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New Haven officials installing 2,000 LED lights in downtown area

Officials in New Haven, Connecticut, are currently awaiting final approval on a proposal that will continue an effort to convert all of the city's streetlights to LED lights, according to the New Haven Independent.

The proposal, an agreement between the Board of Aldermen and the Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund, calls for the installation of approximately 2,000 LED streetlights, the news source reports. The 2,000 LED streetlights would represent slightly less than 20 percent of the city's existing cobra-head streetlights.

"It's the next lighting technology," city engineering department staffer Giovanni Zinn told the news source. "It's closer to daylight. Any time people can see better their surroundings, they're more aware of what's going on. We're looking at areas where it would really enhance public safety. We're looking to change the whole city over as soon as we possibly can."

The primary motivations behind the installation of the new LED streetlights are the tremendous potential energy savings for the city. According to ENERGY STAR, LED lights use at least 75 percent less energy than incandescent bulb types and last 35 to 50 times longer than their traditional counterparts. All told, those attributes could result in substantial electricity bill savings, which could offset the initial installation costs.

The news source reports that the total estimated cost for the installation is approximately $600,000. One third of that amount would be covered by incentive payments from the Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund. The remaining amount would be paid through three years of interest-free financing. Officials have guaranteed that the project would be cost-neutral for the first three years before the significant savings for New Haven are realized.