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3,000 San Diego Streetlamps Getting LED Upgrade

Above: The city of San Diego and General Electric announced Tuesday that a program to replace 3,000 streetlamps around the downtown area with energy-efficient LED lighting is underway.

The city of San Diego and General Electric announced Tuesday that a program to replace 3,000 streetlamps around the downtown area with energy-efficient LED lighting is underway.

The new lights are expected to shine brighter while saving the city $254,000 annually in utility costs.

A digital system will provide status updates on the condition of the lights, and allow the Environmental Services Department to adjust the brightness of individual lamps.

"Light controls are going to be a game-changer for the city of San Diego," interim San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria said. "This innovation will provide us with real-time data on lights that are malfunctioning or not working at all, so communities can feel safe with improved lighting while the historic look of the lights is preserved.

"The wireless technology contained in these lamp posts will tell the city instantly when the light goes out. And so Mrs. Rodriguez up in North Park won't have to call me (to replace a bulb). We'll know already. It means we'll be providing services more efficiently to the public. And that's what we should be doing."

The $5.3-million project, due to be completed this spring, is being financed by state and federal loans and grants, and San Diego Gas & Electric rebate funds, according to the city.

KPBS environment and business reporter Erik Anderson contributed to this report.

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