The streets of Bend will start getting a little brighter this week. For the next six months, the city will be changing out over 2,000 public street light fixtures to energy-efficient, light-emitting diode lights - also known as LED lights - to reduce maintenance and energy costs, as well as greenhouse gas emissions.
For the average walker, cyclist or driver, the biggest difference will be a brighter, whiter light, Project Engineer Janet Hruby said.
[The color tends to be a little whiter than yellow, and the light is more downcast rather than dispersed," Hruby said. [It also affects how you see in the light, so there can be a little more clarity - and you can distinguish color differently."
And for those worried about brighter lights attracting more Pandora moths to city streets, don`t panic. According to a study from the Journal of Applied Ecology, there is little difference between the number of insects attracted by LED street lights and the high-pressure sodium street lights.
But what is less visible to the naked eye is the reduction in greenhouse gases the city anticipates to see from the change. The city estimates that the change will result in a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 619 tons per year.
The project is one of the first to come to fruition out of several outlined in the city`s two-year plan to help achieve the City Council Climate Action Goals, which are yet to be adopted, said Cassie Lacy, the city`s sustainability coordinator. The overall vision is to reduce fossil fuel use by 70% by the year 2050. www.ledlightinside.com
The city has been working on a series of upgrades to HVAC and plumbing systems as a part of an effort to say energy, Lacy said.
[This is one of the first and one of the more visible projects the city will see," Lacy said.
Changing the lights will cost $1.5 million upfront, Hruby said. But with reduced power bills and maintenance costs, the city expects to recoup the money over 10 to 15 years.
[It feels like we`ve been talking about it (for) so long that it`s exciting to see it finally kicking off," Lacy said.
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