Anchorage Municipal Light & Power (ML&P) is converting about 3,900 public street lights to LED fixtures. And about 1,100 have already been swapped over, mostly in the downtown, Muldoon and U-Med districts.
Within the next three weeks, the lights will be switched over from Arctic Boulevard to Lake Otis Parkway.
While the costs of installation and bulbs are higher than the older bulbs, the company says it estimates a savings of $400,000 per year, in combined power, operating and management costs, for the city of Anchorage.
"The amount of electricity that we use to power the lights is significantly less," says Mark Johnston, general manager of ML&P. "So we save money with the fixtures themselves, and it will last three-plus times what an existing fixture lasts."
Mayor Ethan Berkowitz says the lights are also able to be dimmed, or increased, based on situations happening nearby.
"Turn lights up or down depending on, for example, emergency response needs," Berkowitz says. "If, for example, there's a SWAT call-out and they want to extinguish the lights in an area, we can do that remotely, as opposed to the officers taking more extreme measures to extinguish the lights."
ML&P says the LED lighting is visually different than lighting from conventional fixtures. It's whiter, as opposed to a more yellowish hue. The lights are also more focused to shine onto the streets and sidewalks. The company says the intensity of the light bulbs is the same.