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Street lighting upgrade to LED lights

To reduce our carbon footprint, we are replacing some of our street lights with energy efficient LED lighting.

Background of street lighting in South Tyneside

The Council has 25,706 street light columns, 1,463 illuminated signs and 302 pedestrian refuges.

In 2006 the Council entered into a 25 year partnership with Balfour Beatty to maintain and operate street lighting on the Council's behalf. During the early phases of this contract most street lights were replaced using the best available technology at the time; providing a whiter light than the old sodium lamps whilst also using less energy.

In 2013, the Council installed a Philips Central Management System (CMS) on approximately 4000 250 watt lights on main roads. This system offered remote monitoring of street lights for fault detection, and the possibility of reducing lamp brightness (and energy consumption) by about 20%. To do this, the system points a wifi signal between small aerials fitted on each light.

From 2014 onwards, lighting technology has changed a lot, especially with lower power LED (light emitting diode) technology.

Upgrade to LED lighting 

To reduce our carbon footprint, in 2015/16 we started to replace around 40% of our street lights that have the Central Management System (CMS) installed with LED lighting.

Typically, we are replacing 250 watt sodium fittings with 86 watt LED lights. The actual energy consumption depends on the type of road, for example lights on major trunk routes are brighter and use more energy.

The remaining areas which are scheduled for full replacement by autumn 2019 are: 

  • Victoria Road, Hebburn
  • A194 Leam Lane 
  • York Avenue

The Council's new street lighting schemes are designed and selected by Balfour Beatty's design team, using specialist software to plot the light distribution and make sure it meets the requirements for the location and type of road.

Benefits of the new LED lighting

  • Much better focus and beam cut-off, which considerably reduces stray lighting, for example into people's homes and bedroom windows
  • Considerably lower energy use

Frequently asked questions


Do the Council's LED street lights contain any communications technology or have the ability to transmit signals? 

No.

Do the LED street lights use 5G technology?

No. The Council's street lights do not use 5G technology.

How are the new LED street lights controlled?

The new LED lights are controlled by Royce Thompson photocells. There is a sensor on each street light column, so the light switches on as night falls, then switches off shortly after sunrise, without any communication between the street lights.

What information does the street lighting Central Management System (CMS) transmit / receive?

Power consumption, basic fault diagnostics, dimming programme.

Why is the Council phasing out the street lighting Central Management System (CMS)?

The Council has had reliability issues with the system, and greater energy savings are now possible with LED.

The new LED lights are controlled by Royce Thompson photocells. There is a sensor on each street light column, so the light switches on as night falls, then switches off shortly after sunrise, without any communication between the street lights.

What standards are the new LED street lights designed to?

Street lighting is designed in accordance with "BS 5489-1:2013 Code of practice for the design of road lighting. Lighting of roads and public amenity areas".

The street lights are regularly inspected and tested, to make sure light levels are maintained to this standard.

Who manufactures the Council's LED lanterns?

The Council's LED lanterns are Thorn Civiteq LED. 

They meet all required BS, EN and IEC standards.

To see the Thorn Civiteq technical information, go to Thorn Lighting: Cost-effective LED road lighting [PDF].

Who manufactures the Council's street lighting photocells?

Council's photocells are Royce Thompson SC1000/SAV (Oasis 1000 35 lux type).

To see the Royce Thompson technical information, go to Royce Thompson: Technical guide [PDF].

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