Evolve Streetlights Brighten Up the City of Toledo

The Opportunity

When the City of Toledo, Ohio, was looking to enhance the safety of its streets, it turned to LEDs to light the way. Toledo was ready to upgrade its lighting infrastructure, but it needed a solution that would positively impact all corners of the city—from energy efficiency and maintenance costs to citizen safety and crime reduction.

A pilot program helped outline the potential benefits of a city-wide streetlight upgrade. Once the pilots were completed, the city and its stakeholders, including Toledo Edison, a local electric utility, were confident that new lighting would both be aesthetically pleasing and provide brighter environments that could in turn reduce crime. However, all parties needed to make sure they selected the right roadway fixture for the job.

The Solution

Toledo ultimately chose Current’s Evolve® LED Cobra Head luminaires to light its streets. These Evolve fixtures were chosen for the project thanks to a combination of quality and reliability. Features such as their unique reflective optics were a big bonus, since the fixture is designed to optimize application efficiency, minimize glare and ‘shape' the light to where it needs to go. That flexibility was key for this project, since the city and its stakeholders were focused on reducing light pollution and energy waste.

“The adjustability of the fixtures has been a plus. Like most, our poles are not always straight and the adjustability to put the light where it is intended to go is a huge benefit,” explained Tyler Woody, Manager, Forestry Services at Toledo Edison.

A total of 27,000 streetlights were converted to these new LEDs. Installation was spread across 18 months due to the massive scale of the project, but the city stayed on schedule and was able to complete the upgrades on time, even in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Installation was quick and easy for our contractors, and far exceeded our production goals,” Woody said.

Before and after Toledo's streetlight upgrade.

The Results

Initial feedback from the community has been overwhelmingly positive. Residents have remarked on the brighter light, noting that they have better visibility to see their vehicles parked on streets. Community leaders have also said that the improved lighting helps neighborhoods and residents feel safer—and the data backs up their claims.

“One Central City area has seen a significant 57% reduction in major crimes since installation. Based on results, another high crime area may increase the wattage slightly to provide even more light in their neighborhood,” said Paul Rasmusson, Toledo’s Director of Public Service.

It didn’t take long for Toledo to experience maintenance savings thanks to the new streetlights as well. With far less work to be done to upkeep the LEDs, man hours have been decreased, and the city is also saving money on replacement part costs due to Evolve’s superior reliability.

“Typically, the night maintenance crew touches over 5,000 lights a year with traditional lights,” Woody said. “Current’s new LED lights significantly reduce this need, making it virtually vanish.”

With this new LED roadway lighting, Toledo is making streets better for drivers, residents, city taxpayers and maintenance workers. Now, the city enjoys reduced glare, more focused and brighter street lighting, lower maintenance costs and increased safety, all thanks to its lighting infrastructure upgrade.

Watch the video to see Current’s roadway lighting in action.