SAVANNAH, GA- If you live in Savannah you may have noticed some changes when the sun goes down.
Thousands of new LED lights are being installed illuminating city streets at night much more than the previous sodium amber lights and many think that’s a good thing.
“I’ve seen people peeking into my neighbors windows and pretty much every house around me has been robbed,” says Daffin Heights resident Ashely Burke.
The point of the change to LED lights is to make Savannah more energy efficient. At the same time residents say they think these new, brighter streetlights give them more visibility to watch out for would be criminals. That’s the case for Burke who is seeing a big difference.
“Pitch black dark, if your car was parked there you couldn’t see anything or anyone that might be around it,” she says.
It’s a different story as she like other residents have new LED lights in street lamps. They were installed to save energy, for Burke they’re also helping her sleep a little easier at night.
“A little more safe feeling you’re not as worried because you can see down the street, you couldn’t really see down the street before,” says Burke who use to drop her daughter off at the corner for the bus and was worried about the morning darkness, now a new light is at the corner making bright as it is during the day.
Studies debate whether brighter lights really stop crime. Burke as a mother says it’s a no-brainer they allow her at least to see more at night.
“I appreciate being able to see them coming and prepare if they’re going to come to my yard we can see them a lot better on the approach if we’re looking out the window we can see if people are messing with our vehicles or snooping through the yard.”
Georgia Power is installing the lights at no cost to the city expecting that over time the savings will level out. For now the city will pay current energy rates. In the end they believe the new lights are the right move.
“It’s a really good project for the environment again with the sustainable light we feel like it’s going to be good for public safety, it’s also just good for traffic too you’ll just be able to see more of the roadway at night,” says city public information officer Bret Bell.
Georgia Power has been installing the new light fixtures since July and are expecting to complete the replacements by the end of October.