300 LED lights going up around UC to cut crime - 19 Action News|Cleveland, OH|News, Weather, Sports

300 LED lights going up around UC to cut crime

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These photos show the difference that LED lights can make during late night hours. (Photo via Duke Energy) These photos show the difference that LED lights can make during late night hours. (Photo via Duke Energy)
CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) -

When University of Cincinnati students head back to campus in just a few weeks, they'll notice some bold, and bright, changes around the campus. 
 
It's all thanks to the installation of hundreds of LED streetlights geared toward student safety.
 
In Corryville on Wednesday, fourth-year student Tyler Hegedus spent the day moving into his new apartment.
 
"A lot of my friends live on the other side of campus.  I wasn't too sure if I'd be able to walk and see them," said Tyler Hegedus, a UC student.
 
He's had his car vandalized, and his friends have had their cars broken into.  He has walked to and from work at a restaurant near campus in the wee hours of the morning, doing his best to avoid dimly lit areas.
 
"As soon as you'd get off into where the students actually live, there'd be one in every four that worked.  Some would be on.  Some would be off.  Some never worked.  Some flickered," said Hegedus.
 
That's all about to change.

Hegedus parks his car on Seminole Street, the first street to see the new LED lights.
 
"It's going to be a clear, white light versus the yellow amber, golden color that you may have seen in older street lights.  What that does is it will illuminate an area across a much wider space," said Duke Energy spokesperson Sally Thelen.
 
UC has partnered with the city of Cincinnati and Duke Energy to replace or install the 321 new LED lights, a much brighter alternative than traditional streetlights.  They'll go in areas to the east and west of the campus.
 
"In the last three years, crime has reduced by more than 24% in the area, and we want to continue that trend, and we think this lighting will help in that area," said UC spokesperson Greg Vehr.
 
But, for a recent UC grad, she's not totally sold on the idea just yet.  In the years she spent in school there, she's witnessed crimes, some of them in broad daylight.
 
"I think that students will feel more safe if there's more lighting around campus, but I don't know for sure if that will deter crime," said Courtney Danser, a UC grad.
 
Duke Energy officials say the project could take up to six months to complete.  As for the cost, Michelle Ralston with the university's Public Safety department tells FOX19 a total cost isn't available yet, but it'll be shared between all three partners with the university covering most of the utility cost.
 
Ralston adds that last year, 93 more lights were installed in areas off, and around, campus.

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