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Funding boost accelerates LED street light programme

Timaru District Council has secured $1.1 million of Government funding to accelerate its LED street lighting programme.

The funding means work to replace the majority of the street lights in the Timaru District with more energy efficient lighting can start earlier and be completed within 12 months.

The LED street lights offer a clearer, brighter light than the old, yellow high pressure sodium lamps. The new lights also have a significantly longer life, require less maintenance and have lower power usage, which adds up to major cost savings.

The 2,126 new LED lights will cover the majority of local streets in the district. Main roads and State Highways will continue to have the current lighting, as the higher wattages required are still not cost effective at present.

Temuka recently became the first town in the district to be switched to the new hi-tech lighting. The previous high pressure sodium lights had a total power consumption of 83w each, which meant a total consumption for Temuka of 31.13 kW per hour.

The new LED lanterns have a total power consumption of 27w with no ballast which means a total power consumption of 10.13kW per hour for the town, a 67% decrease.

Andrew Dixon, Land Transport manager for Timaru District Council says that people’s reaction to the lights have been very positive so far.

“As well as offering major cost savings through maintenance and energy costs, the new, brighter white lights enable people to see more clearly, and people report that it makes them feel safer in the streets at night compared to the yellow ‘sodium glow’ of older lights.

“LED lighting is becoming the standard for street lighting in cities throughout the world, and securing this funding from the government means that communities throughout the district can now from the change.

“The main benefit however is the decrease in maintenance callouts. A sodium lamp has an expected life of only four years, however this can be shorter if the control gear is faulty. LED lanterns can last somewhere around 25 years before needing replacement.

“So far it has been going well, we have had no streetlight maintenance callouts in the streets where LEDs have been installed.”

The new LED lights will cover all streets in Timaru, Temuka, Geraldine and Pleasant Point, apart from those in State Highway 1 and other major roads, the roll out will take place over the next year.

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