Hong Kong street lights will be progressively replaced with a more energy-efficient light-emitting diode (LED) system, officials have confirmed. U-turning on its previous position that LEDs were not cost effective, the Highways Department on Wednesday said the technology had matured considerably. “Coupled with the significant drop in LED light prices, [the department] agrees that it is now an opportune time to use LED lights in the public lighting system and ... will commence the LED road lights replacement programme,” transport and housing chief Anthony Cheung Bing-leung said. Officials seek remedies after contractor painted over ‘King of Kowloon’ Tsang Tsou-choi’s decades-old art “Taking into account the life expectancy of existing road lights, the department will replace the medium- and low-wattage high-pressure sodium lamps for local distributors, footpaths and cycle tracks with LED lights progressively.” Replacement works have already commenced for the new financial year, he added. A government trial launched in 2009, found LED road lights were better than existing sodium lamps of comparable wattage in terms of energy efficiency, colour and reliability. The department at the time, however, opted not to replace the city’s street lights. Gobee.bike says it has Hongkongers’ support as police investigate spate of river dumping cases Just last year, Cheung said the cost-effectiveness of the LEDs was “not significant enough to justify their common application” in road lights. The cost of lighting the city’s streets with the existing sodium lamps in 2015 was HK$100.5 million – even with rebates from CLP Power – and $104.1 million in 2016. LEDs are made of semiconductor materials that give off light when a current is applied to it. They are widely believed to be more energy-efficient and reliable than incandescent or fluorescent bulbs.