We live in times of austerity, and few are facing tougher cuts than councils. However, Warrington Borough Council have managed to save taxpayers around £330,000 by upgrading street lighting to LED lights. Once the upgrade is complete, the council will have replaced 17,000 units.
The work started on lights on minor roads, by replacing outdated versions with newer lighting columns. It is now set to begin on the more major highways. The upgrades were part of the ‘Invest to Save’ program which started in 2014.
Councillor Hans Mundry said: “Apart from the significant financial savings, we have also reduced the borough’s carbon footprint and reduced light pollution significantly. Given the depth of the cuts in funding from central Government we are having to find innovative ways to save and this has been particularly successful.”
The move to modern LED street lights is been replicated across the country. As a result of their energy efficiency and long lifespan, LED streetlights are advocated as a means of reducing carbon emissions. On top of this, by integrating solar panels the lights can become self-sufficient and even send excess energy back to the grid.
LED also emits “directional” light as opposed to the “glow” of traditional street lights. This means they can be directed at a certain spot. This, together with LED’s greater ability to be dimmed means that LEDs can create a safer atmosphere without disturbing nearby homes. Some cities have even harnessed LED lights to create clever effects, such as increasing brightness when a pedestrian walks by. They can also be integrated into systems that alert officials when a particular light needs maintenance.