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Sustainable Transport
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TOPIC: Should street lighting on our roads be reduced to save energy?

Should street lighting on our roads be reduced to save energy? #1

There is an ongoing debate in the media regarding various ways local authorities are trying to save energy by cutting down on street lighting. Various tactics being employed such as installing energy efficient lamps, dimming, part night lighting (switching off lights between midnight and 5am) and switch offs.

As a company who specialise in providing energy efficient components for street lights such as Photocells, Electronic ballasts and Time Clocks we are very interested to hear any opinions on preferred techniques to reduce the electricity bills of street light systems? Is the risk of lowering or turning off street lights too great or should the UK continue rolling out part-night and dimming regimes across the country?

We are exhibiting at the Energy & Power conference on 18th September and look forward to networking with as many of you as possible. Please feel free to contact us:
SELC (Smart Efficient Light Control)
Tel: +44 (0)845 201 3156
Fax: +44 (0)845 201 3157
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Website: www.selclighting.com

Re: Should street lighting on our roads be reduced to save energy? #2

I think street lighting is essential for safety reasons - but, ignoring the capital investment required, the day to day running costs for the lighting can easily be reduced/eliminated using photovoltaic technology.

Re: Should street lighting on our roads be reduced to save energy? #3

Hi Arnold, it's not a technology I'm familiar with but do you think the UK has the climate to support solar powered street lights?

We work with local authorities to help them save money by using more energy efficient equipment which can monitor street light performance and report failures etc. We also provide the technology for dimming street lights or turning them off for part of the night which again saves money, electricity and lowers the carbon footprint of a municipality.

Re: Should street lighting on our roads be reduced to save energy? #4

Street lights are essential for the overall safety of our neighbourhoods .
Apart from Road Safety , street lights also help in fight against ‘ Crime and disorder ‘ and careful considerations are required to work out the correct levels of illumination, what is required where and when, rather than a blanket switch off after midnight!

Re: Should street lighting on our roads be reduced to save energy? #5

I can only say that the reaction of our local media and their letter-writers is quite negative about experimental switch-offs. Few seem to be in favour or feel too brow-beaten to stand up for a wider switch-off. When our Highways are planned each metre of safety barrier is justified on a cost/benefit basis. The value of a human life saved is calculated and offset against the cost of the safety measure. So, if it only comes down to money and the short term then it is possible to calculate the need for street lighting. Like all debates tinged by Climate Change & Energy discussions the reasoning is often emotional rather than rational. It would be interesting to calculate the true-cost of street lighting in terms of energy squandered, light pollution & related long-term impacts/emissions - versus savings in crime, injury & death. I have even seen a very approximate costing for the loss of human life for evergy ton of carbon emitted. I for one would like to see a lot more switch-off experiments coupled with 20mph zones and neighbourhood watch schemes, ie, a holistic approach. But it won't happen until we can stack up the true cost - and that calculation is politically charged. Does anyone know more about such objective calculations?
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