Streetlights and the environment
Did you know?
It takes 7.7 million kilowatt-hours of power (and 3,490 tonnes of carbon) to run our 18,500 street lights, illuminated signs and traffic signals every year, which is the same amount of power used by 2,600 homes in a typical year.
Converting 12,500 of these lights to part-night lighting will reduce energy use by 20% – a saving of 1.56 million kilowatt-hours of power and almost 812 tonnes of carbon.
In addition, the following carbon reduction methods are in use or are being trialled in Shropshire.
We now have the option to dim lights (to approximately 50% of light level) after midnight rather than switch off. This is only applicable to the more powerful lanterns (those on major roads) and therefore only to a small percentage of our street lights. We'll be looking at dimming all the appropriate street lights as part of our replacement programme.
Trimming street lighting
By having more precise photoelectric cells (light meters) we can turn the lights on ten minutes later at night and turn them off earlier in the morning. This can save around 92 burning hours per year. All new installations should include trimming as standard.
Savings are already being made by converting 35 watt low power lamps (orange lights) to electronic switchgear, and by using more effective photoelectric cells, which reduce switch-on times and use less energy. The programme for all applicable street lights was completed in April 2014.
Trials are currently underway in Shrewsbury, Church Stretton and Bridgnorth using LED lanterns. Although LED streetlights can make a substantial saving in energy costs as well as a reduction in carbon emissions, the capital outlay is currently considered too expensive. However, as the price of LED lanterns drops over the next few years this may become a viable option in the future.