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Wilmington expects new street lightning to make a difference

Delaware Public Media

The City of Wilmington is implementing smart city technologies to reduce its carbon footprint and make the city safer.



The city is borrowing $2.1 million from the state’s Efficient Energy Investment Fund to replace all city street lights with LED light bulbs. It’s part of a partnership with Delmarva Power called ConnectWilmington.

The city estimates at least $150,000 in energy savings per year, which will more than cover the cost of the loan.

The LED lights are more energy efficient than traditional bulbs and Mayor Mike Purzycki says it’s part of a larger goal to reduce Wilmington’s carbon footprint. 

“We have an obligation to one another. There’s a broad consensus around the importance of reducing carbon and other gases. This is an obligation all citizens should have.”

The city is also installing smart sensors, which assist with traffic and emergency situation management, firearm detection and air quality readings - things Purzycki hopes will make Wilmington a safer city. 

“We can use cameras in these devices, we can use shot spotters, so in the event that there’s an act of violence, it helps us so we can identify it.”

The project launched Wednesday with 215 light bulbs changed and 50 smart sensors installed. 

All 7050 Wilmington street lights are expected to be converted to LED bulbs within two years - with 220 smart sensors installed during that same time.