News, Outdoor, Street

After five years of darkness, Leicestershire unveils £25 million LED streetlight plan

Light and dark: This time-lapse photo shows plenty of light in the Leicestershire town of Market Harborough. Once the LEDs arrive, will they cast a broad enough beam?

After five years of darkness, Leicestershire’s electricity-saving plan for streetlighting might soon take a 180-degree turn, to light. Energy-efficient LED light of course.

ITV  News reports that the county council will soon discuss a £25.1 million plan to upgrade 66,000 streetlights to LED ‘before a contract for the work is signed later in the year’.

The council anticipates annual savings of £2 million as energy consumption falls by 60 per cent.

The move has been a long time coming.

‘Since 2010, we have been committed to reducing the impact that street lighting has on the environment, while also saving tax payers’ money during these tough times,’ said Peter Osborne, Leicestershire County Council’s cabinet minster for highways and transportation.The county has been turning off or dimming lights at night for five years, in an effort to save £800,000 a year.

Residents have at times voiced safety concerns.

While the new scheme should help alleviate those fears, LED streetlighting itself has come under criticism around the country for not providing broad enough light.

Edinburgh for instance, recently turned up the brightness on new LED luminaires after residents lashed out that the energy-efficient luminaires left dark patches. 

Critics have also cautioned against the possible harmful health effects of blue light from LEDs.

Photo is from Hollly Victoria Norval via Flickr