Get the answers to some frequently asked questions about the project and about LED lights.
All city and county councils are replacing public lights to energy efficient lights on a systematic basis. Twenty-one councils are participating in this National Public Lighting Energy Efficiency Project.
You can find out if your county is participating in this project here.
Each regional project will have a website about the project, which will provide updates on progress in the region. You can find details here.
The project began in 2022 will take a number of years to fully complete.
It is being approached on a phased basis, with each of the three regions commencing in sequence.
Once the project has commenced in a region, retrofitting will roll out on a county-by-county basis.
The benefits of the project fall into three main categories: climate, costs and quality.
LED lights use half the energy of traditional public lights, and allow for dimming at appropriate times, which can add a further 7% to 26% efficiency. A reduction in energy use means a reduction in harmful CO2 emissions.
When energy use is reduced, energy costs are also reduced. Local authority energy costs will fall by an estimated 50%. Alongside this, LED bulbs last up to 20 years so it is estimated that maintenance costs associated with ongoing luminaire replacement will also reduce by 60%.
Advancements in LED technology also mean LED lights provide an improved visual environment, enhanced public safety and reduced light pollution.
The regionalised approach of the National Public Lighting Energy Efficiency Project offers economies of scale, consistency in approach and standards and greater public sector efficiencies.
The project also provides an opportunity to gather asset management information to better manage our public lighting network.
Light pollution is commonly defined as any adverse effect of artificial light on people, animals and the environment.
For people, the effects range from excessive illumination of the night sky in and around cities to disruptions of the sleep cycle due to badly positioned outdoor lighting in residential areas. Animals use natural light sources as a navigational aid and thus may become confused or scared away by artificial illumination.
Compared with traditional light sources, LED luminaires provide a unique opportunity to reduce the negative environmental impacts of existing lighting systems.
The use of a range of optics in LED outdoor lighting and lighting control technologies have made it possible to focus lighting only where and when it is needed, reducing light pollution.
In addition, the combination of LED luminaires with adaptable monitoring and dimming control technologies can further minimise light pollution.
The local authority sector has developed comprehensive guidance on best practice implementation of LED light retrofitting. This guidance includes guidance on reducing light pollution and light colour temperature and is being followed by all contractors. The guidance is available here.
The selection of the colour temperature is an important aspect of street lighting design, and it depends on the area of application and different preferences. The selection of the light colour temperature requires consideration of the following criteria:
- road types and classification
- road users
- pedestrian dominated areas
- historical buildings
- facial recognition
- conservation areas
- residential areas
- National Park areas
- night-time economy
- crime risk, safety and security
- landscape areas such as parks, gardens and rivers.
CCT or ‘Correlated Colour Temperature’ is a measure of the colour of light emitted. Colour temperature is expressed in Kelvins (K) measured on a numbered scale.
Decisions on colour temperature will consider these criteria but in general:
- The CCT for residential estate areas, rural residential settlements and mainly pedestrian areas is recommended to be warm c. 3,000K, considering the impact of light on circadian rhythm.
- Where the local authority has a concern over anti-social behaviour in residential estates, the CCT is recommended to be neutral c. 4,000K.
- A warm c. 3,000K CCT is recommended for around historical buildings and old town centres to help enhance the historic character of buildings.
- The CCT for National Park areas and bat conservation areas is recommended to be 2,700K. However, it shall be considered on a scheme-by-scheme basis.
- The CCT for other areas is recommended to be 3,000K in accordance with BS 5489-1:2013 unless otherwise stated by the local authority.
- Regarding the pedestrian crossings, CCT of LED luminaires shall be distinguishable from the surrounding area, therefore CCT of LED luminaires shall be differentiated on the pedestrian crossings. For example, if the public lighting CCT is 4000K on the road surface, 3000K CCT shall be applied for the luminaires on the pedestrian crossing to create greater contrast or vice versa.
- The CCT shall be selected for the national road network as per DN-LHT-03038 August 2018: Design of Road Lighting for the National Road Network.
Contractors will follow luminous intensity glare rating requirements detailed in DN-LHT-03038: Design of Road Lighting for the National Road Network for each type of environmental zone.
Contractors carrying out the retrofit project must take consideration of this, avoid excess illumination, and consider anti-glare shields.
Yes. The project is designed around the existing public lighting infrastructure with minimal interventions other than luminaire replacement and repair of defective components.
Prior to commencement, each local authority as the planning authority will determine whether the project is compliant with the statutory requirements set out in Habitats Directive (92/43/EEC) and the Birds Directive (2009/147/EC). These Directives set out the framework for the protection, conservation and management of important habitats, birds, flora and fauna of special interest on the Natura 2000 network of sites which have designated conservation objectives.
Yes. The project is designed around the existing public lighting infrastructure with minimal interventions other than luminaire replacements and repair of defective components. The luminaire specification is in accordance with best international practice and IPL (Institution of Lighting Professionals) guidelines.
Only existing public lights will be retrofitted. There may be some trimming of trees or vegetation to facilitate the fitting of the luminaires or to ensure that lights operate most effectively.
Prior to commencement, each local authority as the planning authority will determine whether the project is compliant with the statutory requirements set out in Habitats Directive (92/43/EEC) and the Birds Directive (2009/147/EC), which are the legal basis on which special areas of conservation (SACs) are designated.
These Directives set out the framework for the protection, conservation and management of important habitats, birds, flora and fauna of special interest on the Natura 2000 network of sites which sites have designated conservation objectives.
The project will replace existing luminaires with LED luminaires, which have a much longer lifespan. The waste luminaires will be processed in accordance with a waste management plan for the project in each area.
The project will only replace existing luminaires with LED luminaires and special consideration will be given to the design of LEDs in dark sky areas.
LED luminaires are more directable and cause less light spillage. They also offer opportunities for trimming and dimming of lights reducing light levels.