Seattle City Light (SCL) has started to replace the old high-pressure sodium streetlamps with new LED lights in Shoreline and Lake Forest Park neighborhoods as of Sept. 20.
The more recent LED technology uses about 48 percent less energy than current high-pressure sodium lights, and they are expected to last three times as long.
The project cost, originally estimated at between $25-24 million, has seen a price drop in the last year to $20 million for all 41,000 residential street lamps. A small portion of this cost will be covered by federal stimulus funds and SLC will cover the rest.
The Shoreline and LFP installations, which will be completed by mid-October, and will be noticeable to residents immediately because of the difference in light color.
The new color temperature that was selected, based on positive feedback from the pilot testing in several Seattle neighborhoods, is a white light, similar to moonlight, in comparison to the sodium lamps, which give off an amber glow.
Since 2010, SCL installed 6,000 of the LED lamps throughout its coverage area. By the end of 2014, 41,000 new streetlights will be installed throughout the coverage area, with 2,150 of those being placed in the Shoreline and LFP areas.