The Wellington City Council is to consider a so-called "smart" street lighting network which could interact with smartphones and dim when no one is around.
Under the proposal, the city's 18,000 lamps would be fitted with LED bulbs, costing between $10 million and $20 million, depending on what features are included.
Paul Glennie, who manages Wellington's street lights, said the new network could cut power consumption by three quarters.
The system could be controlled remotely, and even help in emergencies, Mr Glennie said.
"LED lights come on straight away, they don't need a warm-up period, so we build it into the system where ambulance could tell us that a particular address has called them and we can switch that light to a flash mode."
Mr Glennie is taking the idea to the council's urban development committee on Thursday.
The New Plymouth District Council is also considering LED lighting, at a cost of about $5.5 million.
The city's manager of roading assets, Max Aves, said the investment would pay for itself after 10 years and then save about $10 million in operating costs in the following 10 years.
The existing 8100 streetlights were at the end of their economic lifespan and had been surpassed by more energy efficient alternatives which were easier to maintain and provided better lighting, he said.
Several cities - including Auckland, Christchurch, and Dunedin - have already made the switch to LED streetlights.