HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The city is finally ready to kick off a project to convert all 53,500 street lights on Oahu to energy-efficient LED lamps.
LED's already light up state roadways, including the H-1 Freeway and the Wilson, Pali and Harano tunnels.
Now the city plans to follow suit, converting the amber glow of sodium street lamps to LEDs.
"Pedestrians will be seen. Drivers and vehicles will see each other much better," said Mayor Kirk Caldwell, at a news conference Thursday.
The city installed LED lamps as part of a pilot project in a few Oahu neighborhoods, the earliest in 2014.
But language in the original financing proposal held up plans to convert the entire island.
Johnson Controls will install the lamps. The project will cost $46.6 million, which officials say is much less than it would have cost a year ago.
"We're not paying up front. It's being financed," said Robert Kroning, the city's director of Design and Construction. "And the way we're going to pay for it is through those energy savings over the years."
Kroning said the savings will total $5 million annual, which will pay for the project in ten years.
Officials also said the city will use 60 percent less energy to power the lights, which is equivalent to eliminating 14,400 tons of greenhouse gases.
"This is a great project and just a start toward a greener, cleaner economy for the islands," said Josh Stanbro, the executive director of the city's Office of Climate Change, Sustainability and Resiliency.
The city will also use new LEDs, which have already been installed in the parking lot at Kaimana Beach Park. They don't emit as much blue light, which critics say increase glare.
"It may be a little whiter than what we're used to, but it's still going to be less white this year than it would have been if we went forward last year," said Kroning.
LEDs with a color temperature of 4000K -- which appear to be brighter -- will be used on arterial streets, such as King Street, while residential areas and Waikiki will have 3000K LEDs with less blue light.
The city said the new lighting will have modules which will allow each light to be remote controlled. The modules can also be used monitor the performance of each light.
The project is expected to begin in February or March of next year, and is expected to take 18 to 24 months to complete.