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City-wide LED lights programme completed

Published on Monday, July 4, 2016

A MAJOR project to replace all streetlights in Leicester with modern energy-efficient LED lighting has been completed.

Over 32,500 street lights have been converted from old yellow sodium bulbs to LED lights over the last three years.

They will save over £1million a year in electricity costs, and will use about 50 per cent less energy (saving the equivalent of 5,350 tonnes of CO2).

The new LED lights have a lifespan of about 20 years, compared with four or five years for the older bulbs, and can be dimmed at night to save even more energy, avoiding the need for street lights to be switched off at night.

The project cost £3 million less than the expected £13.9million budget, meaning some of the remaining money can now be used to replace about 400 older LED street lights in the city centre which are nearing the end of their lifespan.

In addition, LED lighting is white, rather than yellow, meaning visibility and colour perception at night are better, and can also be focused on roads and pathways to reduce light pollution.

Work to install LED streetlights began in May 2013, with all residential areas now completed. A small number of remaining yellow sodium lights on some main roads are being replaced over the coming weeks.

Leicester Assistant City Mayor for energy and sustainability, Cllr Adam Clarke, said: “I’m delighted that this major project has been completed. It’s a huge step forward in helping us to cut our carbon footprint.

“The energy needed for street lighting has already fallen by 48 percent between 2008 and December 2015 thanks to these new LED lights, and we’ll also be fine tuning dimming them at night to make further energy savings.

“This is a significant move towards the council’s goal of cutting its overall carbon emissions by 30,000 tonnes (50 percent) by 2025.

“In addition, we want to replace about 400 older LED bulbs in the city centre with more modern ones which use about 40 percent less energy, and that work will be paid for by some of the money leftover from the original work. 

“It’s a very worthwhile scheme bringing environmental benefits, lower running and repair costs and freeing up money as a result to use elsewhere.”

Other options for LED conversion are also being considered, including using LED lights at housing complexes, parks and on illuminated traffic signs.

City Mayor Peter Soulsby added: "Worldwide, less than one per cent of public street lighting currently uses LED bulbs, and this is expected to grow to 30 per cent in 10 years time, so Leicester is right at the forefront of this technology."