Chicago (WBBM Newsradio) – The city has reached a new milestone by planning to replace all its street lights with more energy efficient LED bulbs.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel visited Lyons View Manufacturing on Friday and staff are assembling LED lights to replace existing high pressure sodium lamps. He said that so far, about 18,000 people have been replaced.

“It is good for the environment, good for our energy use, it saves us dollars and makes our residential streets safer,” he said.

Lyon President Joshua Davis said some workers on the assembly line are criminals.

Davis said: “Recently, when one of my colleagues was asked to let them know about the new lights, he said,” They are a black man in Chicago. ”

The new lights will not only save the city millions of dollars in energy costs, but will also change the way the streets are at night.

Lesley Darling, managing director of infrastructure trust in Chicago, said: “It’s a white light, not the high-pressure sodium orange that the city sees.

Last year when testing new lights, students studying light pollution found LED lamps more painful than old ones. In response, the city agreed to place a light shield on the new lamp to reduce glare.

The city has said the new fixtures will allow real-time monitoring of power outages, longer durations than older bulbs and allowing cities to remotely dim or brighten fixtures.

“Because it’s part of the smart grid, you do not have to rely on residents to call the 311. When the light is low, the system will know about it and send people to fix the lights or change the light,” Emanuel said.

Darling said the project is one of the country’s largest LED street lamp conversion program.

Officials said that all 270,00 city street lights should be converted into LED lights within four years.