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Economy

Warren is brightening up with LED lights

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FLICKR USER RAY DUMAS / FLICKR
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Things are going to be brighter in Warren. Literally.

The Macomb County city plans to swap out all of its streetlights to LED. DTE Energy Co. says this will be the largest collaborative municipal LED conversion yet.

Warren Mayor Jim Fouts said that in total, the city has around 11,000 streetlights. Of those 11,000 , 6,329 are mercury vapor lights.

“And we want to convert them first, because the mercury vapors pollute,” he said. “They contribute to acid rain, they contribute to global warming, they’re not a good thing, they’re not as strong a light as LED, and the LED are very cost effective.”

This conversion of the mercury vapor lights to LED will happen over a 15-year period, though the city will soon start by converting 100 of those.

Taxpayers are expected to save almost $6 million during the 15-year period.

“It’s close enough to six million, that it’s the best deal that you could find anywhere and it’s a good example of collaboration and cooperation between a business like DTE and a large community like Warren,” Fouts said.

While at first Fouts was concerned about the higher initial cost of LED lights, he was convinced after meeting with DTE and discussing the long-term cost benefits, the benefits to public safety and the benefits to the environment. He doubts that any tax payer would object to saving 6 million dollars over 15 years.

“Every city should do this deal because of the economic reasons, the reasons dealing with crime, and the policy that every city should have toward eliminating unnecessary pollution when it comes to acid rain or global warming.”