Work to upgrade 663 streetlights to energy efficient technology will begin in November as part of a major energy efficiency project that will save hundreds of thousands in electricity bills and reduce greenhouse gas emissions for the ratepayers of Bellingen Shire Council.
Why replace the street lights with LED technology?
The switch to LED technology will see a 130 MWh per year reduction in power use, delivering savings of approximately $46,000 each year in maintenance and electricity costs. Bellingen Shire Council is committed to becoming more sustainable, and the LED upgrade is just one initiative in Council’s strategies to achieve energy and operational efficiencies. Street lighting is a significant expense for Council, and with almost 700 streetlights across Council’s footprint, the upgrade will go a long way to reducing costs and providing significant long-term savings.
How does LED lighting compare to the old lighting?
LED lights require less maintenance and generate a consistent warm to white light. The white light generated from LEDs will vary from some of the pre-existing street lights, which can appear yellow (high pressure sodium) and amber (low pressure sodium). Although street lights may appear to be brighter (as the colour may be whiter) they will be more efficient in spreading light more evenly along and across footpaths and roads, and visibility along the street will be improved and look more natural.
The LED lights often provide less back spill into properties due to improved optics, with lighting more focussed on the road and footpath area. LEDs are far more energy efficient, require less maintenance and have a significantly longer life. LED streetlights consuming around 17 watts each will replace existing high-energy lights consuming between 50 and 100 watts.
Public lighting plays an important role in providing safe, secure and attractive public areas for both pedestrians and motorists. The new LED street lighting for Bellingen Shire Council will not only provide a more reliable, better quality lighting service, but will deliver savings of more than 59 per cent in energy consumption.
This type of light also provides future potential for other ‘smart’ applications to be added and will allow Essential Energy to manage the streetlight network and respond more promptly to potential outages more effectively.