Replacement of Hamilton's residential streetlights with lower maintenance, more efficient LED bulbs was completed in June 2018. The second stage of the project along the city's main arterial routes was completed in early 2019, followed by replacement of the central city under-verandah lights by mid 2019.
The project is part of a nationwide initiative supported by the NZ Transport Agency and will bring substantial savings to the city. The Transport Agency is funding around $4.7M of the $5.7M 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.
The Council has installed 'warm white' LED bulbs which are less harsh on the eyes, reduce spillover glare into houses, and are considered better for nocturnal animals. Testing shows the light levels are at least as good as previously but with less of a diffused glow.
Here's photos of some Hamilton streets showing lighting in December 2017 before LED lights were installed, and after installation in December 2018. Note the clearer warm white colour with reduced spillover and light pollution.
The project focuses on lamp replacement, rather than installing new poles and lamps, but part of the project includes a full audit of current lighting levels.
Waste minimisation is a priority for the Council and specialised recyclers ensure disposal of the old lights will have no impact on landfill. Aluminium components are recycled into ingots for foundry applications while glass is separated and recycled into glass wool for home insulation.
The project is being delivered by Council's Infrastructure Alliance group, and a joint purchasing agreement with Waikato District Council has provided further economies.
Stages in 2019:
- Early-mid 2019 - replacement of under-verandah lights in the central city
- From mid 2019 - replacement of decorative street lights