Jacksonville upgrading to LED street lights

Lights expected to last three-times as long

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The city of Jacksonville and JEA are upgrading all existing street lights with new bright LED lights.

Neighbors in St. Nicholas are some of the first to get the lights. The city says this will save big money in the long run, and some neighbors are on board. Others, not so much.

To many, bringing state of the art LED lighting to the River City is a bright idea. JEA says not only will they light up the night, they'll save energy and money.

Some St. Nicholas neighbors are beaming.

“A lot of people don't like it because it does make it look like it is daytime outside. We've got pretty good curtains inside so it doesn't bother us, but I think it's a safer cleaner feel,” said Michael McGowan, a St. Nicholas resident.

“We have one of the new LED lights right in front of our home and it doesn't seem to bother us,” said Donna Janesky, another St. Nicholas resident.

The lights are expected to last up to 20 years, which is more than three times longer than the previous bulbs, which usually last only three to five years.

The LED replacement project will cost about $30 million. JEA says it's worth the cost because the improved bulbs use about 40-60% less electricity.

Once they're all installed, this means the city could save as much as one million dollars a year.

But not everyone is excited about the idea.

“I suppose if I wanted to invest in a lot of money in light blocking curtains it might help but it would be much nicer if we had a softer light or could dim it,” said Diane Royal, another resident in St. Nicholas.

This is just the beginning. This project spans over six years. When it’s all said and done, all Jacksonville streetlights will be lit with the new LEDs.

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