West Palm Beach transitions to LED street lights in effort to go green, save money and fight crime

West Palm Beach has become the latest South Florida city to transition its street lights to LED lights and induction lamps.

The lights are less costly, last longer and are more energy-efficient.

Contractors are expected to replace as many as 7,000 light bulbs as part of the transition over the next several months.

"Induction and LED are the biggest changes that we have had in many, many years," said Larry Reffuse, project coordinator, A & K Energy Conservation. "It's really, really great savings. And, it'll pay for itself."

On Tuesday, A & K Energy Conservation began the process of replacing 100-watt high-pressure sodium lights with 50-watt induction lamps on some city-owned decorative lamps.

The lights are whiter and brighter and replace the more-familiar orange glow seen on most city streets.

"We're going to be saving something like $220,000 a year in electricity costs plus personnel costs as well," Mayor Jeri Muoio told NewsChannel 5. "These lights need to be changed out far less frequently."

Dozens of cities across the country, including Baltimore, Cleveland and Dallas have transitioned to LED street lights.

Reffuse said each bulb is expected  to last about twenty years.

Muoio said the savings on light bulb replacement and electricity costs would help offset the $6,8 million price tag.

Elliot Cohen, a spokesperson for the City of West Palm Beach, said the lights would also be a plus for law enforcement.

Security cameras, he said, would be able to record better images because the new lights will improve the contrast of the images.

Officers would be able to better see vehicle colors, license plates and people.

The transition is part of a broader city effort to become more environment-friendly.

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