It's a matter of time will tell if the new Hastings St Art Deco lights upgrade will be a success for retailers on the street who were hit in the pocket by their installation.

That's according to Paul Trass, of human resources company VPServices, who worked with the affected hospitality businesses between Tennyson St and Browning St.

"Whether it was worth it, time will tell," Trass said.

"But I have seen the odd tourist already admiring the buildings and taking photos of the lights.


"They really do highlight the art deco signs and style of the buildings."

Although the original plan for the lights to be installed was to take three weeks, Trass said the council talked with those affected and managed to speed up the process.

"A few days before the lighting project was set to start the council came down to talk with the businesses affected and managed to do it in a week instead of three."

Napier City Council spokeswoman Paulina Wilhelm said it was able to put a more effective plan in place to limit the strain on those affected.

"We managed to remove half the scaffolding to make more room for the restaurants' outdoor seating and asked the electricians installing the lights to work through the weekend to lessen the time the scaffolding would be in place," Wilhelm said.

The new light features were switched on for the first time this week just in time for the start of Art Deco week.

Internationally recognised lightning designer Venkatesh Kannan designed the facade lighting which is controlled by a daylight sensor and turns on at the same time as the street lights.

Napier City Council's strategic planning leader, Fleur Lincoln, believes the city's central business district is much more than just a place to work.

"We took this opportunity of a street upgrade to enhance this entertainment-hospitality-arts precinct with beautiful pavers, enhance the landscaping, and have now added the gorgeous facade lighting," Lincoln said.

The last piece of work to be done on the street is the removal of the street lights attached to the buildings, between February 18 and 20, following the finale of the festival.