LED Lights to Make New Haven a Safer City

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    NEWSLETTERS

    NBCConnecticut.com
    New Haven officials hope to make the city safer using LED street lights like this.

    New Haven is hoping its bright idea pays off – the city is replacing its street lights with LED bulbs.

    "I sometimes don't even need have to turn on my front porch light," said New Haven resident Evelyn Wilcox of New Haven.

    Wilcox said she doesn't have to leave that porch light on for her husband anymore, thanks to LED lights across the street from her Lexington Avenue home.

    "When I get up in the morning at 3, it's brighter for me to come out to my car and I'm less afraid," Cox added.

    New Haven wants to give more residents that peace of mind through a new initiative to install LED lights across the city. Fair Haven Heights was the latest stop.

    "We will save 30-40 percent on our energy bill by converting to LED," said the city's chief administrative officer, Mike Carter.

    Carter said it's not just about saving energy. The new lights also serve as a crime deterrent.

    "The streets become brighter, there's no dark spots, it's easier for pedestrians to walk," he said.

    Johnny Estrada, whose parents live in Fair Haven Heights, explained that he's already noticed the difference.

    "[The lights] are a lot brighter now so it makes it a lot harder for people to break into cars," he said.

    The project kicked off two years ago in Newhallville. Since then, the city already substituted 3,000 of its 10,000 bulbs for LEDs. Now officials are focused on finishing the entire downtown grid.

    "My dad works at night so it's a lot better," Estrada said.

    The difference in Fair Haven Heights was clear Wednesday night from one side of East Grand Avenue to the other.

    "There's a lot less crime in the area with these lights because they're a lot brighter," Wilcox said.

    City officials said they hope to have LED lights throughout the downtown area by September.