Street light upgrade 

The Council has secured a £11.5 million loan from The Mayor of London’s Energy Efficiency Fund (MEEF) to replace all its 20,000 traditional street lights with modern LED equivalents – saving £1million a year in energy and maintenance costs.   

The new light-emitting diode lanterns, known as LEDs, will ensure that the borough’s streets are lit to the current modern standards, but they are also highly efficient and environmentally friendly as they concentrate light on where it is needed with less light pollution. Light will be more evenly distributed down the road - making streets feel safer.    

Benefits 

  • We will save 6,770,589 kWh per year, reducing our street lighting energy consumption by 74 per cent and saving around £1million 
  • We will reduce our CO2 consumption by 2,080 tonnes per year - the equivalent of driving a medium sized car from Greenwich to Edinburgh and back 9,000 times.  

When will the replacement work start? 

The installation of new LED street lights and replacement lamp columns is scheduled to start in September 2021. It is anticipated all work will be completed within three years. 

How many lights will be replaced? 

Fifteen thousand lantern replacements will be completed in around a year and around 5,000 lamp posts will be replaced over two to three years. This includes all non-LED street lights and special heritage lights (and we will keep the current heritage design). 

Traffic sign lights and bollard lights will also be upgraded to LED. 

Which lights will be done first? 

The replacements will be done in priority order and as each street is due the council will write to residents before installation starts. The overall programme, area by area, is provided below. We will complete one area before moving to the next.    
 
We will update this webpage with timescales when we have them. 

How are replacements being prioritised 

The sequence of replacements is being prioritised based on the following order: 

  • Units needing safety maintenance 
  • Units that consume greater power 
  • Areas that have historically needed more maintenance  
  • Work will be spread out geographically to avoid too much disruption in any one area at time 

Who is doing the work? 

The contract to install the lights has been awarded to FM Conway. and works will start September 2021.  

In streets where the whole column unit is replaced this will happen over several weeks. No loss of lighting should be experienced as the new column is installed before the old column is removed. New columns are black metal.  

Will the work cause much disruption?  

Most units being replaced are post top lanterns only. This is a relatively quick process and no digging in the street is required. To change a lantern will take around 20 minutes. There will be no interruption to power (electricity supplies) in your street. Street light column replacements will take longer as the foundations need digging, the new column is installed and the old one is taken away. As such this work is slightly more disruptive but arrangements will be in place to minimise this. Work will usually only take place during the day time (unless for traffic or other reasons we need to arrange night work). 

Will I need to move my car? 

Yes please, as the contract needs to get close to the column. If our contractor cannot park alongside the lamppost it may be necessary to close the road temporarily. 

The lights in my street seem brighter since the new lights have been fitted. Why is this? 

Most of our existing street lights have the old yellow/amber colour. These are inefficient and the colouring makes things seem less visible at night. The modern LEDs discharge a light colouring that makes it easier for the human eye to perceive. We will ensure all our streets are lit to the current British Standard for street lighting (BS5489). 

My street seems darker since the new lights have been fitted. Why is this? 

The LED lights are manufactured using a flat glass luminaire, and fitted in a way to help reduce light pollution. The light distribution is mainly concentrated on to the roads and footpaths surface areas, meaning these are well lit, but at the same time avoiding any nuisance glare or intrusion of lighting into people's homes and gardens.  
 
The sole function of street lighting is to light the highway to ensure we meet our duty of care to road and footpath users. 

By having less over spill lighting we reduce light pollution, and this is better for the environment, but it can also give the perception that lighting is reduced as less buildings or other spaces next to the highway are lit up.