BRENTWOOD -- The first phase of a project to replace city streetlights with more energy-efficient ones was recently completed along both sides of Balfour Road from Sellers Avenue to American Avenue.

The lighting replacement will continue later this year on portions of Sand Creek Road, Walnut Boulevard and Fairview Avenue.

"The city's light-emitting diode (LED) streetlight conversion project involves replacement of high-pressure sodium (HPS) cobra streetlights with new energy-efficient LED luminaires," Brentwood City Manager Paul Eldredge said.

In total, 565 existing lights will be converted to LED lights over the coming months, noted Brentwood Assistant Director of Public Works/Engineering Miki Tsubota. The work was completed along Balfour last month and the lighting being replaced is 10 to 15 years old.

The project's total cost of $250,000 will be funded by a PG&E zero-interest loan through its Energy Efficiency Retrofit Loan Program, according to Tsubota.

"The loan will be paid back over a period of approximately nine years based on the energy savings realized between the HPS and LED lights," he said. "In the long run, the estimated energy savings to the city is approximately $28,000 per year. There will also be additional savings from the reduced maintenance and replacement requirements for these new lights."

The city wants to secure additional funding or grants to replace more street lighting throughout Brentwood in the future, Tsubota said. Not only do the LED lights use about 40 to 50 percent less energy than the traditional lighting, he said that they also have a significantly longer life span.

To ensure that the new lighting was not too dim, the city sampled various types of LED lights from different manufacturers throughout multiple locations citywide to assess its performance and address any concerns, Tsubota explained.

"Lighting from the new LED lights may appear more white, but they will provide similar lighting performance as the old HPS lights," he said.

In 2011, about 8,700 high-efficiency induction lights were installed throughout Antioch. Safety concerns arose, however, when residents complained about the lighting being too dark in certain areas of the city.

Reach Paula King at 925-779-7174 or pking@bayareanewsgroup.com.