News | 4 April 2018

Wellington’s bright idea: City switches to eco-friendly streetlights

Wellington City Council is installing eco-friendly LED streetlights across the city in a bid to lower energy-consumption and to improve public safety.

The 14,500 energy-efficient streetlights are expected to reduce the city’s streetlight energy bill from $684,000 a year to a projected $225,000.

Councillor Chris Calvi-Freeman, Council portfolio leader for transport strategy and operations, says alongside cost-savings, safety is a key consideration in the city’s shift to LED street lighting.

“As well as appearing brighter, the LED streetlights’ colour allows the human eye to better distinguish shapes at greater distances. If you’re a pedestrian crossing the road at night, this is very important.

“And it’s not just a lower energy bill that will help save the ratepayer money; the LED streetlights are more robust and last significantly longer than the current lights. This will lead to fewer outages and much lower maintenance and replacement costs.

“Another key feature is they can be remotely dimmed and brightened through a central control system. They can also self-report faults and be set up on installation to direct light only where it is needed,” he says.

The LED streetlight roll-out has already started in Miramar, Paparangi and Khandallah, and is expected to be completed city-wide by mid-to-late year.

The full-cost of the wider project is estimated to cost $17 million, which will largely be funded by a subsidy of up to $14.5 million from the New Zealand Transport Agency.