(Above) Looking up at new street lights at corner of Grand Avenue & State Street. (Click on images to view larger versions.)
24-May-18 New smart street lights installed along Grand Avenue will last longer, cost less money, and alert the city when they need replaced.
The lights were installed along the entire length of Grand Avenue as it passes through Streeterville and River North as part of a city-wide program to replace more than 270,000 street lights within four years. So far, 42,000 new lights have been installed.
A management system for the new lights, operational later this year, will detect when a light needs service.
The LED lights produce a soft white light, providing better visibility at night, consume 50 to 75 percent less electricity than traditional orange-tinted High-Pressure Sodium lights, and they will last two to three times longer, says the city.
(Left) Closer view of an LED street light.
ComEd rewards customers that modernize, and the City of Chicago is no exception. Rebates from ComEd could total $35 million. The city estimates the modernization will cut its street light electricity costs in half. The savings, about $100 million over ten years, according to the city, will eventually offset the cost of the upgrade.
The $160 million needed for the Smart Lighting Modernization Program was raised with the help of the Chicago Infrastructure Trust, created in 2012 to provide alternative financing and project delivery options for large and complex infrastructure projects.