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Lighting up the dark days and nights in Canada's Yukon Territory

CBC NewsEye on the Arctic
Photo by Chuck Stoody, The Canadian Press

The Yukon government will begin testing three different types of LED street lights in Whitehorse and Mendenhall, a community just outside the capital city.

The government says the lights can last for up to 38 years, compared to four years for regular lights they use. They also use less power.

Six of the lights were tested in Dawson City in 2010, and Yukon Energy says that project was a success.

“What we learned from Dawson … the lights saved us 64 per cent in electricity. So we'll see how these new lights do, we'll see whether we want to do a switch throughout all our areas,” said Janet Patterson, who works with Yukon Energy.

The new lights are still more expensive than conventional lights, and they also give out a different shade of light.

In Dawson City, nine out of 10 residents told the company they would support a switch to the LED lights.

It could still be many years before all of Yukon’s streetlights are replaced. But for now, Yukon Energy and the Energy Solutions Centre will test the units to see how they perform in the cold.

This story is posted on Alaska Dispatch as part of Eye on the Arctic, a collaborative partnership between public and private circumpolar media organizations.