As reported by the Earth Island Journal, a shift from traditional streetlights to light-emitting diodes bulbs is being instituted by cities in locales around the country, from San Antonio to San Francisco.
Energy savings from this conversion are already showing benefits. Quoting from the article:
In terms of the environment, LEDs definitely bring some benefits, the biggest of which is energy savings. The Oakland Streetlight Conversion Project will save the city nearly $20,000 per year in energy costs, and will reduce city greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 40 percent (or 80,000 pounds) per year. “The overall goal of this whole project was to have better light in our city streets,” says Kristine Shaff, a public information officer with the City of Oakland. “And the energy savings are tremendous.”
One catch, noted in the article, blue-rich LEDs have the potential to disrupt circadian rhythms in animals and humans, so municipalities are encouraged to install yellow-rich LEDs to eliminate the concern.
Streetlight photo by flickr user meltedplastic