Rising crime statistics can quickly give your municipality the reputation of “don’t go there.”
Whether deserved or not, a reputation of a dangerous city can have many adverse effects, on everything from culture, real estate prices and tax money flowing into the cities coffers. Studies have shown that improved street lighting can dramatically reduce crime – up to 21% in areas that improved their lighting compared to similar areas that did not. This is accomplished in two ways. First, criminals thrive in the dark, and well-lit areas act as a deterrence to their nefarious plans. Second, there is the often-overlooked issue of community pride. Broken or dim and outdated street lighting effects morale by making the city less secure and demonstrating how broke the city is. A well-lit town gives its residents a sense of security and comfort, and a willingness to “take back the night” from criminals and enjoy the city’s night life.
LED street lights illuminate the night far brighter than traditional street lights. Here is a proven, simple formula: Bright lights = reduced crime. Dull, dim lights = increased crime.
Also, there is another fact to consider. No city can thrive if their young residents move out in droves, due to fear of crime, lack of economic opportunity and an overall deterioration of the city’s quality of life. Improved lighting can play a role in reversing these trends and bringing the energy of the millennial generation back.
Consider Detroit. In December 2012, the State of Michigan authorized the establishment of a Public Lighting Authority (PLA) to design and implement a modernization plan for Detroit’s street lighting system. The mission was to replace more than 65,000 streetlights all over the town.
The new replacement bulbs were 150-watt equivalent LED’s, far more energy efficient and more than twice as bright as the outdated, high-pressure sodium bulbs they replaced.
Entrepreneurs and grass-roots neighborhood groups are actually bring the formerly lifeless economy of Detroit back to life. Young people are moving back, schools are safer, and investors feel more confident about investing in the city. Perhaps the new streetlights didn’t do it all by themselves. But they did play a gigantic role in sparking long-forgotten community pride.
Additionally, consider the money saved by putting LED technology to work. LED lights have a longer lifespan, use less electricity, and are far more environmentally-friendly than the sodium vapor lamps that they replace. These lights produce an inferior, scattered light for both night drivers and pedestrians as well. If you’re the city manager, what choice would you make?
Finally, there is still another advantage to LED lighting. Consider the large number of lawsuits and claims against the city from motorists unable to see potholes in the road due to lack of illumination. Granted, these may be minor claims when considered individually. But collectively, they all add up to a whopping and totally unnecessary dent in your city’s budget.
Let We Are Lights help you put a stop to these problems, once and for all!