Detroit Wins Grant For LED Streetlights

01/20/2012 03:07 pm ET

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation has awarded the city of Detroit a $400,000 grant to upgrade city streetlights with new, energy-efficient technology.

The money would come from unspent federal funding and allow for the installation of solid-state LED lighting in six areas of the city.

According to the U.S. Deparment of Energy, the LED technology has the potential to conserve 25 percent more energy than conventional lights.

The funds will help purchase about 580 LED lights to be used in place of the city's older mercury vapor lights.

Public lighting has been a hot-button issue in Detroit lately with many residents concerned about a lack of service. Almost 20 percent of Detroit's 88,000 lights do not work.

And while entire city blocks remain dark, one man in Detroit's Boston-Edison neighborhood has complained that his streetlights remain on during the day, Fox 2 reports.

The six project areas targeted for the new LED lights include Telegraph Road from Fullerton to Eight Mile Road; Fullerton from Ewald Circle to Schaeffer; Greenfield from Paul to Eight Mile; Hamilton, Fairway and Curtis between McNichols and Seven Mile; 14th Street from Grand Blvd. to Lawrence; and Waterman from North Lafayette to West Vernor, Dix west of Vernor to Woodmere, and Woodmere from Dix to Vernor.

"This grant supports one of my key initiatives of helping to make our city safer by improving street lighting for our citizens," Detroit Mayor Dave Bing said in a press statement. "We expect energy savings of about 60 percent across the project areas."

Bing has been pushing to privatize Detroit's public lighting department to both solve outage problems save money for the city.

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