More than 100,000 LED street light fittings are being deployed in Birmingham as part of the council’s £2.7 billion initiative to upgrade the city’s road network. Over the next few months public service provider Amey will be installing the super energy efficient lights around Maypole. The street lights could eventually cut the council’s energy bill by up to £3million annually and carbon emissions by up to 60 per cent and improve safety.
The cutting edge lights not only reduce carbon emissions but are brighter than traditional lights, and enable operators to control and adjust their levels remotely. Residents have reported feeling safer when walking down previously poorly lit streets as the LED lights allow a wider spectrum of colours to be seen and facial features to be distinguished. This is not achievable with some forms of traditional lighting, which can make it more difficult to distinguish colours. In a customer survey, 86 per cent of respondents said the new lights made them feel safer.
The LED lights also contribute to reducing light pollution by the ability to direct light downwards and reducing the ‘orange glow’ which can be a common visual night sky scene above cities.
Cllr McKay said: “Ensuring Birmingham is a green, safe and smart city is a key objective of the City Council and the street lighting solution delivers on all three aspects.
“It is great news that we are already reaping the benefits of energy-saving LEDs and reducing carbon emissions, but the street lights are equally beneficial in ensuring communities are brighter and feel safer at night. The ability to control the lights remotely is a great example of how Birmingham is becoming a smart city.
“There is also a benefit to taxpayers as the new lighting uses less energy – in a time of spiralling energy costs, this is a real boost for us. Our annual street lighting bill is around £5million, so any reduction, thanks to LEDs, could mean a saving of up to £3million.”
John Sunderland, Business Director at Amey said: “The energy savings and carbon reduction associated with the streetlighting programme are virtually unprecedented – but the benefits do not end there.
“The LED street lights improve safety and security – meaning that all who live and work in the city should benefit from their use. We are delighted to work with Birmingham City Council to deliver this truly innovative solution and help to ensure Birmingham is a world-class city.”