City crews are busy replacing thousands of older generation streetlights with more energy-efficient LED lights throughout San Francisco.
The work started in Chinatown at the beginning of this month and is expected to roll into every neighborhood by the end of the year, according to San Francisco Public Utility Commission spokesman Charles Sheehan.
The SFPUC, which owns and operates 60 percent of all the streetlights in San Francisco -- roughly 25,500 lights -- will be replacing 12,500 of them with new LED lights.
"With our new LED streetlights, we will provide better lighting and enhanced safety for our residents and dollar savings for the city's bottom line," Mayor Ed Lee said in a written statement. "The new LEDs will light up key commercial corridors such as Chinatown, and help promote them as premier neighborhood destinations."
The cost of the $2.7 million project is expected to be made up in just four years via both direct electricity savings, since LEDs consume about 50 percent less power than the existing high-pressure sodium lights, and in maintenance costs, since the new lights typically need replacing every 20 years, as opposed to every three to five years for the existing lights.
The installation process is relatively simple, takes less than 20 minutes per light and won't result in any street closures.