- Chicago will install 40,000 new LED streetlights throughout the city as part of the next phase of the Chicago Smart Lighting Program.
- Installations will be concentrated in the far South Side, Near West Side and North Side and will take place through August, the halfway point of the four-year project. The city will update progress on an interactive map.
- Mayor Rahm Emanuel and utility ComEd have said the city will save an estimated $100 million over the next decade through the energy efficiency upgrades. The city has also received more than $12 million in rebates from ComEd for the installations.
The entire four-year program will see the city replace 270,000 lights with LED versions that are consume 50% to 75% less electricity than the existing High Pressure Sodium street lights. They’re also expected to last two to three times longer than existing lights, while cutting down on light pollution by projecting beams downward. Chicago’s lights can also be dimmed, helping to avoid the brightness complaints that have dogged LED lights in some other cities.
The city has focused not just on the heavily trafficked downtown areas, but also on residential neighborhoods, with an eye to spreading the benefits.
“This project has been a win-win for Chicagoans as it delivers one of the largest lighting modernization programs in the country and addresses one of the top reasons residents contact 311,” Emanuel said in a statement. “As we begin this next phase, the program will reach more neighborhoods and provide more residents with reliable and energy-efficient nighttime lighting.”
The program will further the city’s climate goals. Earlier this month, the Chicago City Council voted to commit to 100% renewable energy by 2035, becoming the largest U.S. city to make such a pledge, and Emanuel has said Chicago will help uphold the U.S. commitment to the United Nations climate change agreement.