BTU replacing all streetlights in city with LEDs

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BRYAN, Tex. (KBTX) - City streets in Bryan are getting new lights to brighten the night. Contractors are replacing all 6,300 streetlights in the city with more energy efficient LED bulbs.

"When I came up and saw it so bright, the first thing that came to mind is like, 'Oh man, it's going to shine through my windows. It's going to be a little awkward.' But I went in my house and it wasn't really shining through my windows as much as I saw it in the front yard," said Mark Dearth.

Dearth lives in The Oaks Neighborhood and noticed the change last week. He and his wife believe the lights will cut down on crime.

"Now you can see the whole street, plus now you can see the whole side of my house, front of the house, all everybody's houses," he said.

"So, if someone's trying to break in, it's going to be really easy to notice someone trying to go through a window or finding my kids trying to sneak out, you know. Either way, I get to see it really easy," he said.

Contractors started replacing the lights two weeks ago. BTU tells us the lights should have similar brightness to the ones being replaced.

"Even though it’s a different technology, the lighting equivalents will be the same," said Vicki Reim, BTU's Division Manager of Customer Operations.

"Maintenance of those lights will be tremendously less than it currently is, so we'll save on crews having to go out and make repairs or do any kind of changes to those lights. The life of those lights of the LEDs is about 25 years," she said.

"The high pressure sodium lights would pretty much just illuminate all of the night around them, so LED is more directional as far as shining on the street," said Reim.

While many residents said they think the new lights make them feel more secure, others were worried about light pollution and the light spilling over onto their homes and in backyards.

While Dearth likes the lights, he understands those concerns.

"Someone else that it's spilling over their backyard and stuff, you know, it may be uncomfortable for them and it may not. It just depends on the person," said Dearth.

All of the lights should be installed by December at a total cost of just under $2 million.

The contract was awarded to Standard Utility Construction, Inc. BTU said the contractor will be responsible for disposing of the lights being taken down. The contractor told KBTX they will recycle the old equipment.

BTU said customers should contact them if they have any issues with the new streetlights at (979) 821-5700.