The suburbs of Glenview, Melville and Dinsdale will be the first areas of Hamilton to have all existing streetlights replaced by lower-maintenance, more efficient LED lights. Work began earlier this month and is expected to take until December 2018 to complete the installation city-wide.
Hamilton City Council Acting Transport Unit Manager Robyn Denton says the project is part of a nationwide initiative supported by the NZ Transport Agency that will bring substantial savings to the city.
“The lighting replacement is being done with a Transport Agency subsidy which is significantly higher than usual. The Transport Agency is funding around $4.7 million of the $5.7 million cost of the first two stages of the project. The Council’s contribution will pay for itself in the next few years through considerable cost savings in maintenance and power consumption, estimated at around $250,000 annually,” Mrs Denton says.
“The replacement programme will take until the end of 2018 but we expect little disruption for residents. Installation takes around half an hour per light and most residents probably won’t notice the work in their street until after the new lights are up.
“There is a difference in the colour and focus of the new lights and in some other areas of the country there has been a perception that the LED lights are not as bright. Testing shows the light levels are at least as good as previously but with less of a diffused glow. We have looked at the best options for Hamilton and will be using specific lighting designs, a higher-specification lamp and a ‘warm white’ light colour,” Mrs Denton says.
“While this is only about replacing lights, rather than installing new poles and lamps, part of the project includes a full audit of our current lighting levels and we’ll have some great data to plan future lighting improvements.
“Waste minimisation is a priority for the Council and specialised recyclers ensure disposal of the old lights will have no impact on landfill. Aluminum components are recycled into ingots for foundry applications while glass is separated and recycled into glass wool for home insulation,” Mrs Denton says.
Hamilton City Council earlier this year approved the first two stages of a planned five-stage process which will see around 13,000 lights replaced through the city before the end of 2018.
The project is being delivered by the Council’s partner Infrastructure Alliance and a joint purchasing agreement with Waikato District Council has provided further economies.
For more information visit: www.hamilton.govt.nz/ledlights