throughout the park to make sure all the areas were well lit. Worried that the stadium flood lights would ruin the park’s atmosphere, a local company brought a new lighting technology to the table (you can read the whole story here).

Instead the company proposed trying wirelessly controlled LED street lights that were not only energy-efficient, but could help combat the growing crime problem. Each light bulb is able brighten a crime scene or tail a suspicious person running through the park. Controlled out of patrol police car, the new park lights have not only cut down the crime, but increased the park’s use. People are now enjoying the park at all hours of the night.

For the city of Chattanooga, the benefits of a new lighting system like this are many. LED bulbs in general are much more energy efficient than other lighting options, but there are additional savings due to their controls. The lights dim at times when they aren’t being used cutting down on wasted energy and light output. Additionally, the city will save money on maintenance as LED bulbs can last up to 50,000 hours.

Because the entire lighting system can be controlled manually, they city is looking at possible ways to take advantage, for example using them to flash warning signals during emergencies.

Street lighting, as shown through this Chattanooga example, is a big crime deterrent and makes people feel safe in areas after dark. Unfortunately, a lot of municipalities have outdated systems that require a lot of maintenance or don’t provide enough light. At Outdoor Lighting Perspectives, we try to work with what fixtures are already on the property if we can and just retrofit the light source. For instance, a parking garage may have metal halide high bay lights that we can retro fit to LED or induction lighting. Both LED and induction lighting not only last much longer than metal halide, but they are also much brighter for a safer look.

If you have questions regarding commercial outdoor lighting, please contact your local Outdoor Lighting Perspectives office.