This summer, Los Angeles will switch 140,000 traditional street lights to light emitting diodes (LEDs) in an effort to save energy and money for the city.
The LEDs will replace incandescent bulbs, which will be fazed out over the next five years. Former President Bill Clinton applauded the initiative, claiming that if all major cities follow suit, it could eliminate the need for multiple power plants.
“This [Los Angeles] is the best place in the world – in the U.S. at least – to lead this,” Clinton said, citing the city’s ongoing environmental efforts. “This is like taking 6,000 cars off the road.”
The project is expected to save $10 million annually, but it was not released how much the installation will cost. While LEDs are more energy-efficient than incandescents and compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), they cost as much as three times more per bulb. Generally, they are more commonly reserved for permanently lit fixtures, such as “EXIT” signs.
Part of the money from President Obama’s economic stimulus package will fund similar efforts in other cities. There’s no word yet on which other cities will be developing similar programs.