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Bright Lights, Big City: NYC Swapping All 250,000 Street Lights To LED

Bloomberg: Effort To Retrofit Street Lights Will Save City $14 Million Annually
LED street light along Eastern Parkway, Oct. 24, 2013. (credit: Rich Lamb/WCBS 880)

LED street light along Eastern Parkway, Oct. 24, 2013. (credit: Rich Lamb/WCBS 880)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – New York City will be seen in a whole new light over the next few years, as an effort to switch to LED street lights continues.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced all of the city’s 250,000 street lights will be changed over to light-emitting diodes in a four-year initiative.

He called the effort to retrofit the current street lights a no-brainer.

“LEDs are the wave of the future. They last forever and they use a lot less energy,” said Bloomberg. “The plan is for all city streets to be lit up with LEDs by 2017 and doing that will save New York City taxpayers a net of some $14 million a year.”

LEDs can last for up to 20 years before they need to be replaced compared with a six-year life for the current high-pressure sodium street lights, Bloomberg said.

DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan said the new lights are an improvement beyond saving the city money.

“These 250,000 new lights will redefine our roadways and neighborhoods, bringing in clearer, whiter and more attractive lights to our 6,000 miles of streets and 12,000 miles of sidewalks,” she said. “This will be change that you can change on every street and every sidewalk.”

The announcement was made along Eastern Parkway, where the street lights have already been replaced with the energy-efficient bulbs.

In addition to Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn, LEDs have been installed along the FDR Drive, along Central Park’s pedestrian paths and on the “necklace” lights that adorn the cables of East River bridges, according to the city.

The initiative is expected to be the largest LED retrofit in the country, according to the city.

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