We are converting our street lights to LED technology to reduce energy and maintenance costs, and help reduce carbon emissions.

We are responsible for 31,000 street lights across South Gloucestershire. The 10-year programme to upgrade them will be completed by the end of September 2024.

The £8.3 million cost of the programme has already been offset by the savings it generates.

As of April 2024 it has resulted in £20 million in energy cost savings and reduced our carbon emissions by around 40,000 tonnes.

The benefits of LED technology

LEDs have many benefits. They:

  • consume less energy than older units
  • last up to 4 times as long and are cheaper and easier to maintain
  • are easier to control so we can dim them at selected times for maximum energy efficiency
  • reduce light pollution as the beam is more focused, meaning less light ‘spills’ out into gardens, driveways and doors or into the sky

Light levels and LEDS

LED street lights do not appear as bright as older-style lights. This is because light from LEDs is more focused, which can make it appear darker outside of the lit areas.

We install additional units wherever street lights are spaced so far apart that it will result in large areas of darkness.

What happens overnight

Between 2024 and 2026 we will be programming our dimmable LED street lights to be on all night but dimmed between 11pm and 6am. This will save £200,000 in annual energy costs as well as helping to reduce our carbon emissions.

Dimming LED lights by 25 to 50% has been shown to be barely noticeable to the human eye. Other parts of the country that already dim their street lights have seen no rise in crime or road accidents as a result.

Our older non-dimmable lights, which are currently switched off for part of the night, will be updated with dimmable ones once we have completed the work of converting remaining areas to LED. For more information, download our revised street lighting policy. (PDF)

The reprogramming and updating will be done alongside routine inspection and testing to keep implementation costs down.

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