Designing Inverclyde Council’s LED street lighting retrofit

Inverclyde Council made the decision to replace the aged and inefficient street lights on a large quantity of their main and residential routes with energy efficient and low maintenance lighting.

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The need for change within the council’s street lighting service was driven by:

  • The condition of the existing network and the public and political expectations in relation to street lighting standards.
  • Meeting the council’s objectives in relation to a sustainable, attractive and safe environment.
  • The significant revenue budgetary pressures facing the council
  • The need to reduce carbon emissions and to set an example to others.

The council recognised that by replacing the existing inefficient lanterns with advanced energy efficient lighting, that this would not only significantly reduce the amount of lighting faults but it would also reduce the amount of electricity being consumed; thus reducing the electricity bills, carbon outputs and the authorities revenue spend on both reactive and cyclic maintenance works.

What we did

Capita’s street lighting team designed a solution to retrofit 9000 lanterns 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 1200 columns that were no longer fit for purpose.

Understanding our clients’ needs from planning to implementation

Before implementing the retrofit programme and working closely with Inverclyde council’s lighting engineer, we completed onsite inspections, making sure every light asset 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 the 9000 LED lanterns (which have a 20 year life span) across Inverclyde, 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 50%.
  • Maintenance costs are anticipated to be 60% less

As well as realising significant carbon savings, 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.

Delivering Blackburn and Darwen’s LED street lighting retrofit

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I just wanted to thank everyone involved in replacing the old sodium orange street lights with the new LED soft white ones. It had made such a difference when I go out at night! The new lighting is clearly more environmentally friendly and economical, so congratulations all round, and keep up the good work

Resident of Blackburn

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