Future bright for switch to LED lights

LED-based technology will light up greater Christchurch.

Christchurch City Council is accelerating the citywide conversion to the more energy-efficient form of street lighting to reap the benefits of economies of scale. Initially, 4000 lights will be replaced this financial year. In all, 38,000 lights are part of the Council’s road network.

The replacement of the remaining lights will be considered under the upcoming Long Term Plan.

LED (light-emitting diodes) lights have been installed for renewal work and new subdivisions since 2012, with 4500 already in place.

Over the 20-year life of the LED lights, the Council will save $32 million – or $1.6 million annually – on the operational and maintenance costs associated with the existing lighting. It will also reduce the council’s annual carbon emissions by 1500 tonnes.

Council Transport Asset Management Team Leader Geoff English says the cost of the lights has fallen.

“The efficiency of LEDs has improved,” he says. “As a result, the business case for an accelerated light replacement programme has greatly improved.”

Each of the new street lights will be controlled via a wireless control system. The control system will switch the lights on and off, ensure accurate asset management data, and provide information on the performance or failure of lights, leading to quicker identification of problems and repairs.

LEDs also offer a “directional” source, focusing the light downwards and reducing “spill” light.

The LED lighting network with smart controls underlines the city’s focus on smart technology.

 – Newsline