An example of LED lighting in a street setting. Image by Piotr Zajda (via Shutterstock).
Up and down the country, from Loughborough to Louth, or Penzance to Wick, there is one form of lighting which is hitting the streets. That of LED lighting. Though used for some time in traffic lights and as vehicle lights, they are making inroads into street lighting. The high pressure sodium lamp, which has been part of our streets since the 1970s, could be replaced by LEDs.
LED lighting beats the sodium lamp to smithereens with a design life of 10 to 15 years. A sodium lamp can last between three to seven years.
The initial cost of a sodium lamp is cheaper than a LED lamp. Though LED lighting has higher initial costs, they last longer, making them a cheaper option over a ten-year period.
Lighting up time:
An LED lamp can be switched on straight away and, before you know it, the street is lit up instantly. Owing to sodium’s reaction with the xenon gas, the lighting up time takes longer. Which is why sodium street lamps are pink, prior to turning orange.
High pressure sodium lamps were noted for their efficiency and they still pack a punch alongside non-LED lighting installations. The highest power lamps (600W) measure 150 lumens per watt (lm/W). With LED lighting, a 300W installation can deliver the same lumens per watt reading.
As a cost-saving measure
Local authorities up and down the country have elected to switch from fluorescent or sodium lamps to LED lighting. Thanks to cuts in local government funding, some local authorities have begun to switch their street lamps off at midnight.
Some local authorities; for example, Tameside MBC, Transport for Greater Manchester, and Thanet District Council, are making the switch to LEDs. In Broadstairs and Ramsgate (where Thanet District Council switched off the lights at midnight), rape and indecent assault cases rose. Hence the addition of LED lights that would not only alleviate these concerns, but also save taxpayers money.