Energy efficient street lighting

Frequently asked questions

My street seems darker since the fitting of the LED lights. Why is this?

  • When lighting with white light, which the LED lights produce, the standards require the lighting levels to be slightly reduced to prevent glare or dazzle.
  • The LED lights are also manufactured and fitted in such a way as to help reduce light pollution, ensuring the footpaths and roads are well lit but avoiding an intrusion of light into people’s homes and gardens.
  • The sole function of the street lighting is to light the highway to ensure we meet our duty of care to road and footpath users.

My street seems to be more brightly lit. Why is this?

  • Some of the Borders streets still have the very old orange type lighting, which doesn’t meet any of the current lighting standards. Because these lights do not meet these standards, they require replacing to bring them up to recommended levels.
  • The LED lighting project will do this and will increase light levels whilst still providing energy savings, in contrast to the old lights, which were very energy inefficient.

If we want to save money, why don't we look at turning the lights down during the night when there are less people and fewer vehicles around?

We want to ensure that roads remain lit at all times, however, in order to ensure that the maximum cost savings and energy efficiency savings are realised the new LED lights will be fitted with technology that enables us to ‘dim’ street lighting at certain times.

How will this work affect me? What disruption can I expect?

  • When carrying out the straight forward replacement of the lanterns on your street, the works should take approximately 15 minutes per street light to complete.
  • There will be some instances where additional work may be required when we need to repair the structure of a street lighting column or even replace with a new one resulting in the works taking longer.

Why are we spending all this money during a time of economic constraint? Why can’t we just carry on repairing the lights?

Many of the street lights in the Scottish Borders are old, outdated technology and in need of replacement. By investing now in new technology which is more energy efficient and effective, long term savings can be realised.

Why aren’t all 19k street lights being changed to LED lighting?

  • Some street lights have been replaced during the last few years with more efficient conventional lighting, it is therefore not cost effective to spend more money converting these lights so early in their lifetime.
  • Some of the existing street lighting columns are near the end of their lifetime and will require replacement during the next few years.
  • Again for cost effectiveness the light unit on these older columns will be changed to LED at the same time as the columns are being replaced.

Why don't all the street lights need replacing at the same time?

The work is being done in phases over six years. To minimise disruption the programme is also being co-ordinated with other work to avoid as much disruption as possible.

Will the project help save energy and reduce carbon emissions?

  • Yes. In limited cases there may be a slight increase in the number of lighting columns on the road network but the lanterns used will be more efficient with better optical control so that they improve light to the roads and pavements.
  • Improved control equipment will also help reduce wasted or misdirected light.
  • Carbon emissions will also be reduced through the introduction of the LED technology combined with the ability to dim lighting levels in certain areas thus reducing the energy consumption further.
  • Due to the 20 year service life of LED’s compared to the 4 years of a conventional sodium lamp the need for maintenance will be reduced leading to a reduction in carbon emissions.

How are local residents being informed of the projects and the works in their area?

  • Presentations will take place at local Area Forums allowing all residents and community groups access to information advising them of the project.
  • Regularly updated bulletins will be posted on our website giving information on the location of forthcoming works and what works have been completed to date.

I live in a rural area with no street lights – will there be new lights soon?

Around 13.5k of our street lights are included in the project, there are no plans, at present, to install lighting in currently unlit locations.

Will the street lights be switched off while the work is taking place?

No, due to the nature of the replacement works all lights will remain operational during the hours of darkness.

Will there be any differences to the lighted area?

The new lanterns will concentrate light on the road and footpath areas and will reduce light pollution in surrounding areas.