The outfitting of city streetlights with LED bulbs is estimated to save New Albany $1 million in maintenance and energy costs over 20 years, according to Mark Nemec, the city's director of public service.

LED (light emitting diode) lighting produces light about 90 percent more efficiently than incandescent bulbs, according to The bulbs work by passing an electrical current through a microchip, which illuminates the LEDs.

The city began replacing bulbs in spring 2018 and the work is expected to be finished by December 2020, Nemec said. The work doesn't impact traffic, he said..

The 1,273 lights in the project are in the village center and residential areas, Nemec said.

The city has converted 896 streetlights at a cost of $65,398, Nemec said. The remaining 377 streetlights are slated to cost $326,000, Nemec said.

Lights already converted only required bulb replacement and therefore had a minimal cost, he said.

The remaining lights require the entire fixture to be replaced.

Energy savings is the biggest advantage to switching to LEDs, said Brian Strayer, operations manager for New Albany's city service department.

Depending upon the light fixture bulbs now in use last two to three years, whereas LEDs last five to 15 years, Strayer said. A longer replacement cycle also saves the city money in equipment and labor usage, he said.