LED streetlight frequently asked questions
New, greener, streetlights will roll out across Hammersmith & Fulham’s road network in coming weeks.
The LED lamps, which use less energy and produce a more natural white light, than the traditional orange street lamp glow, will replace all streetlights in the borough by April 2018.
The switch to LED lights forms part of H&F Council’s ambition to be the greenest borough in the country, by saving energy, but the more natural light range should also enhance safety.
- What are LEDs?
Light-emitting diodes are compound semiconductor devices that produce visible light when an electrical current passes through them.
- What are the advantages of switching to LED?
The advantages are numerous. Here are just some of the benefits.
- LEDs use much less electricity than other lamps or bulbs, reducing energy cost.
- Have extremely long lives compared to traditional lights.
- Produce very little heat.
- Produce much less carbon emissions.
- Contain no mercury.
- Can operate effectively in extremely cold and hot environments.
- Produces a white light for the human eye to see natural colours at night.
- Are much more directional than other lights reducing ‘sky glow’ and glare.
- LEDs are instantaneous and function at full output when switched on. No warm-up times as with most street lighting.
- Why now? Why LEDs?
LEDs, as a technology, have improved significantly for use in external street lighting applications in the last five years. Now that the demand is there, the costs for this technology have greatly reduced. Research and development has also improved light output making LEDs cost effective solution to street lighting.
LED lights are now competitively priced with existing light sources but are now able to provide the same amount of for approximately 50 per cent of the existing output, this results to an approximate 50 per cent energy costs. It is this combination that allows us to cost effectively use LEDs within the borough.
- What are the project’s phases?
The introduction of LED lighting to our highway network of roads is being undertaken in two phases and will replace only the lanterns on existing lamp column locations.
Phase 1, starting in February 2017. Phase 1 is programmed to replace our main road network with LED lights by April 2017.
Phase 2, residential roads. We are currently finalising the required design works for this phase.
Our current programme is:
- Design completion February 2017
- Procurement March 2017
- Implementation from June 2017
- Completion April 2018.
- How 'green' are LEDs?
LEDs produce the same output as a traditional light source with a lower wattage, i.e. a 30W LED will provide the required road lighting level as an existing 70W High Pressure Sodium light.
- Do LEDs reduce carbon consumption?
Using approximately 50 per cent of the energy will significantly reduce the carbon produced, reducing our carbon footprint.
- Will the changeover be noisy?
No, the works required will generally be undertaken during normal working hours.
- Will it make the road safer?
As LEDs produce a natural white light, this enables the human eye to see in colour. This will make your road look safer and should reduce crime and the fear of crime.
- Will LEDs be as bright?
LEDs are slightly brighter than traditional light sources, but the ability to direct light will minimise glare. The directional qualities also reduces light into and onto properties in majority of situations.
- If LEDs project light in specific directions, do they produce glare?
LED lights are designed to blend seamlessly within the environment. The lantern design delivers an improved light distribution that will softly wash our road network, providing much better uniformity of light than traditional light sources.
- What does LED lighting look like?
LEDs provide a more natural-looking light than fluorescents or other lighting generally used within our street scape. LED as an innovation enables people and their environmental surroundings to be seen in colour.
- Do LEDs produce heat?
LEDs produce very little amounts of heat compared to traditional light sources. Lower heat should improve the life of the LED and will significantly reduce failures.
- How long do LEDs last?
LEDs are notable for being extremely long-lasting products. Many LEDs have an expected lifetime of up to 80,000 hours. This is approximately four to eight times longer than a typical conventional street lighting lamp.
- Are LEDs more expensive?
The cost of LED lighting is now comparable, and in most road lighting cases is cheaper than existing lighting products. The project is currently costed at £3 million.
- How efficient are LEDs?
Compared to conventional technologies, LED lighting can currently deliver the same amount of light using approximately 50 per cent of the power required by traditional light sources.
- Is an LED a bulb or lamp?
In fact, it is neither. LEDs do appear to be bulbs but they are actually tiny semiconductors encapsulated in plastic, which protects their components and helps focus the light.
- What is the difference between traditional lamps and LED?
Existing lamps create light by the use of a gas filled filament. When power is applied, the filament glows and generates heat, which in turn produces light. LEDs create light through a ‘cold process’. When power is applied to semiconductors, they’re stimulated by the movement of electrons, which creates photons. Photons are the light particles that are visible to the human eye.
- Do LEDs attract insects?
No, they do not. LED lights, specifically the type used in residential lighting, emit very little light in the UV spectrum. LEDs also emit little heat from their light source, further reducing their attractiveness to insects.
- Will I be disturbed by LED lighting?
Highly unlikely. Hammersmith & Fulham has designed each and every road using the existing lamp column positions. With LEDs being more directional this will minimise light intrusion into windows in line with the industry's best practice.
- When will LEDs be installed in my street?
The installation start dates for the remaining parking zones are: A, D, E, H and T from 15 January 2018.
Zones F, R, W, X and Y from 8 February 2018.
Zones Q, S, U and Z from 3 March 2018.