Kent County Council has confirmed plans to invest £40 million in converting its 120,000 street lights to a centrally-controlled LED lighting system.
According to the council, improvements in LED lighting technology will reduce the local authority’s street lighting energy bill by around 60%.
This means that the council will able to return every residential area to all-night lighting.
Central Management System (CMS) technology will enable lights to be monitored remotely and detect faults as soon they develop, meaning that repairs can be carried out more quickly. Amongst a host of other things it will also measure energy use with much greater accuracy than the current system.
Subject to the Council's budget processes and ultimate affordability, conversion to LED could start in late 2015 or early 2016 and take three years to complete. The scheme will be introduced in two phases: in the first phase residential areas will be converted first, this element of the project taking around a year to complete; phase two will see the remaining areas, the town centres and the main routes, being converted.
Kent County Council cabinet member for environment and transport, David Brazier, said: "We meet with Kent Police on a regular basis and they have indicated that there has been no overall increase in crime since the introduction of part-night lighting. However, many residents want all night lighting and this will be affordable with LED technology while delivering huge savings in energy and carbon tax. Also, LED gives a better, more focussed light that is highly controllable and economical to maintain.”
The LED conversion project will be the largest of its kind in the country.