Between Ship Canal and 65th Street, residential streetlights have been shining a little differently in recent weeks. The streetlights have been replaced with Light Emitting Diode (LED) fixtures, just some of the 5,000 LED streetlights that were converted over the last year in Seattle.
Seattle City Light plans to convert all 40,000 residential streetlights to LED within the next four years. The changeover will save money in the cost of repairs and replacements. LED lights last for twelve years, compared to standard lights which only last four.
Bruce Harrell, a member of the Seattle City Council and Chair of the Energy, Technology and Civil Rights Committee, pushed for LED changes. Harrell likes what the lights do for Seattle, not just from a cost-perspective but also for quality of life.
LEDs use 40 percent less energy while producing light comparable to moonlight, which makes it easier to see small objects and color distortion is reduced. HPS streetlights produce amber colored light which alters the colors of objects. For example, under the amber colored glow of an HPS streetlight white will appear as light-blue. LEDs do not have that effect. We expect savings of nearly $300,000 in the first year and more than $2 million per year when all 40,000 are installed.
Councilmember Harrell wants to know what you think of the new LED lights by reaching out to him at Bruce.Harrell@seattle.gov with comments and questions.