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The city of Edmonton plans to replace all of its sodium light bulbs with more energy-efficient LED bulbs this year. A total of 98,000 sodium lamps currently light the streets at night. The old style sodium lamps perform the task of lighting the city streets admirably, but they are inefficient. 60 percent of the sodium light bulbs used in Edmonton are found in the city’s neighborhoods.

The ambitious project will not take place all at once. Edmonton plans to start out by installing 4,500 new LED lamps this year. The change will affect 20 neighborhoods. After the city replaces the bulbs, it expects to save about $4,300 per neighborhood on the night-time lighting costs. Because the bulbs are more efficient and use less electricity to produce the same amount of light a sodium lamp would. The city expects to reduce its emission of greenhouse gases by 243 tons per year for every 1,000 sodium street lamps it replaces.

Gord Cerbyk, the Edmonton director of Streets, Light, Signals and Infrastructure said the plan will reduce the amount of light pollution seen by Edmonton residents. The white light produced by the LED lamps does not blend into other areas. Drivers should have fewer problems distinguishing between colors at night because the new lamps will produce a clearer field of vision.

LED lighting is not only more efficient, it can also make it easier for stargazers to enjoy their hobby at night. Edmonton residents who live in one of the neighborhoods where the LED lamps will be installed can enjoy a clearer view of the night sky.