LED lights almost complete in downtown Ann Arbor

If downtown Ann Arbor's lights look different these days, it because most of them have gone through an evolutionary change.

The city has now changed 800 of its 1,100 decorative lights in downtown from regular incandescent to more energy efficient LEDs. That means the round globes that once had one big glowing center now are illuminated with a sprinkling of smaller-yet-much-more-energy efficient LEDs. The city hopes to wrap up the $640,000 project (expected to pay for itself within four years through electricity savings) before the end of the year.

"We're getting close to the end here," says Andrew Brix, spokesman for the Ann Arbor Energy Office.

LED (short for light-emitting diode) lights are commonly used in traffic and tail lights. They require less than half of the energy of a normal incandescent light bulb and last five times the normal two-year lifespan of an incandescent.

The city is also looking to start a pilot program to install LEDs in normal cobra-head streetlights in neighborhoods. The $100,000 pilot project will occur in a student neighborhood.

Source: Andrew Brix, spokesman for the Ann Arbor Energy Office
Writer: Jon Zemke
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