200712bridge.jpgLike the GWB and the Holland Tunnel, the Brooklyn Bridge will have LED lights installed next year, but how exactly do the bulbs get replaced? The NY Times says it only takes one man to screw in these bulbs. Okay, maybe he has some help. Ben Cipriano, the leader of a crew of electricians who maintain the four major East River Bridges for the city’s Department of Transportation, and his colleagues make about a dozen trips a year up the cables of those bridges.

The mercury vapor lamps that are currently in use on the bridge, he said, are supposed to last about 24,000 hours. At eight hours a night (the lights are turned off at 1 a.m.), that means each bulb should last more than eight years. It gets tricky, though, because workers replace the bulbs before they burn out completely, to minimize noticeable variations between them.

With the new 24-watt LED lights being installed, Cipriano and Co. will have to make less trips up the cables, since they last three times longer. The Times has some interesting tidbits about the bridge's light history, like in 2003 they were shut off to save money, only to be turned back on a few months later when private donors kicked in the funds. More on the ornamental "necklace lights" and the LED bulbs here.

Some other city sites you'll see (currently or in the near future) illuminated with LED are the Prospect Park and Rockefeller Center trees, Brooklyn’s Borough Hall, the Coney Island parachute jump, the Empire State Building and of course the number 8.

Photo via Mazda6 (Tor)'s Flickr.