Manchester City Council has started replacing 56,000 streetlights with energy-saving LEDs to “significantly reduce energy costs”, with Cheshire East Council also partway through its own upgrade.
The Manchester project, which begins in September 2017 and is due for completion in 2020, is expected to save £1.7m per year, while also reducing the city’s annual carbon emissions by around 7,500 tonnes.
The state-of-the-art LEDs provide better illumination than the existing sodium lamps by producing a white light, which is closer to natural daylight than the previous amber lanterns.
The lights have much longer lifespans and are at least 60 per cent more efficient, and they are also easier to focus onto roads and footpaths - meaning that less light is ‘spilled’ into residents’ homes and gardens.
Manchester’s executive member for the environment, councillor Angeliki Stogia, said: “This change to new LED lighting will benefit Manchester by helping us to save money and provide a better quality of service for residents, while also significantly reducing the city’s carbon footprint.”
Cheshire East Council is also partway through its own upgrade of streetlighting. More than 9,000 lights have already been switched with LEDs, with 9,000 more expected by the end of 2017 and a further 9,000 in 2018.
The project is expected to save £1.3 million a year once complete. Paul Traynor, strategic commissioning manager for highways at Cheshire East Council, said: “The positive impacts of the upgrade are significant, both for the residents and the council’s revenue budget.”
There are approximately 300 million streetlights across the globe, but currently only a tenth are thought to have undergone energy efficient upgrades.
According to Philips Lighting, if all the world’s streetlights were switched to LEDs by 2025, lighting’s share of global power consumption would be slashed by nearly half - from 15 per cent to 8 per cent.