Urban street lighting throughout Western Bay of Plenty are being converted to the more efficient and eco-friendly LED lights.
The conversion of 1500 lights to LED (light emitting diode) is under way, starting in Ōmokoroa and moving to Waihi Beach in late September, followed by Maketū in December and Te Puke in February.
Western Bay of Plenty Council transportation manager Jim Paterson said most councils across the country were converting to LED street lighting and it made sense from an investment point of view as well as an environmental one.
The lights have a lifespan of up to 20 years as opposed to the four years for the standard street lights and LED use up to 75 per cent less power.
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"LED lights emit virtually no upward light, being more directional and producing less light pollution in the night sky. These lights give off a warmer white glow generally resulting in less intrusion into private property," Paterson said.
The project is being co-funded by Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency which is paying 85 per cent of the cost with council paying the 15 per cent balance.
The replaced street lights will be broken down into their component parts and recycled.
LED lights will help reduce peak loads (high demands of energy) that currently require additional power generation. Reduced demand on power stations gives further benefit to the country, which is why Central Government has promoted these conversions.
The Western Bay Council along with Tauranga City Council have chosen LED bulbs with a warm-white colour rather than cool-white or blue-white and a low colour temperature of 3000K. These qualities are expected to minimise effects on surrounding wildlife while giving effective street lighting for road users.
The project delivery is being managed by the council's network service provider WestLink and does not include existing decorative lighting or vehicle category (higher wattage) lights.
The district's LED street light conversions are expected to be completed in mid-2021.