The B.C. government says that switching to LED lights will benefit the environment and reduce maintenance cost: (Province of B.C. / Flickr)

Vancouver Island is set to be the first region in British Columbia to convert all of its provincial street and highway lights to LEDs, according to the B.C. government.

The switch is expected to save the B.C. government more than $2 million per year and will help improve visibility for drivers.

In total, more than 24,000 lighting fixtures are expected to be changed to LEDs across Vancouver Island.

“Moving to LED lighting on our provincial highways and roads will use less energy, reduce maintenance costs and – most importantly – help drivers to see better, especially at night,” said Claire Trevena, B.C. Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure in a release Friday.

The province adds that recent and future infrastructure projects will automatically use LED light fixtures in their construction.

While Vancouver Island is the first region in British Columbia to transition to LED lights, the province says that the remainder of B.C. will switch to “new and improved electrical maintenance standards” by 2022.

The B.C. government contracts private companies to maintain streetlights and electrical infrastructure across the province, and the transition to cleaner electric infrastructure in other areas of the province will be rolled out in a staggered open-bidding process.

Raylec Power LP has been hired to maintain and repair all of Vancouver Island’s lights. The company’s contract began on Sept. 1 and will continue until Aug. 31, 2025, with an option to extend the contract by another five years at that time.

“Tackling climate change is critically important for all of us, and finding ways – big and small – to lower our energy usage is part and parcel of our vision of a greener tomorrow,” said B.C. Energy Minister Bruce Ralston in a statement Friday.