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How Canton's 'Light Guy' is helping transform communities across Baltimore

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Posted at 10:01 PM, May 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-18 23:16:45-04

BALTIMORE — One block and one light bulb at a time, Chris Broughton, or also known as "The Light Guy," is helping brighten communities across Baltimore.

“I have over 50 blocks in Canton. I think my last count was 52. Overall, somewhere around 200 blocks in the city throughout five districts right now," Broughton said.

It’s an effort that started nearly three years ago.

Broughton, who is a part of the Canton Community Association’s Safety Committee, said they were looking for ways to make the streets better lit and safer to walk around at night.

“If you think about it, it’s kind of logical," Broughton said. "If you have a well-lit block, and then one block a few hundred feet over is a poorly lit block, and you want to mug somebody or whatever, chances are you’re going to choose the poorly lit block because it's easy to do it and not be caught by cameras or seen by other people."

The cafe lights have helped people in the community feel more secure, but it’s also made the area more welcoming.

"It’s good for the city," said Zoltan Kiss, from the Canton neighborhood.

Kiss lives on S. Ellwood Ave and was one of many neighbors to help pay for the lights.

He said he’s glad Broughton decided to do this, and he hopes more communities will consider it.

“It’s a plus for sure in any neighborhood," Kiss said.

For Broughton, it's comments like those from neighbors and even visitors that assure him he is helping change communities for the better.

“I get a lot of compliments from people that live down here after I do their block, saying their friend from out of state or their friends from the county came down and saw the light and changed their impression of the city," Broughton said. "That’s probably the best compliment I think I can receive from somebody.”

Broughton said the cost to put up the lights is about $100-$125.

He said it has little to no impact on someone's electricity bill because the bulbs are LEDs.