News / City Life

City flips the switch on the Chicago Smart Lighting Project

City flips the switch on the Chicago Smart Lighting Project
Photograph: Courtesy City of Chicago

A public demonstration of next-generation streetlights is underway in seven Chicago neighborhoods. The city of Chicago announced that communities included in the demonstration, part of the Chicago Smart Lighting Project, will have new streetlights installed over one residential block, one arterial street and one alley.

Ultimately, the Smart Lighting Project will upgrade streetlights throughout the city with modern lighting technology. The city said it will replace about 270,000 old high-pressure sodium lamps with up-to-date, energy-efficient LED lights, which means that Chicago will soon loose its orange glow.

“The installation of better, smarter and more-reliable street lighting is a win-win; it’s a win for energy efficiency and a win for quality of life in neighborhoods throughout the city of Chicago,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in a press release. The new lights are expected to last 2 to 3 times longer than the city’s current street lights, and a new lighting management system will automatically inform the city when a light goes out, the mayor added. This means residents would no longer need to call 311 to report outages.

Intersections selected for the demonstration are located in Rogers Park, Hollywood Park, Humboldt Park, Back of the Yards, South Shore, Roseland and Morgan Park. As part of the rollout, residents are being asked to provide feedback about the quality of lighting, lighting levels and visibility.

“Before we finalize the selection of new light fixtures, we believe it is important that we conduct field tests of the lighting in Chicago’s neighborhoods so that both residents and our own lighting experts can see how these lighting levels perform,” said Rebekah Scheinfeld, commissioner for the Chicago Department of Transportation. “All the feedback we get will be used to finalize the specifications for the new lights that we will be installing in all neighborhoods.”

Residents have until the end of the year to submit feedback via online survey or by mailing comments to CDOT Streetlight Demo, 30 N LaSalle Street, Suite 1100, Chicago, IL 60602.


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