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500 LED lights to shine bright on Quedgeley streets

By citizenmike  |  Posted: April 10, 2014

By Mike Wilkinson, Quedgeley reporter

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500 new LED street lights for Quedgeley

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LED lights will be shining bright on the streets of Quedgeley soon.

It is a case of out with the old and in with the new as Gloucestershire County Council announces a plan to replace more than 500 aging streetlights with new more efficient and greener LED – or light emitting diodes – technology.

Street lights will last for significantly longer and the quality of the light will be improved.

The move will also help the council reduce its energy use and ,with spiralling electricity costs, will cut utility bills at the same time.

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The work, starting on April 22, will take six weeks to complete.

County councillor Vernon Smith, cabinet member for highways, said: “LED street lights can use up to 70 per cent less energy than conventional sodium lights and cost less to maintain.

“They are more environmentally friendly, reducing light pollution as the light is directed downwards. The whiter light makes objects much easier to see, so people feel safer.”

There will be no additional cost to the taxpayer for the work as it is being carried out by the council’s existing contractor.

The council will also be replacing 150 concrete columns with galvanised steel columns which are guaranteed to last 40 years. The concrete columns need replacing because they are ‘very poor’ condition.

The installation has been welcomed by county councillor Mark Hawthorne (C, Quedgeley). He said: “Local authorities up and down the country are starting to invest in LEDs because they are more efficient and they are better quality.

“I’m delighted to see this happening in my area and I am sure that residents will be pleased when this work is complete.”

Some 5,500 lights out of the county’s 59,000 street lamps will have been replaced with LEDs by the end of 2014.

Lights in traffic signals and bollards have also been changed.

The move will save 590 tonnes of carbon a year in energy emissions.

The new street lights will be managed by a central system allowing the lights to be remotely dimmed or switched off for maintenance purposes.

The council first trialled LED streetlights in Dursley in 2011, then in 2012 more than 2,000 street lights were converted across the county.

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2 comments

  • jas37  |  April 10 2014, 10:05PM

    I fear that this may be a step backward. Replacement LED streetlamps in residential areas can result in a considerably inferior and patchy light levels. The LED lamps that have recently been installed in Badminton Road (Matson) are totally inadequate. They are mounted on 5metre lampposts, this results in the area directly under the lamp being extremely brightly lit but the rest of the surrounding area is left in darkness. Many residents in the Road are now not comfortable stepping out of their front doors at night and there are concerns that criminals will take advantage of the widespread darkened areas. Any LED lamps must surely be mounted on at least 6metre posts (ideally 8m). The low pressure Sodium lamps in my Street are ideal for a Residential Close, efficient and delivering even and widespread light levels. Either the job must be done properly or not at all.

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  • SCNicholas  |  April 10 2014, 4:18PM

    Sadly this is typical PR-spin from from a councillor who doesn't understand what he's talking about. Ita all stock phrases and cut-and-paste soundbites to make it sound like the council are doing the right thing. The trouble is that the current technological limitations of LEDs mean that the only way that LEDs can compete with conventional street lighting on energy efficiency is for them to be specified such that a significant proportion of the output is in the blue part of the light spectrum (that's why most LED street lights look bluey-white). Unfortunately blue light at night is environmentally damaging as its unnatural (blue light only exists during the day in the natural world) and numerous pieces of research have now buegun to highlight the fact that this type of LED lighting can be damaging to humans and the ecosystems of other animals and plants. It also has a damaging effect on the atmosphere and sky glow. Not very 'eco-friendly' after all. The whole agenda is a mixture of greed and ignorance and isn't one which is being driven by the end-user - the poor residents who are having these highly-polluting LED street lights imposed on them by councils who haven't done their homework. A government-sponsored Royal Commission report in November 2009 warned the UK government not to move from narrow spectrum (sodium) lighting to broad spectrum (LED) lighting until the all possible environmental effects had been assessed. It is possible to specify LED street lighting with the blue content filtered out, but the energy efficiency drops off too and then the numbers don't stack up because LED lights cost about 3-4 times more than sodium lights and the lighting companies need to show energy savings to justify councils spending so much more on the new technology. The truth will eventually come out, but how much damage will have been done to human health and the environment before the legislation catches up? Don't believe me? Just Google 'LED street lighting / health'

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