Say goodbye to those "horror movie-kind" of street lights. New York City is in the process of converting 250,000 standard street light fixtures to energy-efficient, light-emitting diodes (or in layman's terms LEDs).
Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan made the announcement together Thursday on the recently renovated Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn, where pedestrian fixtures have already been replaced with LEDs, saving a reported $70,000 a year.
“With roughly a quarter-million street lights in our City, upgrading to more energy efficient lights is a large and necessary feat,” said Mayor Bloomberg in an official statement. “It will save taxpayers millions of dollars, move us closer to achieving our ambitious sustainability goals, and help us to continue reducing City government’s day-to-day costs and improving its operations.”
The Department of Transportation predicts that this change will save the city $6 million in energy costs and $8 million in maintenance annually, since LED lights can last for up to 20 years while the current sodium lights only have a life span of six years.
While replacement efforts are projected to cost $79 million, the initiative will save nearly $14 million a year, and ultimately pay for itself in six years.
The environmental factors are not insignificant either. The replacement, which is projected to be completed by 2017, will help hit PlaNYC's promise of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from municipal government operations by 30 percent.
However, as the New York Post pointed out, delivering on this promise will fall to either Joe Lhota or Bill de Blasio.