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Porirua gives LEDs the green light

News - LED lamps

Image showing current sodium lamps and new LED lamps.

State-of-the-art LED lights are going into all Porirua street lamps this week - starting in Papakowhai and Titahi Bay. 

The project to convert all our city street lights to new white-light emitting diode (LED) lights will save the city money and create less light pollution. It’s part of a country-wide conversion that is being subsidised by the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA).

“Converting all the city’s street lights to LEDs will bring multiple benefits to Porirua,” says Chief Operating Officer Tamsin Evans. 

“LED’s draw 50% less power than our current sodium lamps, plus they last longer and require less maintenance. That means direct savings for the City because they don’t need to be replaced as often and are cheaper to run and maintain.” 

Other LED benefits include:

  • the light they emit gives better visibility and allows colours to be seen more accurately, making them safer for pedestrians and road users
  • they create less light pollution because the white light they emit is directed downwards to the road and footpath, so there is less light spill into the night sky
  • LED (light emitting diode) lamps have a longer lifespan than our current sodium vapour street lamps; lasting 10-20 years, compared with 2-5 years.

Porirua City has 4,650 street lights of various types, not including lights in parks, sporting facilities and car parks. 

While LED lights can appear brighter, the intention is to maintain the level of light intensity in neighbourhoods and contractors will carry out testing before and after installation. 

The conversion to LEDs is being done with the help of a higher than usual  Funding Assistance Rate from NZTA of 85%. That means Porirua City only has to pay 15% of the total $2.9 million cost.  

“The up-front cost to the Council is around $357,000, but we’ll save around $180,000 a year in maintenance costs and there’ll be energy savings of around $90,000 a year,” says Ms Evans. 

In Whitby and Aotea, the project will require the existing light fittings to be removed and replaced with new LED fittings. The new fittings will be more wind resistant and longer lasting.

The city-wide project is expected to be complete by mid-2018.

26 Feb 2018