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