Two of the largest and most influential cities in the UK: London and Manchester have announced plans in recent months to incorporate LED technology in the majority of their street lights. It is anticipated that this will help save the respective authorities significant amounts of money and could have long-lasting positive effects on the environment.
As well as cutting their own costs, the two cities will be helping cut the carbon emissions of the country, which has been set an ambitious energy consumption target by the EU to meet by the year 2020.
The capital is planning a widespread installation which will affect 70% of the streetlights in the city at an initial cost of £11m. The large scale operation will see 35,000 bulbs swapped for LED lights. A remote system will also be installed wherein the brightness and energy consumption of the new bulbs can be conveniently controlled. The complete control of brightness and energy usage will be helpful in ensuring that there is not excessive energy used – making the new lights more cost and energy efficient.
Mayor of London Boris Johnson is understandably excited about the scheme: “With tens of thousands of lights marking the way on our road network it makes complete sense to focus energy and resources on bringing them up to 21st-century standards. This is the largest investment to modernise street lighting on major roads in our capital’s history and will not only cut carbon emissions and save money but will also lead to even better and safer roads for Londoners.”
Going one better than the capital is Manchester, with their officials planning for a complete overhaul: replacing every single streetlight in the city with LED bulbs at a cost of £32m. Further to the monetary and environmental benefits, the city which is known for being wet and overcast will enjoy a great quality of light.
Manchester’s plans may take 3 years to implement but they demonstrate a long-term strategic plan to improve the cost and energy efficiency of the city’s operations. An official report demonstrated: “Given the projected increases in energy costs and these technological advances, it has become viable to investigate the installation of LED lanterns across all of Manchester, which would deliver various long-term benefits to the city. There will be significantly less glare, less upward light pollution and less light interference into people’s homes.”
UK industry insiders are optimistic about the proposed plans and the country’s acceptance of improve lighting technologies. Astute Lighting Ltd Director, Anwar Adam, enthused: “these moves can only benefit the country. Hopefully it may even lead to a reduction in council taxes over time!”