1,500 street lights in York are being replaced with LED light bulbs.

As well as changing the lights to ‘white lightLED light bulbs the city council have announced that the street lights will be dimmed by 50-60% between midnight and 6am.

The lights cost £200 to fit and install but save £20 in energy per light. There will also be a reduction in maintenance saving a further £17 a year. York Council estimates that the new lighting will make a total saving of £30,000.

A trial for the lights had been carried out in January on Hamilton Way, Collingwood Avenue, Stewart Road and Amberley street. York council said there had been no complaints from the changes made to the lights in the trial.

The council is reassuring members of the public who are concerned of the potential risks that come with dimming the lights. The council explained that the new lights are much brighter and even when dimmed meet the current lighting standards.

Superintendent of the North Yorkshire Police, Phil Cain, said:

North Yorkshire police welcomes the efforts made by City of York Council to assist the police’s ability alongside our partners in helping communities to ‘feel safe and be safe’. In particular, the benefits of the new lighting with regards to improved CCTV images is something that will aid criminal investigations in the city.

Cabinet Member for Transport, David Levene, said:

LED lighting is cheaper, better for the environment, and gives a superior quality of illumination which helps residents feel safer and improve the efficiency of CCTV system during operation and investigations. This is good news for residents, showing how we can have a Smarter York in tough times, and I’m pleased to have the support of North Yorkshire Police, York Environment Forum and other partners.

Cabinet Member for Environmental Services, Planning and Sustainability, Dave Merret, said:

LED lights hit several buzzers: they are Dark Sky Compliant – reducing light pollution and in turn increasing the number of stars visible at night and reducing the effects of unnatural lighting on the environment. They also halve the amount of energy usage per light by 50% while maintaining current lighting level standards, and they save money. This is all part of our Carbon and Energy Transformation programme (part of the Rewiring York report which went to Cabinet on 1 July), which will deliver cuts in energy and water consumption, reduce carbon emissions and help address climate change. The programme will increase our income through renewable energy generation, and provide a renewable energy roadmap to speed the delivery of city scale projects.

The York Environment Forum said:

This is a positive move towards reducing the city’s carbon emissions and it makes sound economic sense, as well as providing better quality and safer lighting. Global trials with LED street illumination have shown reductions in energy use of 50% or more, so the savings are substantial. We look forward to further developments within the city to reduce our carbon footprint and increase efficiency. As York Environment Forum states in it’s own vision for York 2020, it is crucial that environmental sustainability underpins all our actions.

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