Boise joins growing list of cities using LED lighting

BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) -- There are 10,000 streetlights in the City of Trees and Boise City Hall wants to convert them all to LED lighting.

LED stands for light emitting diodes and the bulbs come in all shapes and sizes.

But it's just been in the past ten years that cities have been replacing conventional streetlights or so-called historic lights with LED lighting.

"They save roughly 60% of the energy," said assistant city engineer Rob Bousfield. "In other words, if we used to use 100 watts, the LED equivalent will use about 40 watts. Obviously you have significant power savings, of course, and it decreases the carbon footprint."

The city says LED lights will save taxpayers money several different ways. One, with less maintenance. Another way is the lights last longer. An LED light and its components up there will last 15 years."

In 2009, the city converted 2,000 streetlights to LED by plugging into stimulus money.

Now the city hopes the council will approve spending $163,000 for 275 additional lights. (The council is expected to make the decision Tuesday evening).

And results from around the world are encouraging.

Buenos Aires, Argentina replaced 125,000 outdated streetlights with LED lighting and cut its energy use in half.