LED Revolution to Light up Birmingham

26 November 2010
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A groundbreaking programme to replace more than 95,000 street lights in Birmingham with state-of-the-art Light Emitting Diode (LED) technology which will cut carbon emissions and improve safety is to be launched this week.

The cutting edge lights will not only reduce carbon emissions by up to 50% and be brighter than traditional lights, but they will also enable operators to control and adjust their levels remotely according to what is happening in the surrounding area.

The replacement work is being carried out by Birmingham City Council and Amey, one of the UK’s leading public service providers, as part of a £2.7 billion Highways Maintenance and Management Service Partnership Contract. This Partnership will see the upgrading and maintenance of the city’s road network over the next 25 years.

Cllr Timothy Huxtable, Cabinet Member for Transportation and Regeneration, said: “As well as the significant environmental advantages of this work I have no doubt that the LED street lights will also help to greatly improve the safety, security and the general environment of streets in the city.  Whether it be pedestrians, cyclists, motorists or businesses in the city, the LED and wider Highways programme will play a leading role in improving the quality of life for all and setting this city apart from all others.”

Birmingham currently has more than 95,000 street lights, of which 41,000 will be replaced over the next five years alone.

Mike Notman Project Director at Amey said; “For a project of this scale, the energy savings, carbon reduction and virtual elimination of light pollution are unprecedented. We have been working closely with Birmingham City Council and WRTL to achieve better outcomes for the local people of Birmingham and support the council in meeting their carbon reduction target by 2026.”

The new street lights have a number of advantages over the current street lights that are in place;

  • Residents will feel safer when walking down previously poorly lit streets as the LED lights are brighter, they allow a wider spectrum of colours to be seen and as well as facial features to be distinguished. This is not achievable with traditional lighting, which creates an orange glow and making colours indistinguishable
  • Reduction in energy and carbon emissions by up to 50%
  • Lighting levels on traffic routes will be determined by traffic flow. Traditionally the road has to be lit to the required standards at peak times and throughout the night. The new technology will allow the varying of light remotely to match traffic conditions
  • The new LED lights direct light downwards reducing light pollution and the ‘orange glow’ which appears above the city.

Amey and the Council are working closely with local company WRTL to ensure that Birmingham has one of the most advanced lighting solutions in the world today.


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