If you’ve seen The Wire, you know Baltimore’s not to be messed with. But for all the tough love that permeates “Charm City,” new LED streetlights ensure that a little of that love will go back to the planet. City workers are busy converting 70,000 sodium halide streetlights to energy efficient LED light fixtures. According to the Baltimore Sun, “Baltimore expects to reap an annual savings of $1.9 million on its electric bill and $275,000 in maintenance costs. Also, advocates say the lights produce less glare and are more focused, meaning less light pollution that drowns out the night stars and can disrupt ecosystems.” Baltimore is joining a long list of communities across the US making the switch to outdoor LED lighting to reduce energy costs and environmental impact. Another benefit of the new LED lights is that they illuminate in a color spectrum that’s very close to natural light, which allows motorists and pedestrians to spot and identify objects more easily. “They appear to be a win-win-win: better for drivers, better for the city’s electric bills, and better for the environment,” AAA spokeswoman Lon Anderson told the Sun. We all know times are tough—and since streetlights can account for as much as 60 percent of a city’s electricity bill (Clinton Climate Initiative), LED retrofit initiatives like this one are a smart and even essential way to cut costs.
Image credit: Karl Merton Ferron, Baltimore Sun