San Diego installing 14,000 energy-efficient lights

San Diego plans to replace 14,000 outdoor city lights early next year to make them more energy-efficient and capable of dimming and brightening when appropriate.


The new lights will help San Diego meet some of the goals in its ambitious climate action plan, which requires sharp reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.

San Diego will pay a subsidiary of General Electric $30.3 million for the new lights over the next 13 years, but city officials said they expect that expense to be outweighed by significant energy savings projected at $2.4 million per year.

The new lights are expected to reduce city energy consumption by 11,600 megawatt hours per year. A megawatt can supply enough energy to power several hundred homes for a year.

Additional savings will come from the lights having longer lifespans than those being replaced, officials said. And the acquisition of the lights, which come with 10-year warranties, will make the city eligible for rebates from San Diego Gas & Electric.

The new lights will be installed in parks, on sports fields, in parking lots and other places where the city has lights. They represent nearly a quarter of the city’s 60,100 outdoor lights.

The lights feature “intelligent adaptive control,” allowing them to sense their surroundings and dim when less light is needed and brighten when additional light is needed. A pilot project with such lights the city conducted downtown in summer 2014 was deemed…

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