LED lights on the Dumbarton Bridge over San Francisco Bay.
In much the same way that California residents have been swapping out incandescent light bulbs for CFLs, Caltrans is also switching up its lighting. We're dramatically reducing energy usage while improving safety by replacing existing fixtures across the state with 40,000 LED street lights over a two-year period.
The cost of the new lights is estimated to be between $25 million and $30 million (not including rebates). These new bulbs require 60 percent less electricity than their predecessors and will save taxpayers an estimated $2 million in annual energy costs.
They’ll also reduce Caltrans' carbon footprint by about 10,000 tons of CO2 per year. The LED street lights will be able to operate at least 15 years between scheduled maintenance, instead of four years for the current high-pressure sodium lights.
The new lights are also brighter, which means motorists will be able to see better. And because the lights last longer, our workers will have less exposure to traffic. Now THAT’S a bright idea!