Phoenix to replace all 90k streetlights with LEDs

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Some Phoenix residents said the current LED lights were too harsh and should be swapped for warmer, softer lights. (Source: KPHO/KTVK) Some Phoenix residents said the current LED lights were too harsh and should be swapped for warmer, softer lights. (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
The Phoenix City Council voted yes to the warmer, more "orange" lights on Wednesday. (Source: KPHO/KTVK) The Phoenix City Council voted yes to the warmer, more "orange" lights on Wednesday. (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

For the last several months, the City of Phoenix has been testing out new LED bulbs to potentially replace all of its streetlights. But some neighbors were worried the 4000 Kelvin bulbs too "blue."

"Our eyes are more sensitive to that and then there's (sic) the health impacts. There's also the public safety issues. People driving on the roads might be blinded by the harshness of it," said resident Nicole Rodriguez.

Since early October, neighborhood groups like Rodriguez’s have been petitioning, writing letters and pleading with the city to try a different warmer type of bulb at just 2700 Kelvin.

[READ MORE: Bulb battle: Some residents hope Phoenix opts for softer LED lights]

"They're not as invasive. You don't feel like your home is going to be lit up," she said.

On Wednesday night, the Phoenix City Council voted yes to the warmer, more "orange" lights.

"Phoenix listened and it took our work and effort as well but that's what it takes," said Rodriguez. "I can hope that people see that not just with this initiative, but with other initiatives, neighborhood voices really do matter."

During the next two years, the city will replace all 90,000 streetlights within city limits at a cost of $30 million. The city thinks these new lights will save it $22 million in energy and maintenance costs over the next 14 years. 

[READ MORE: City of Phoenix looking to overhaul some 100,000 lights with LED bulbs]

"This is an exciting project that will not only yield significant savings in energy and cost but will also address a potential public safety issue, which is the harmful effects that bright lights have on individuals and the environment," said City Councilwoman Laura Pastor. "This is an example of how by working together, with the community and across departments, we can accomplish a large undertaking and be a leader on the cutting edge of technology for other cities to follow."

Copyright 2016 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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She previously worked for KVOA in Tucson, covering topics that matter to Arizonans including the monsoon, wildfires and border issues. During the child migrant crisis of 2014, Reimer was one of only a handful of journalists given access to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection detention facility in Nogales, where hundreds of unaccompanied children were being held after crossing into the U.S. from Central America. Before that, Reimer worked at WREX in Rockford, IL. Lauren is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee and still visits home often. When not chasing news stories, Reimer loves to explore, enjoying everything from trying new adventurous foods to visiting state and national parks or local places of historical significance.

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