Brighter LED Lights in Oakland

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    FILE ART - Oakland City Hall

    The installation of new energy-efficient streetlights throughout  Oakland will save money in the long run and help deter crime.

    Standing at the corner of 98th Avenue and MacArthur Boulevard for  a Tuesday morning news conference in his East Oakland district, where one of the new  lights is being installed, City Councilman Larry Reid said, "This will bring  us cost savings, energy efficiency and brighten up the community."
     

    Oakland has begun the process of converting 30,000 existing  high-pressure sodium cobra head streetlights with light-emitting diode (LED)  streetlights, following up on a successful pilot program in which some of the  new lights were installed in part of the city last fall.

    City officials believe that in addition to providing a better  quality of light that will enhance public safety and help reduce crime, the  new lights will save the city money because the new LED technology is more  energy efficient and the bulbs have a longer lifespan of up to 20 years.

    They said Oakland is one of first municipalities in the U.S. to  implement wide-scale LED conversion, as only 5 percent of municipalities have  converted, or are in the process of converting, to LED lights.

    City Councilwoman Desley Brooks, who represents a different part  of East Oakland, said, "The community is just too dark and has insufficient  street lighting."

    Brooks said the new lights, which will provide brighter and better  lighting with less glare and fewer dark spots between poles, will make  Oakland "a clear city and a safe city."

     Reid said the new lights will be a key asset to his district  because MacArthur Boulevard "really has to be brightened up" since several  housing and commercial developments are under way.

    Reid said he believes the lights "will make an incredible amount  of difference because the bad guys will have second thoughts about committing  crimes here because it's more likely that they will be seen."

    The installation is beginning at the San Leandro-Oakland border,  west of Interstate Highway 580 and converge west and north. The conversion  project is slated to be completed by December.

    Oakland Public Works spokeswoman Kristine Shaff said the cost for  the project is estimated to be $14.8 million, including materials and labor  but PG&E will provide about $2.9 million in incentive rebates to help fund  the project.