We're converting all street lights in the city to energy-efficient LED lighting.
Over 36,700 lights are now connected to the Christchurch smart street lighting network, already saving ratepayers in Christchurch $1.5 million a year in electricity and maintenance costs. Read more on Newsline(external link).
The conversion of the NZTA subsidised street lighting is now complete with the focus now on the following areas of lights on the street lighting network:
You can see a map of the lights to be installed over the coming months below.
It is the intention to have all remaining lights upgraded by June 2024.
Excessive amounts of light pollution have been shown to impact the natural patterns of wildlife. The upgrade to modern LEDs will see a reduction in the levels of light produced by street lighting.
LED lighting is more directional than existing lighting in Christchurch creating less spill and upward waste light. The Council has opted to reduce upward spill light to less than the 1% currently accepted by the NZTA. In the majority of cases, zero is achieved.
NIWA Taihoro Nukurangi has recently released the results of a study carried out in the Christchurch area to get real data on the effects of various LED lighting on the insect population.
They have found that the conversion from HPS streetlights to 4000K LED generally reduced insect attraction, contrary to their initial expectations. To further reduce the attraction to bug life a warmer 3000K colour temperature LED will be used in eco-sensitive areas such as parkland.
With the older light technologies, a lot of light was wasted in the surroundings, such as adjacent properties, trees, and into the night sky. To meet the requirements of the road lighting standards the old lights had a much higher light output to compensate for the wasted light.
The new LED street lights direct all the light in the downward direction and reduce light spill into adjacent properties. Some may perceive that the street appears darker than before, however, this is due to the reduced light spill into trees and adjacent properties.
The new lighting illuminates the road and paths to the same or better standard while considerably reducing the amount of artificial light going into the environment.
A variety of lights are being used to best fit the specific design parameters for the location. Our streetlighting materials page provides details about the NZTA M30 list of approved luminaires.
We've followed industry-recognised safety standards to provide safe roads and pedestrian environments.
NZ Transport Agency states the LED lights we most often use are 4000K (a neutral white light) as current research into light and road safety indicates this is the best and safest colour temperature for object recognition for drivers and pedestrians.
4000K lighting is more efficient than 3000k and so it maximises the reduction in power consumption, reducing the city's carbon usage by over 1000 tonnes to date.
The network operates on the public radio frequency between 915-928 MHz. The luminaires that have been and are currently being installed are not designed for use with the 5G network.
The coffee cup-sized attachments on top of the lights are light controllers and enable the lights to be connected to the network. There are no cameras on the lights. See the manufacturer's specifications for more information(external link).