Honolulu begins replacing street lamp bulbs with LED lights

HONOLULU — The city and county of Honolulu have begun replacing tens of thousands of street lamp light bulbs with energy-efficient LED lights.

Crews began replacing the bulbs Monday. The city estimates that it will be using 60 percent less energy to light the streets by December 2019 after all 53,500 bulbs are replaced.

Waikiki Neighborhood Board Chairman Robert Finley said he hopes the change brings a reduction in crime.

“I think it will help by basically making the streets a little bit safer from people who choose to commit crimes in the dark, like drug dealers, prostitutes, that sort of thing,” Finley said.

The swap will save tax payers about $5 million a year. The Greater Waikiki branch of The Outdoor Circle supports the cost-cutting measure, but it has concerns — mainly that the lights could bring light pollution to Oahu.

“I’d like to see the City and County people take a more interesting view for the citizens and the environment rather than just saving electricity,” said the organization’s president Brian Bagnall.

The organization is also concerned with the lights’ effect on plants and marine life.

The city said the LED lights will use a warmer color that’s recommended by the American Medical Association.

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