Tens of thousands of street lights on Oahu will soon get an upgrade. It’s a big job that’ll save the city money, but who picks up the tab? Last year, the mayor started a pilot project to replace 400 street lights with new LED lights Now the City wants to take on a bigger task to replace every single city-owned street lights with more energy efficient fixtures, which equals more than 50,000 lights. The old lights are yellow in color and give off kind of an eerie light, and now, the new replacements give off a whiter light and make things more visible all while cutting the cost to run the lights in half. Tyler McKenna lives in Kahala and he says the pilot project the city brought to his neighborhood last year to add LED street lights has been a welcome addition. “Theres definitely a difference. The yellow tinted light I thought was less efficient and I feel like these lights are focused in more on the street,” said McKenna. Now after a successful pilot project the city is looking to replace more than 51,000 streetlights on Oahu. “The LED’s are the most efficient and natural lighting for safety for ease of sight,” said Casey Sinclaire, another resident. Like him, the city says the current street lights rack up $6 million a year in electricity costs, but with the new LED lights it would cut the bill in half to $3 million a year. “It’s going to be greener and it’s going to save the city and county a lot of money,” said Robert Kroning, the Department of Design and Constriction Director. The City wants to start the LED conversion in May, and will take four years to change all the lights. And while cutting back on costs is certainly a priority, the city is also focused in on the safety aspects as well. “The LED light pus a whiter light so it increases visibility for drivers cyclists for pedestrians,” said Kroning. KHON asked who will pay for these new installments? “Will the taxpayers have to pay? That’s where this sounds to good to be true its going to come at no additional cost to the taxpayers the way the proposal is written is that the contractors will be paid through the energy savings realized from the energy savings of switching to LED,” said Kroning. The City currently is in the process of finding the best contractor before beginning work.
Courtesy of KHON2