If you’ve noticed that your street lights seem brighter, they have. Looking to save money and reduce crime, the city is in the middle of a complete upgrade of all street lights.
It’s part the Chicago Smart Lighting program, announced by Mayor Rahm Emanuel last year. It is being implemented over four years, with a goal of making the city more energy efficient, and making citizens feel safer. According to a press release from the city last year.
The program started on the South and West sides due, which generally have higher crime rates. The brighter lights will hopefully make those neighborhoods safer, according the city.
The lights have also already been installed in the full length of Lake Shore Drive and on major arteries throughout the city.
There is an energy efficient side to the lights as well, according to the city. The old fixtures were High-Pressure Sodium (HPS) lights. The new ones are more energy-efficient LED lights, which last up to three times longer. The city expects to save approximately $1 million in the first full year the lights are up and running, and as much as $100 million over 10 years. They are also expected to qualify for up $35 million in rebates from ComED, according to the announcement of the program.
The program is expected to be fully installed by the end of 2021. Installation takes about 15 minutes per light, which works out to about one hour per block. The arterial streets are not expected to close during this installation process but in smaller streets and alleys closures may be expected or parking restrictions not due to last more than a day, according to the city.
You can see when the lights are coming to your neighborhood here.