Street lighting improvements

We’re providing new energy efficient light emitting diode (LED) lighting across the city.

In 2017 we began a three year project to replace more than 18,000 lighting points. The upgraded lights will eventually save the council around £200,000 a year.

Find out about the new lighting and get answers to your questions below.

Benefits of LED lighting

The new LED lights will 

  • be more energy efficient
  • require less maintenance
  • reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions by up to 61%

The new lights emit a white light which allows objects and people to be identified more easily compared with the light from a traditional lamp.

Second Avenue street lighting before the upgrade

Second Avenue before street lighting upgrade

Second Avenue street lighting after the upgrade

Second Avenue street lighting after upgrade

How is this being funded?

We successfully bid for a £7 million loan from the Public Works Loan Board. The loan will fund the scheme which is also funded by 900,000 from the Local Transport Plan. The money saved in energy and carbon costs will be used to repay all the investment.

What does the project involve?

Existing street lamps in areas all over the city will be replaced with a new LED (light emitting diode) light fittings.

In some cases we may need to carry out additional work such as repairing or replacing a lighting columns. We will also replace some of the street lighting columns. This project does not include any plans to remove any of the city's historic cast iron columns.

We may need to change the positions of some street lights. New lighting designs will make the most of the new technology that is available.

Frequently asked questions

Is every street light being upgraded?
Yes. All the lanterns in the city will be changing to a new white light if they have not already been changed. We will be replacing 18,000 lights in addition to the 3,200 which have already been replaced.

What about the historic cast iron columns?
We do not have any plans to remove any of the cast iron columns. Any removal will be due to structural failure. The street lighting team is committed to retaining our cherished lighting units. The heritage large cast iron columns on the seafront are not part of this scheme

Are there plans to dim lights at night? 
Dimming has been trialled, and we are considering dimming around 60% of streets within the city for part of the night. No decision will be taken until residents have been consulted. If we did not go ahead with dimming, the project would deliver energy savings of 43% (as opposed to up to 61%).

Will the street lights be switched off while the work is taking place?
We aim to make sure existing street lights remain lit until the energy supply is switched across to the new lights.

Will there be any differences to the lighting?
The new white lights will concentrate light on the road and footpath areas and will reduce light pollution of surrounding areas. It will also improve the appearance of colour so faces and objects are easier to identify.

What if the light shining into my property is too bright?
We will do all we can to reduce the impact of light intrusion into adjacent properties or areas. Please contact the team directly about any concerns at or call 07557 197566.

What are the energy savings?

We are expecting to see an average saving of 50% of the energy used by one of the existing street lighting fittings, in many cases the savings will be higher.