Plans are already underway to completely replace all of Liverpool's street lamps with LED lighting in a bid to make the city more energy-efficient. The new lights are not only expected to cut energy consumption but costs as well; all the while improving upon current visibility levels. In a move that will see the city divert from their current ‘orange sodium glow' it is hope councils up and down the countries will follow suit.
According to a recent BBC article the ‘first phase of the £7m project will see 1,038 lights replaced in Fazakerley, with 1,038 lights being converted across 158 streets.' The article then went on to explain how "The remaining 22,500 street lights, serving 3,214 streets in the city will be upgraded over the next two years."
Advantages of LED street lights include:
- A reduction in carbon footprints and energy usage - saving 1,400 tonnes in respect to carbon emissions each year (according to Mayor Joe Anderson - BayTvLiverpool).
- Much better visibility for both drivers and pedestrians.
- Increase the feeling of public safety at night.
- Maintenance costs being driven down.
- Monetary saving made can then be reinvested into other areas of the community.
Disadvantages of LED street lights include:
- The initial costs spent on implementing the changes run into the millions.
- Completing such a widespread renovation takes a considerable amount of time and manpower.
As you can see the positive benefits of LED lighting greatly outweigh the negatives, which reinforces that changes are indeed worthwhile.
Nearby, Warrington Borough Council have also set out their agenda for tackling energy consumption in the borough. According to sources the council is investing £25 million to upgrade its street lighting columns and lanterns. Over a 3 year period, some 18,000 lights are expected to be upgraded to accommodate more eco-friendly alternatives. Reducing light pollution, energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions are all on the top of the lighting list.
It is thought that a combination of white fluorescent PL and Mini Luma LED lanterns from Philips will replace the existing SOX lamps. "White light has been shown to make objects appear clearer and faces more recognisable," the council said, "even if lighting levels are lower. This is especially important for the elderly and those with poor eyesight" (lighting.co.uk).
This cost-cutting measure should greatly reduce Warrington council's energy spend which currently stands at £1.4 million a year! Money that could be better spent elsewhere.
This encouraging eco-infused initiative will hopefully spark a trend of further measures aimed at reducing the UK's overall environmental impact. Over time other carbon-heavy countries may jump on the bandwagon, shifting the global outlook in a much more positive and brighter direction.