Birmingham LED street light project aims to cut down on crime

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) -- People living in the Five Points area and surrounding neighborhoods of Birmingham are noticing some changes that city leaders say may help fight crime.

Alabama Power and the city joined forces back in April rolling out LED street lights for the entire city. Right now, 5600 lights have been installed out of the planned 30,000.

Alabama Power is moving in a clockwise pattern, first starting in the western part of the city and then eventually ending in downtown Birmingham.

Besides being more energy efficient and easier to maintain, the city expects the lights to reduce their electricity bill by 50-70%.

"One of the first things that you think about when you talk about the led lighting is just the lighting quality itself better lighting it automatically contributes to a feeling of safety and security for the people in your community," said Keisa Sharpe, spokesperson for Alabama Power.

The LED's will also mean less down time and a much longer lifespan.

The program first rolled out in Councilor Steven Hoyt's district. Hoyt says he's already noticed a difference and hopes it will help reduce crime.

"Knowing what people got on, you know, you'll be able to tell that as well as what color the car was because it illuminates to the point to where you can identify and so that's really what we wanted, that's really what we've been crying for," said Hoyt.

CBS42 spoke to four people living and working in the Five Points area. General consensus was that they liked the new street lights but think more needs to be done in order to combat crime.

"The lighting is good but it's not going to solve the problems that's kinda accumulates in the neighborhood with the evil people that's out here, but lighting helps," said Alvin Harris.

The project is expected to be complete by December 2018.

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