Survey shows LEDs improve public’s perceptions of city safety

The LED City initiative in Raleigh, NC, has been shown to yield benefits beyond energy efficiency.

When LED lighting was switched on in the municipal parking garage in Raleigh, NC, people’s opinion of the quality of lighting improved threefold, according to survey results.

The evaulation project if part of the "LED City" initiative introduced in Raleigh in collaboration with LED maker Cree - see Raleigh and Cree build LED City to evaluation LED lighting.

Raleigh exchanged the previous garage fixtures and their dull orange light for LED fixtures with bright white light. The number of respondents who perceived the garage as "very safe" increased by 76% after the LED fixtures were installed, according to a survey by Mindwave Research of Austin, TX.

"LED technology provides a clear benefit to municipal infrastructure, as well as to the citizens it serves," said Charles Meeker, mayor of Raleigh. "This survey shows that LEDs can do more than improve light quality. In addition to the proven environmental and energy efficiency benefits the city has already documented, the survey shows that LEDs’ bright white light can help improve public feelings of safety in city spaces."

The survey results showed that the parking garage generated a more positive reaction from most of the respondents after the addition of LED fixtures:

  • Both men and women felt significantly safer post-installation: 74% rated the garage as feeling "very safe," while only 2% did not. These figures contrast with the pre-installation numbers: only 42% felt "very safe" with the original lighting, and 13% did not.
  • The percentage of respondents who gave the garage an overall rating of "excellent" increased by 100%. The number of people who rated it as "poor" decreased from 8 to 1%.
  • The lighting quality of the garage was "excellent" according to 86% of the respondents, a 258% increase from pre-installation respondents. The number of people who rated it as "poor" decreased from 18 to 2%.
  • The cleanliness of the parking garage was perceived as "excellent" by 76% of the respondents, while only 58% rated it this way before the LEDs were installed, showing a 31% increase.

The LED City initiative focuses on installing LED lighting, based on Cree's LEDs, throughout the city to save energy and money, and boost the quality of life for its residents by using the best lighting technology commercially available. As a result, the city has conserved energy and improved the lighting of its municipal city parking facility, the first of a series of projects aimed at delivering the environmental and economic benefits of LED lighting throughout Raleigh’s "living laboratory."

Lighting Science Group Corporation of Dallas, TX, supplied the LED fixtures installed in the Raleigh garage.

The two surveys of 200 people each were conducted on behalf of Cree, Inc. by Mindwave Research, Inc. The pre-installation survey was conducted November 11-13, 2006, and the post-installation survey was conducted February 5-8, 2007.

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