City streets get lit

The Tribune (NZ) - - FRONT PAGE - JA­NINE RANKIN

Street light­ing in Palmer­ston North is switch­ing over from tra­di­tional am­ber to new white LED.

The city coun­cil is part way through a $2.1 mil­lion project to re­place 3500 lights in neigh­bour­hood streets with the en­ergy ef­fi­cient lu­mi­naires.

Project en­gi­neer Rob Cuff said the lights would use 59 per cent less power than those they re­placed, sav­ing more than $400,000 a year, and slic­ing 70 per cent off main­te­nance bills.

The LED bulbs pro­duced a white light, more like day­light, mak­ing it eas­ier to see and recog­nise shapes and colours af­ter dark.

LED tech­nol­ogy had al­ready been used to im­prove the qual­ity of un­der-ve­randa light­ing in the cen­tral city as part of a pack­age of mea­sures de­signed to make the streets feel safer, to pre­vent crime, and help CCTV cam­eras to cap­ture bet­ter im­ages.

But not all res­i­dents in streets that have changed over are con­vinced.

On the Manawatu Stan­dard’s Face­book page, Ash­ley Ellmers said she did not like them as they made the streets darker. Roslyn res­i­dent Casey Himiona Po­tini said she pre­ferred yel­low to the new lights. ‘‘They look like a car parked out front with its lights on.’’

Cuff said 90 per cent of the feed­back he had re­ceived was pos­i­tive. ‘‘Some peo­ple have rung up think­ing it’s not enough, but it’s prob­a­bly just a mat­ter of get­ting used to it.’’

Cuff said the de­sign had been dif­fer­ent for each street, but there were some streets in older ar­eas of the city where us­ing the ex­ist­ing poles was not suf­fi­cient. Other cities are con­sid­er­ing or have de­cided to switch to LED light­ing, with the coun­cil field­ing in­quiries on its project from Dunedin and Auck­land. The next stage in Palmer­ston North’s changeover would be to se­lect LED lights for the ar­te­rial routes.

DAVID UN­WIN/FAIR­FAX NZ

LED street lights are be­ing in­stalled in Palmer­ston North by Alf Downs Street­light­ing. Lines­man Tony Miller works in Strachan Way.

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