Street Light Upgrade Project
We've started replacing street lights across the Western Bay District with LED lighting
Urban street lighting across the Western Bay District are being converted to the more efficient and eco-friendly LED lights.
The conversion of 1500 lights to LED (light emitting diode) is underway, starting in Omokoroa and moving to Waihī Beach in late September, followed by Maketu in December and Te Puke in February – following the Christmas break.
Why are we changing to LED street lights?
- LED street lights are energy efficient, which is good from an investment point of view as well as an environmental one
- LED lights have an average life of 20 years, the current street lights last about four years
- LED lights use 50-75% less power compared to standard street lights
- LED emits zero upward light waste. It is more directional, resulting in less light pollution into the night sky and less light intrusion into private property.
What is going to change?
- Colour temperature of the light: Unless you have existing LED lights in your street, the colour of the light will change from yellow/orange to warm white.
- Where the light falls: Due to LED lights being more directional, light patterns may change. Compared to standard lights you may notice minor changes to light levels.
- Appearance of the street lights: Decorative street light fittings in some subdivisions and neighbourhood areas will be replaced with LED light fittings. This will affect the look of some street lights.
Who will be paying for the lights?
Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency is paying for 85 percent of the cost of the project and Council will fund the 15 percent balance.
What is going to happen with the old lights?
The old street lights will be broken down into their component parts and recycled.
Why are we replacing street lights while the lights are still working?
LED lights are very energy efficient, which is good from an investment point of view as well as an environmental one. Central Government is supporting a nationwide rollout of LED lights by subsidising the project with 85% of the funding. This nationwide investment in LED lights will help reduce peak loads (high demands of energy) that currently require additional power generation via expensive and environmentally damaging coal fired power stations. A reduced demand on these power stations will provide huge benefits to the whole country, which is why Central Government is so interested in this initiative.
There have been articles about the negative effects of LED lights on surrounding wildlife. Has Council considered this and what precautions are being taken to minimise these potential negative effects?
Council has researched this issue. Blue light from lighting can be more intensive and attract insects and wildlife towards the light. For this reason, Council has specifically chosen LED bulbs with a warm-white colour rather than cool-white or blue-white and selected a low colour temperature of 3000K, which should minimise the effects on surrounding wildlife but still provide effective street lighting for drivers.
Who will be replacing the lights?
The project is being managed by our network service provider, WestLink, which currently manages and maintains Western Bay District’s roading network.