Street Lights to be Dimmed
Hounslow Council cost-saving measure will see changes in street lighting
Several Brentford residents complained when the LED street lights were introduced in 2013 that they were too bright, but it now appears that they will be dimmed later this month by Hounslow Council in a bid to to save money.
The Council has to make overall savings of £350,000 in line with the Medium Term Financial Strategy for the Council, (Hounslow Highways PFI contract 2017/18) and one of their latest cost-saving measures is to reduce the length of operational time for street lighting by 18 minutes per day (i.e. by nine minutes later at ‘switch on’ and nine minutes earlier at ‘switch off’).
The process is known as 'dimming and trimming' and has been a controversial issue in some areas where residents claimed that it can lead to higher crime rates. Hounslow says the changes proposed have been agreed with local police teams.
Changes are proposed to take place from August 21st 2018 as part of a Single Member decision and the savings per annum are estimated to be £60,000.
The Council proposes to reduce the lighting output level by a further 20% (20% was already agreed) in residential streets from dusk to midnight, and to reduce the lighting output level by 50% of the original output, between midnight and dawn.
Hounslow Council says this will lead to a reduction in energy consumption and CO2 emissions, with a consequential beneficial impact on the environment and budget.
The trimming relates to shortening the operating times of street lights; whilst dimming relates to the light output. "Dimming is not visibly noticeable to the naked eye and will have not impact upon the level of lighting on our streets," says the Council.
They say that LED, ‘white’, lighting is more energy efficient than the traditional sodium, yellow, lighting and is also more focused on carriageways and footways with less light leakage into the night sky and adjacent areas.
"The reduced LED street lighting levels are achieved without compromising public safety, however, we would not meet the standards and requirements as specified by the code of practice for street lighting, BS 5489. There is no statutory requirement for local authorities to provide street lighting but there is an expectation that most urban streets will be lit.
The Council says the changes have been discussed and agreed with the Police and LBH Community Safety team. It has been agreed that safety must be considered a priority and not be compromised while the objective of reducing CO2 emissions is an important initiative for healthier communities by providing a cleaner, greener borough.
August 8, 2018