Tauranga residents will start seeing changes to their street lights with the city to convert to LED lighting over the next year.

Tauranga City Council has started converting street lights across the city with about 7000 street lights in residential areas to be replaced.

Work has started in Matua and will be rolled-out over the rest of the city.

Tauranga City Council's infrastructure acting general manager Martin Parkes said light-emitting diodes (LED) were energy-efficient, produce less carbon emissions than standard street lights, require less maintenance and offer overall better light quality.


"We have chosen 3000 Kelvin lamps for the street lights as these give off a warmer white light."

The main change residents may notice would be the colour of the light.

Unless residents had existing LED lights in their street the colour of the light would change from yellow/orange to warm white.

Where the light falls, as LED lights were more directional, light patterns may change.

Compared to standard lights residents may notice minor changes to light levels and a full lighting survey would be held at the end of the project to identify over or under lit areas.

Adjustments would be made to optimise light levels.

Decorative street light fittings in some subdivisions and neighbourhood areas would be replaced with LED light fittings and the look of some street lights may change.

Glen Crowther of the Sustainable Business Network was pleased the council was taking advantage of the government's programme to replace old street lamps with LED lights.

"We see this work as part of the shift to a low carbon economy, which will eliminate the need for coal-fired electricity at peak times.

"Most importantly while some of us may miss the red-orange light from the old lamps the council is replacing them with warm LEDs that improve safety and reduce light pollution without the negative effects of blue LEDs.

"We commend the council on researching the options and choosing the best type of lighting for our local communities," he said.

The project is co-funded by the council and NZ Transport Agency.

NZTA are paying for 85 per cent of the project.

The project has an 11-year return on investment taking energy and maintenance into account.

To find out when work is expected in your area click here.