North East Lincolnshire Council launching the two-year project that will replace orange sodium lights with white light LEDs.
As well as improving visibility for pedestrians, cyclists and traffic, councillors hope the new lights will reduce the fear of crime and deliver a range of savings in energy costs and carbon emissions.
Coun Ray Oxby, portfolio holder for environment and housing, said: “Updating the borough’s street lighting is a huge task that will reap many benefits for both residents and the council.
“The council spends £3m a year on electricity across its estate, so this project will make a significant contribution to our overall savings targets, and also a big impact on our carbon reduction targets.
It will also cut light pollution.
“Lower running costs means we will limit the impact of rising energy costs that we are all seeing. But there are also wider social benefits, such as making the area more attractive and making people feel safer.”
The new lamps will have a life span of about 104,000 hours, much greater than the 18,000 hours of the current sodium version.
They are also easily recyclable, a report said.
Jason Longhurst, the council’s head of development services, added: “These plans will deliver a state-of-the-art, technically robust and sustainable solution to street lighting in North East Lincolnshire.
“Street lighting is the council’s most significant cost in terms of energy and switching to LED lamps is an effective way of substantially cutting that cost.
“This 18-month programme will see 16,500 streetlights in the area upgraded to cutting edge technology in one programme, making North East Lincolnshire a national leader.
“Recent advances in technology have increased the performance of LED lighting and reduced the cost of them so that they are now a viable economic alternative for a large-scale project to deliver savings.”
The council has allocated £4.3m for the project in the current financial year, with a further £3.9m to be spent in 2014/15.