New street lights

by Anonymous Author

Selwyn star gazers will soon have a clearer view of the night sky thanks to a district-wide street light renewal programme.

The New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) will help to fund the progressive removal of about 5,800 old and obsolete street lights in the district, replacing them with new LED light bulbs.

The first stage of the installation will begin in the Ellesmere area followed by Malvern and then Selwyn Central.

Selwyn District Council’s transportation asset manager Andrew Mazey said: “The renewal programme is an exciting opportunity for the district as the improved lighting will enhance both personal and road safety.

“LED lights have less ‘spill’ which means light is more efficiently concentrated downwards where it is needed rather than upwards or sideways,” Mr Mazey said.

“People who scan the night sky will really benefit from the reduction in this type of light spill which can dilute the night sky’s darkness.

“The LEDs are also a much higher standard of lighting for the district’s streets and use less energy than the wide range of old street lights, some of which have been in use for 60 years and are becoming more costly to operate and maintain.”

The total value of the replacement programme has been assessed at $3.3 million, with NZTA subsidising 85% of the cost through its 2015-18 National Land Transport Programme budget.

Mr Mazey said council’s share of the cost will be $495,000 which makes it a very cost effective project.

“The overall cost of the programme is expected to be paid back over four to six years, based mainly on energy cost savings from the much more energy efficient LED lights.” 

Council plans to complete as many renewals as possible by the end of 2018 under this subsidy. 

Street lighting currently costs the Council around $400,000 a year in energy costs, while another $150,000 is spent on routine maintenance such as replacing lamps and other repairs on the older lights and fittings on the network.