lights

UF Facility Services is updating 500 campus lights with energy-efficient LED bulbs to increase campus safety.

UF’s campus is getting brighter.

UF Facility Services is updating 500 campus light fixtures with light-emitting diode, or LED, technology to increase campus safety, the Board of Trustees discussed in a meeting Thursday. These lights are more energy efficient than traditional bulbs.

Curtis Reynolds, UF’s Vice President for Business Affairs, said UF hired safety consulting firm Moses and Associates a year ago to identify 12 zones in need of enhanced lighting for students walking around at night. About 30 percent of the light updates have already happened, with an expected completion date in July.

“Crime likes the dark, and if there’s no dark, then there’s no crime,” Reynolds said.

The total cost of installation will be about $1.5 million, he said.

Once updated, light poles across campus will also be compatible with new surveillance technology, including audio, video and WiFi, he said.

Bianca Poma, a UF biology sophomore, thinks the brighter lights will bring relief for many students.

When walking home from Library West to Beaty Towers late at night her freshman year, Poma said she would use the flashlight on her phone to light the pitch-dark paths.

“It’s really helpful,” the 19-year-old said. “Especially for me as a girl, and I’m really tiny.”

The board also discussed current construction projects on campus, including a groundbreaking ceremony for Norman Hall at 2 p.m. March 23 outside the building.

On March 22 and 23, the trustees will discuss next year’s budget for parking and transportation services, UF’s strategic energy plan and how Bright Futures changes will affect the university’s budget, among other items.

Contact Elliott Nasby at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter at @_ElohEl.

Elliott Nasby is a staff writer who covers UF's administration.