Dark Blocks Project Lights Up Midtown Houston


For several months, Midtown Houston’s Dark Blocks Project has been an ongoing effort to increase the lighting infrastructure and respond to concerns about public safety in our community. Today, we’re proud to report that the outcome of the project, led by Midtown Management District’s (MMD) Service & Maintenance Committee, is bright! 

Local law enforcement consistently reports that in addition to reporting crimes as they happen, lighting is one of the best crime deterrents. These effects are observed by local officials nationwide. According to Arizona State University, improved lighting increases the risk that offenders will be seen or recognized when committing crimes, discouraging them from causing harm to the community. 

With the safety and well-being of our community in mind, Midtown Management District’s Service & Maintenance Committee launched the Dark Blocks Project to install additional lighting throughout the neighborhood as part of our 10-Year Service and Improvement Plan

The project required extensive planning and consisted of collaborative efforts between board and community volunteers to physically survey the community to determine areas in need of increased lighting. The results of the survey were used alongside analysis from CenterPoint to install an additional 25 signature Midtown LED Coach Lights at strategic locations throughout the community.

In 2016, Midtown Houston became one of the first communities to participate in the CenterPoint LED Lighting Conversion Program. The program consisted of changing out the signature Midtown lighting from standard incandescent bulbs to Light Emitting Diode (LED) bulbs in hopes of lowering costs, providing more lighting and requiring less maintenance. 

The CenterPoint LED Lighting Conversion Program has been successful in addressing all three of these concerns. The program has reduced costs by approximately 30% since 2018 — and, with our 25 new lights installed under the Dark Blocks Project, we’re proud to be contributing to a more sustainable environment. 

In addition to its role in deterring crime, lowering costs, and reducing maintenance demands, LED lighting is a promising new alternative to traditional lighting technology when it comes to improving energy efficiency. The U.S. Department of Energy reports that LED bulbs use 75% less energy and last 25% longer than standard incandescent bulbs, saving electricity — and thereby the planet.

Local residents can also play a part in increased lighting efforts throughout the community. In addition to the improved LED lighting infrastructure, law enforcement encourages Midtown residents to consider leaving their front porch lights on to deter potential offenders. Reporting lights out to  CenterPoint helps keep us bright and well lit.

When it comes to saving energy, residents can also switch to energy-efficient LED lighting in their own homes, cutting electricity costs and reducing the effects of electricity usage on the local environment. With the holidays rapidly approaching, we especially encourage residents to consider using energy-efficient LED bulbs when decking the halls and decorating their Christmas trees. LED lights are cooler, sturdier, and longer-lasting than traditional bulbs, making for a safer and happier holiday season in your home.

We all have a part to play in reducing crime and improving energy efficiency in our neighborhood. Midtown looks forward to observing the continued effects of the Dark Blocks Project in the years to come, and to identifying and implementing further changes to promote the safety and growth of the community. For updates join us monthly at our Service and Maintenance meetings on the third Monday of each month at 3:30pm. Visit www.midtownhouston.com to learn more.