Case Histories: Educational/Institutional Lighting
New Lighting Returns Park to the People
Located on 5.7 acres in Spring Valley, a suburb of San Diego, Spring Valley Park was known for its handsome grounds and a 133,200 square-foot community center. For a while it was also known for problems brought about by inadequate lighting: several serious incidents of assaults with injury each year; automobile break-ins; almost one vehicle- pedestrian accident each week, with older people often the victims; about 40 vehicle-vehicle accidents annually; almost daily spray painting of the community center (costing $10,000 per year to correct); and $25,000 worth of thefts and damage caused by break-ins at the community center.
Determined to do something about these problems, the County of San Diego Department of Parks and Recreation invested $17,250 in a new, high-benefit lighting system.
- Assaults and robberies were virtually eliminated.
- Vehicle-pedestrian accidents were cut by 75 percent while vehicle-vehicle accidents were reduced by almost 90 percent.
- Vandalism was virtually eliminated, saving $10,000 per year.
- Community center break-ins also were stopped, saving another $25,000 each year.
As a result of these latter two benefits alone, simple payback for the new lighting occurred in slightly more than six months. Perhaps more important, the Park has once again become a community resource.