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Street Lighting Orem City, UT

Street lighting heightens safety for rapidly growing Orem

Orem City, Utah is often referred to as “Family City, USA.” Located only 30 minutes south of Salt Lake City, the area was once a quiet farming community until the burgeoning technology industry fueled its growth to 86,000. Now home to many large, young families (it has the lowest median age in the country), the city was recently listed among Money Magazine’s top 10 best places to live.

Until about two years ago, only 10 percent of the city’s streets were illuminated. City officials did not realize the impact the dark streets were having on crime until police apprehended a thief following a rash of automobile thefts. When asked why he had targeted Orem City, the thief replied that the city was the darkest in the state.

“Officials felt the best way to deter crime was to get more eyes watching the streets, which meant illuminating the city,” said John Park, Orem City public works director.

City officials sent requests for proposals to several major lighting manufacturers. Based on the responses, they asked several manufacturers to install sample products within a four-block area. The city then invited residents to visit the area and voice their opinions about what luminaries they liked best. Several hundred people responded using the city’s hotline and Web site.

According to Park, Orem City is unique in that it is divided into 16 communities that share the same geographical boundaries as the city’s elementary schools. City council formed a lighting committee comprised of individuals representing each community, which researched the lighting fixtures and submitted recommendations to the council.

“When we selected the lighting system, we were looking for quality luminaires that would meet our lighting requirements,” said Park. “At the same time, we wanted to do business with a company that had a history of providing quality products and could supply the level of service we needed.”

The city installed three different styles of Holophane luminaires in its residential and commercial areas. Washington Postlite luminaires with 150-watt metal halide lamps were mounted along residential streets, with Memphis‚ fixtures with 400-watt metal halide lamps used to light the city’s six main corridors, including two heavily traveled state highways. Mongoose‚ luminaires with 400-watt metal halide lamps were used to illuminate commercial and light industrial areas. In most areas, the luminaires were installed next to the sidewalks, which border the streets. Street widths range from 32 to 70 feet.

The Washington Postlite luminaires were mounted on 16-foot New Salem cast aluminum poles, spaced 200 feet apart in a staggered arrangement. The Memphis luminaires were placed on North Yorkshire poles with a modified decorative arm. Pole height is approximately 25 feet, with the fixture arm representing about five feet of that total height.

“Holophane redesigned the arm on the North Yorkshire pole so that it mirrored the Atlanta pole, which was installed in the city of Atlanta for the 1996 Olympics,” said Park. “We use the arms to hang banners.”

The Mongoose luminaries were mounted on 24-foot poles spaced 200 feet apart. The fixtures were “soldiered” or located directly across the street from each other. The entire lighting system was designed according to Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IESNA) standards.

Because Orem City is nestled in a scenic valley between a mountain range and Utah Lake, officials were concerned about minimizing skyward light. The Mongoose and Memphis luminaires have cutoff distribution and the Washington Postlite units were installed with a perforated shield to further reduce uplight.

“The lighting fixtures place the light on the streets and sidewalks where it is needed,” said Park.

“They have helped promote a sense of community and created an environment where people feel safe to move about the streets after dark.”

As a result, Orem City was listed among the safest places to live in the U.S in 2001.

City maintenance personnel are responsible for maintaining the lighting system and will clean and group re-lamp the luminaires as needed. All luminaire ballasts and starters are modularized, which allows them to be removed and taken back to the shop to make repairs.


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