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Seeing York in a new light

Thursday 6th August 2015

Walking, Cycling, Driving, Road Safety and Skills

Over 6,000 street lamps in York will be replaced this year, providing a clearer light to help people feel safe at night.

The LED lantern conversions will be installed from August, predominately in residential areas across the city which are currently fitted with inefficient sodium street lighting.

The new lighting will help make significant carbon, energy and cost savings. In addition to the new LEDs, power consumption will also be reduced by 50-60% on streets between midnight and 6am when the traffic flow levels can be described as quiet and to 75% after midnight on the arterial roads, further reducing environmental impacts and costs.

Although the level of lighting will reduce, it will remain within current lighting level standards.

In January 2014 the council installed LED lighting along four residential streets in a trial at Hamilton Way, Collingwood Avenue, Stuart Road and Amberley Street in Holgate. Last year, new LED lights were also introduced in Rawcliffe, Clifton, Huntington, New Earswick, Copmanthorpe, Bishopthorpe and Micklegate.

Superintendent Phil Cain, Commander of York Police, said: “North Yorkshire Police welcomes the efforts made by City of York Council to assist the police’s ability alongside our partners in helping communities to ‘feel safe and be safe’. In particular, the benefits of the new lighting with regards to improved CCTV images is something that will aid criminal investigations in the city.”

Cllr Andrew Waller, Executive Member for the environment, said: “New LED lighting is cheaper, better for the environment and gives a superior quality of illumination which will help residents feel safer and improve the efficiency of the CCTV system during operations and investigations. These new LEDS also help to reduce light pollution and is a move towards the city becoming Dark-Sky Compliant.”

The cost of the lantern and installation is estimated to be £200 in residential areas and £300 for each in arterial roads and it is anticipated that there will be an average net energy saving per lantern of £30 each calendar year equating to £188,000 in total from the 6000 new lanterns.

It is also predicted that over the lifetime of the LED lantern there is a routine maintenance saving of £9 each year per unit. In addition to this, the new lanterns will make a significant carbon saving per annum of 103 tonnes.

The York Environment Forum said: “This is a positive move towards reducing the city’s carbon emissions and it makes sound economic sense, as well as providing better quality and safer lighting. Global trials with LED street illumination have shown reductions in energy use of 50% or more, so the savings are substantial. We look forward to further developments within the city to reduce our carbon footprint and increase efficiency. As York Environment Forum states in its own vision for York 2020, it is crucial that environmental sustainability underpins all our actions.”

There are a number of reasons why an increasing number of councils across the country including North Yorkshire, Worcester, Wakefield, Sheffield, Birmingham, Leicestershire, Durham, Salford, Bury and Plymouth are choosing to install LED lighting and are introducing a regime to reduce the light wattage:

  • LED lighting has a lower energy consumption (offering the lowest possible running costs: less than 100 watts for the highest power units; whereas with other forms of lighting much more energy is wasted generating heat)
  • Superior quality illumination (even spread of light, no dark or bright spots, better targeting especially with higher-end LED lighting products)
  • Longer product life and reliability (up to 100,000 hours - in comparison fluorescent bulbs typically last 10,000 hours and incandescent bulbs 1,000; the best LED products available today have a 10-year life, with warranty)
  • No maintenance (no bulb failure, no down-time)
  • Instant start (no warm up time for full light output)
  • Suitable for challenging environments (higher-end products are weather-hardened, hot and cold climate tolerant, vandal resistant)

For more details about the general maintenance and repair of streetlights, or to find our how to report a fault, visit