Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Going dark: Detroit braces for 'a system-wide failure' of its new streetlights

Posted By on Tue, May 7, 2019 at 11:21 AM

click to enlarge Mack Avenue before new lights were installed. - STEVE NEAVLING
  • Steve Neavling
  • Mack Avenue before new lights were installed.

Some of Detroit’s neighborhoods could go dark again.

Detroit’s Public Lighting Authority (PLA) filed a federal lawsuit on Monday against the manufacturer of about 20,000 LED lights that are “prematurely dimming and burning out” and are at risk of “a system-wide failure,” The Detroit News first reported.

The PLA is blaming California-based Leotek Electronics USA, which built nearly a third of the city’s 65,000 new streetlights.

An inspection of the lighting system last fall uncovered defective streetlights that were “charred, burned, or cracked,” the PLA’s lawyers wrote in a letter in February.

In a letter to the PLA, the company acknowledged the problems, blaming them on “excessive heat that can burn the lens directly above the LED.”

“We apologize for the problem you have experienced and will work with you to correct the problems,” Leotek administrator Hy Nguyen wrote.

According to the lawsuit, Leotek recently stopped responding to the PLA.

The city spent $185 million to install 65,000 streetlights over the past three years.

Stay on top of Detroit news and views. Sign up for our weekly issue newsletter delivered each Wednesday.

Tags: , , , , ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected].

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Read the Digital Print Issue

January 19, 2022

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In Detroit

© 2022 Detroit Metro Times - Contact Us

Website powered by Foundation