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Imagine strobing streetlights warning you that a tornado is bearing down on Chattanooga.Read the full article
Think about those lights flashing in waves to signal the proper direction of an evacuation route in the event of a nuclear or hazardous materials alert. What if the streetlights also could hold plug-in crime surveillance cameras and real-time pollution monitoring sensors?
And what if they saved taxpayers money?
Well, the possibility isn't decades away. It's now -- but only in Chattanooga.
"The world's smartest lights are made in Chattanooga," proclaims the Web page of Global Green Lighting Inc., a company of Don Lepard. The long-time Chattanooga resident and University of Tennessee at Chattanooga graduate is moving jobs here from China to make the most of his company's innovative streetlights, tested first at Coolidge Park.
Last week, Mayor Ron Littlefield touted Coolidge Park's "smart" streetlights to a visiting conference. He said Chattanooga could save $1.5 million on its annual $11 million electric bill by expanding that technology to all of the city's streetlights.
But the mayor's chief of staff, Dan Johnson, has even higher hopes for a lighting system he says he's "sold on."
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