Delivering Blackburn and Darwen’s LED street lighting retrofit

Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council made the decision to replace the aged and inefficient street lights on all main and residential routes in the borough with energy efficient and low maintenance lighting.

What we did

Capita’s street lighting team designed a solution to retrofit 17,500 units of the council’s existing street lighting stock with energy efficient LED lighting. We retained the existing street lighting columns that were proven structurally sound and replaced those that were no longer fit for purpose.

As well as completing the design, we project managed the installation from start to finish, to ensure the programme was completed accurately and on time.

Understanding our clients’ needs from planning to implementation

Before implementing the retrofit programme we completed onsite inspections, making sure every light asset across the borough was photographed and documented, recording current condition and any electrical information required for the retrofit. This was then passed to the council in order for them to update their own management information system (MIS) on their current lighting assets. From this data a bespoke geographical programme, which included product requirements and detailed designs that meet British standards, was presented to the client.

The benefits

In replacing 17,500 LED lanterns (which have a 20 year life span) across Blackburn and Darwen, the local authority is already realising significant savings across its revenue budget.

Over the next 20 years

  • Energy savings alone are predicted to be in excess of £8 million
  • Maintenance costs are anticipated to be 60% less
  • Carbon savings will be in excess of 50,000 tonnes; more so with added labour and carbon benefits from reduced vehicle journeys reducing fuel intake and excessive pollution.

The new lighting and better visibility also helps to reduce the amount of road traffic accidents and increases road safety for pedestrians when walking in the hours of darkness. The police are in full support of this project as the improved lighting assists with the reduction of crime and anti-social behaviour and better imagery detection from CCTV.

The outcome

By introducing this project, the council has met street lighting investment objectives and has:

  • Reduced the future burden of energy bills and other associated costs
  • Reduced carbon emissions
  • Met current commitments and demands relating to embedding of sustainable practices in the council’s activities.
  • Become better prepared for future regulatory and monitoring requirements.
  • Set an example to encourage partners and the wider community to make similar changes.
  • Raised the environmental profile of the council