City Council Chair Ernie Martin urged Mayor Kirk Caldwell on Wednesday to re-evaluate his current effort to find a private company to replace Honolulu’s streetlights with LED lights.

“I would ask the administration to seriously reconsider its course of action proceeding forward,” said Martin, noting that the contract to replace the lights and maintain them could cost upwards of $20 million.

Martin’s comments came during a Honolulu City Council Budget Committee on Wednesday. The panel approved a resolution asking Mayor Kirk Caldwell for more information about the content, status, and progress of the request for proposals to replace the city’s standard streetlights.


One of Honolulu’s new LED lights casts a sharp glow over Lowrey Avenue. Mayor Kirk Caldwell wants to install them throughout the city.

Curt Sanburn

“We’re talking about a long-term commitment, we’re talking about a minimum of 10 to 15 years so whatever we select we’re stuck with it for a while,” Martin said. “We want to make sure that we get the best value for our taxpayers.”

The resolution also requested information on what technology is permitted, the evaluation criteria and a list of vendors who are qualified to provide LED lights.

Caldwell has been advocating to replace the city streetlights with LED lights to save energy and make the streets safer for pedestrians. Last December, the city issued a request for proposals seeking vendors to install new streetlights.

But the plan has been harshly criticized by astronomers and others who think the bright, blueish lighting is garish.

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