ST. CLOUD - You'll notice some Xcel Energy crews in St. Cloud over the next few weeks. They're in the process of switching out their streetlights to more energy efficient LED bulbs.

Xcel Energy spokesman Mark Osendorf says LED fixtures use about 40-to-60 percent less electricity, and they have a longer life.

He says you'll also notice a more natural glow from the light.

This is a much brighter white, its meant to look more like natural light under the moonlight in a sense its very white colors when you walk underneath.  You'll be able to distinguish colors underneath them very well. From a security standpoint that's great. Someone is trying to watch someone that has maybe committed a crime and they see them under the light they will be able to distinguish the colors of their clothing and things like that much better.

Xcel is making the switch statewide, in nearly 350 communities.  They're converting about 90,000 street lights statewide.

Meanwhile, St. Cloud Public Works Director Pat Shea says the city is also converting the city-owned streetlights. He says the city is about 70 percent finished with the switch over.

Anything really five years and older are being replaced. We're not talking about everything from the pole all the way up to the light, if the poles are in good shape we just replace the light fixture itself.

The energy savings will be around $600,000 a year in St. Cloud.

LED Light replacement, photo by's Jim Maurice
LED Light replacement, photo by's Jim Maurice