Challenge Fund - Street Lighting Upgrade

LED Street Lighting

We have committed to keeping the Borough’s streets well lit all night, every night.

You can give us feedback on the LED lighting work by emailing bettersouthend@southend.gov.uk

With local authorities facing ever decreasing budgets, some in the country made the difficult decision to turn off street lights as a way of saving money. We appreciate the impact that unlit streets have on our communities’ sense of safety, both on the road and in their own homes. So we dared to be different.

In 2014, we embarked on an ambitious multi-million pound project to replace all the Borough’s street lights with energy-efficient Light Emitting Diode (LED) lamps. Originally scheduled to take five years, the Council was successful in becoming the first local authority in England to secure funding from the Green Investment Bank to accelerate the programme to two years. We’ll also be replacing illuminated bollards and road signs as part of the project.

When are we working near you?

There is a rolling programme of works. The town has been split into zones and we are working through them, not necessarily in numerical order and sometimes we might need to do part of a zone and then return to that zone later on. This map shows where we'll be working in the next few weeks and where we have completed the works so far. Decisions are made on where we’ll be working on a monthly basis, depending upon types of columns, accessibility and minimising impact on communities. Changing the street lamps to LEDs involves two steps:

  • Replacing or altering the street lighting column
  • Installing a new LED lamp at the top of the column

Because LED street lamps are heavier than traditional street lamps, we need to either replace or adapt existing street lighting columns so that they can hold the new lamps. You might find that your street has different types of columns of different ages, so we may need to visit your street more than once. There might also be some time between us replacing the column and installing the new LED lamp but no street will be left unlit during that time.

Maintaining traditional street lamps

Occasionally, street lights stop working due to faults or wear and tear. Whilst we are carrying out LED replacement work, we might not repair faulty street lights immediately, if we are about to replace them with new columns and LED lamps. However, if several traditional lamps on your street went out, we would either carry out repairs or replace them with LED lamps to ensure that our streets remain well lit.

LED lighting facts

  • LED lamps use around half the energy of traditional street lights, which is good for the environment
  • The light is whiter and brighter than traditional street lights. This promotes public safety by improving the quality of CCTV camera images, making car registration plates easier to read and colours easier to discern.
  • The light is more targeted, so that it does not spill into nearby properties to the same extent and reduces light pollution.
  • The lamps last approximately 20 years on average, whereas traditional lamps last only three, greatly reducing maintenance costs.

Page last updated: 19/06/2017