07/21/2014 10:00 EDT | Updated 09/20/2014 05:59 EDT

LED technology to brighten B.C. streets

The B.C. government is making it easier to put high-efficiency bulbs in street lights by becoming the first province in Canada to offer a buy-in-bulk discount to cities and towns.

There are about 360,000 streetlights across B.C. keeping roadways and parking lots glowing, but most use old technology that uses a lot of power.

Replacing the old conventional lights with high-efficiency LED bulbs would cut power use enough to run a city like New Westminster, according to Phillip Jessup, the director of LightSavers Canada.

"LED street lighting is a win-win proposition. It improves public safety on the streets. It reduces energy use, it reduces maintenance costs," says Jessup.

While LED lights cost up to three times more than conventional ones, they last five times longer and use 50 to 70 per cent less electricity.

LightSavers Canada is a non-profit group that aims to change all street lights in the country to LED.