City’s bright idea aims to save millions of tax dollars each year

Local News

The streets of Oahu are about to get a whole lot brighter.

The orange haze you see while driving at night will soon be no more.

On Thursday night, the city announced it’s finally beginning work to install new LED bulbs in all street lights.

The project was first proposed three years ago.

Beginning next February or March, the city will begin installing brighter, more energy-efficient LED lights island-wide.

“We’re going to be dealing with replacing 53,000 streetlights on the island of Oahu with LED lights, and that means less emission,” said Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell.

Caldwell says the new LED lights will also save the city approximately $5 million each year.

“The neat thing about this is the city doesn’t have any upfront costs. We’re not paying upfront. It’s going to be financed,” said Robert Kroning, director of the city Department of Design and Construction. “The way we’re going to pay for it is those energy savings over the years, so $5 million a year until it’s paid off, and then we continue to reap those benefits for the long term.”

While the LED lights save money and provide better lighting, there have been concerns in the past over LED lights being too bright.

City officials officials say they took those concerns into account and selected lights that fit within an acceptable range.

The brighter lights have already been placed at comfort stations around numerous parks and along some city streets where the before and after difference is obvious.

“It’s much more visible. It’s about public safety, pedestrians being seen, drivers and vehicles will see each other much better,” Caldwell said.

The project is expected to take between 18 months and two years to complete at a cost of $46 million.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.