LED Lights Cut Crime in Baltimore Parking Lot

Johns Hopkins School of Medicine is located in historic downtown Baltimore, Maryland, and is one of the most prestigious learning institutions in the country, but it is also in the midst of a crime wave that disturbs citizens and authorities alike. Since July of this year, there have been several incidents involving attacks and robberies near campus on employees traveling to and from transportation and parking lots. Several of these crimes involved the theft of cell phones that were grabbed from unsuspecting citizens. Police and campus authorities are recommending that pedestrians in the area remain aware of their surroundings at all times and not advertise that they have a cell phone in their possession in an effort to deter the criminals. The single most important tip they have for individuals is to stay in well-lit areas after dark. It is well known that adequate lighting is a major crime deterrent, so avoid dark places and isolated, shadowy areas.

Since manager installed lower-wattage, brighter burning LED lights in a parking lot near Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, residents report that crime in the lot (not shown), mostly theft, has dropped significantly.

Since manager installed lower-wattage, brighter burning LED lights in a parking lot near Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, residents report that crime in the lot (not shown), mostly theft, has dropped significantly.

One mixed-use building near Johns Hopkins is ahead of the curve and glad of it. An old school building has been turned into a mixed-use residential condo and commercial building, located in a developing area near John Hopkins Hospital. The development was experiencing considerable crime in the parking lot, which has just forty spaces. The parking lot was dimly lit by one parking lot pole light and one post-top fixture with two globe lamps. The lighting did not produce enough light to reach the front door, leaving areas of complete darkness and shadows throughout the parking lot and building entrance area. When tenants began reporting and complaining about frequent car break-ins, the building owner sought out new, brighter lighting that would avoid the removal of the currently installed posts or damage the aesthetics of the historically styled post-top lamppost near the entrance.

“I knew I needed to find a light that would cover the entire parking lot from end to end, but I wanted to pay special attention to energy consumption and help the building cut down on their electric bill,” said Shane Hresko, CEO of Bmore Green

How did he do it? LED lighting, of course. Bmore Green replaced four 400-watt metal halide area lights. These were replaced with two 100-watt LED area lights. The complex also selected a 50-watt LED small floodlight to increase the light output of the globe fixture entrance lamp. It was installed on a weatherproof mounting box in the center of the existing dual post-top fixture and aimed at the building entrance. This method of installation made it possible to keep the existing post-top globe lamps in place and maintain the “old Baltimore city style” of the lamppost while adding the much-needed light for the parking lot.

The new lighting is certainly saving the building owners money. Even with the addition of the additional LED small flood light to the lamppost in the parking lot, the building will save 67,500 kWh in energy. Additionally, $8,100 in energy and maintenance costs over the 50,000-hour life of the LED fixtures will be saved. Bmore Green also helped the building owner secure a utility rebate of $150 per LED area light, for an additional savings of $600 almost instantly. Most importantly, since the fixtures were installed in the fall of 2012, instead of seeing an increase in parking lot crimes as the rest of the surrounding area has, the tenants have not reported a single car break-in in the parking lot.

“I was able to go down in wattage while producing more light. The quality and amount of light was doubled compared with what they used to have, and the tenants in the building thanked me for taking care of their crime problems.” Shane Hresko concludes.

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