LED and part night street lighting

LED street lighting

Around 18,500 street lights are being improved across North Somerset to save energy and reduce maintenance costs. The work will include replacing more than 2,300 corroded concrete lighting columns with new galvanised steel units.

Non-LED lanterns will be replaced with low energy LEDs which will conserve energy, helping the environment and reducing costs. Many of the concrete lighting columns have also reached the end of their life span so this work will see outdated columns replaced.

LED street lighting brings a number of benefits to residents, road users and the council. These include:

  • big energy, maintenance and carbon emission savings compared with traditional street lighting
  • white light, which makes colours look more natural which is better for security facial recognition and CCTV, so makes areas safer
  • long life up to 100,000 hours, which results in less maintenance
  • reduced light pollution compared with traditional street lighting systems.

Once replaced, the LED lanterns will run in the same way, with street lights that switch off or dim for part of the night continuing their pattern.

Part night lighting and dimming

Existing part night street lights switch off from October to March between midnight and 5am. They cannot change to British Summer Time (BST), so between March and October the lights switch off from 1-6am.

With advances in technology, the new part night lights can account for the change to BST and will switch off from midnight to 5am all year round.

When the clocks change, the cells can take a couple of weeks to fully calibrate back to midnight while they adjust to the new on and off times of the street lights. In October when the clocks change, they will initially go off at around 11pm and in March 1am.

Street lights that dim will power down by 50% from 11pm-6am. They also can’t change to BST, so between March and October the lights dim an hour later.

Safety has always been the biggest consideration in deciding whether street lights can be switched off. These areas remain lit all night:

  • traffic signal junctions, pedestrian crossings, subways, at risk roundabouts and junctions identified by night time personal injury and accidents
  • parts of town centres that are active during the night
  • footpaths, alleyways, public rights of way and walkways in open spaces
  • potential hazards on the highway such as traffic calming and speed humps
  • locations where there is a high average of accidents at night
  • areas with a high record of crime or where incidents of hate crime are a problem
  • areas with CCTV or police surveillance equipment
  • areas with sheltered housing or residences for vulnerable people
  • entrance and exit points to 24-hour operational emergency services sites, such as hospitals, police, ambulance and fire stations.

We carry out a risk assessment before any lights are switched off and consult with parish and town councils. Evidence shows that levels of crime and numbers of traffic accidents do not increase, but we continue to monitor accident and crime rates in these areas.

View the status of a streetlight on our map