It's set to get a whole lot lighter around Whangarei - thanks to a $6.6 million upgrade of the district's 5000 street lights.
Street lights across the district are being swapped out for LED luminaires in an effort to reduce costs and improve the quality of lighting at night.
Project manager Mark Seakins said last year the council installed LED lights at Onerahi and Whangarei Heads and the council received positive feedback about them.
Now the council has awarded the contracts to roll out 2800 LED luminaires on local roads across the district.
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The overall street light conversion project is due to be finished at the end of June, when all 5000 street lights on the council's roads will be LED. NZ Transport Agency is funding 85 per cent of the $6.6 million project.
"The project will reduce power and maintenance costs and provide a better quality of light. The brightness of the lights should stay about the same at ground level and the whiter light should provide better illumination of the road and footpath," MrSeakins said.
He said once the LED lights had been installed the council would survey light output to identify any dark areas that did not meet lighting levels and to determine possible upgrades.
Arterial roads in Whangarei which are part of the Twin Coast Discovery Highway are also getting new poles to improve the lighting level along the route. These roads include Hatea Dr, Tarewa Rd, Lower Tarewa Rd, Walton St, Mill Rd, Waitawa Rd, Kiripaka Rd and Paramount Parade.
Mr Seakins said more lights would also be added to other arterial road intersections in Whangarei, but the contract for this work was still being developed.
The new poles are without lights for now - Mr Seakins said the council was waiting for the LED luminaires for these poles to arrive in the country, expected to be at the end of next month, and would be installed by the end of April.
The old lights will be recycled, and the old poles suitable for reuse will be stockpiled, and the rest recycled or sent to landfill.