The concept of lighting roads and streets is not a modern day one. The earliest street lighting was as long ago as the Roman and Greek civilisations. The idea behind it was predominantly security; to deter robbers and light paths clearly.
However, the street-light debate has hotted up in recent years with some councils aiming to significantly reduce their energy bills by turning off the lights for selected periods of the night. With campaigners claiming that road safety is being badly compromised by this money-saving exercise, other solutions are urgently being sought. One such solution being proposed is the use of LED lights to replace traditional incandescent lamp lighting.
Light up the situation
Local councils have been unashamed to admit that they are switching off the lights in a bid to save money. This has subsequently raised very real fears over compromises in road safety and an increase in crime. Bright, well-lit areas are naturally less attractive to would-be criminals and by switching the lights off, these areas are no longer so well protected. In addition the AA has stated that six deaths on the road have been directly connected to a lack of street lighting, with several people being struck by cars. Effective lighting is a very simple safety measure which can save lives, but the high cost of it is causing a problem for councils in these economically straightened times.
Are we on or are we off?
So where is the solution? There needs to be one; recent surveys carried out show that this is a contentious issue with an absolutely dichotomy of opinion. It was revealed that urban areas placed more significance on LED street lighting than rural ones. Consumers are now looking around for simpler, cost-effective lighting solutions – and this is where LEDs make their entrance. Could they be the answer?
There are a few compelling reasons LED are used in street lighting:
– Reduce maintenance cost and time
– Improved Light quality
– Reduced energy bills
– Reduces carbon footprint
– Environmentally friendly
– LED Solar Lights can reduce energy bills even further
Although LEDs are more expensive to install, the saving they offer far outweighs any initial investment. They can also be tailored to provide specific lighting choices, for example, being dimmed in certain areas where bright light is less appropriate at night. Dimming the LED light would also reduce energy usage, which wouldn’t happen with traditional lighting, meaning that its energy efficiency is maximised at all times.
Great swathes of the country are beginning to change from traditional lighting to LED, or solar-powered LEDs. This measures cuts costs and is highly effective. Gloucestershire county council have recently signed a contract to bring LED lighting to more of its roads and streets.
And with such savings to be made, through such a comprehensive solution, we are going to see a consistent increase in the change. It’s likely to be that in a short space of time the use of LEDs in street lighting will become the new norm.
Have you read our blog on How lighting impacts our lives?