Energy a precious commodity in Street Lighting

The UK has approximately 7.5m Streetlights in the UK and that costs the UK in the region of £300 million per annum as of 2014. Much of the energy (30%) producing the light in the UK was wasted with out of date technology by dispersing light towards the sky. In an age where local authorities have tight budgetary constraints this was rightly seen as an opportunity to reduce this waste by using Light Emitting Diode (LED) technology moving forward.

Changing over the lighting stock in the UK using LED technology has been reported by the Green investment bank to save up to £200 million over 10 years. This presents a huge opportunity to local authority’s and local service providers to upgrade lighting stock to save energy and hence why many local authorities have changed over to LED lanterns within new developments and replacement columns.

Some local authorities have gone further and have used dimming and trimming through various means, this reduces light output between specific periods or even turned off the street lighting assets. The two mains ways this has been implemented is by Central Management systems (CMS) and by hard programmed Dimming regimes within the electronic control gear in the LED lanterns.

This ultimately is a must for many local authority’s and for the environment, it is also worth mentioning that the capacity of the national grid is under pressure and the lighting industry has reacted in a proactive and technologically driven manner to “keep the lights on”.

Over the coming years more advances in technology will help reduce the amount of energy the lighting industry consumes, I welcome this and will keep looking into ways my clients can reduce the energy consumption in their lighting schemes.

Rob Cooper, Senior Lighting Engineer – Midlands region – Derby