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Frequently asked questions about street lighting

Find out answers to the most common questions we get asked about street lighting.

Can a street light be moved or shaded?

If the street light is on the same side of the road as the property it may be possible to limit some of the light by installing a shield.

If the street light is on the opposite side of the road then it is not normally possible to limit the light as it would affect the amount of light onto the road and pavement.

Moving street lights is often difficult. Street lights are spaced to make sure the light shines evenly on the road and pavement and meets British Standards. Moving a single street light will lead to uneven brightness of the lights. Moving a street light may also cause other problems. We will look at each request carefully before deciding to move a street light.

If it is possible to move a street light then the person or company who asked for it to be moved is expected to pay the full cost of moving it.

Can this fault be given priority?

We normally deal with reports of street light faults equally. If you feel that there are special circumstances please say at the time of the report being made. We will try and carry out repairs as quickly as possible.

Maintenance workers came, but the light was not repaired.

We try to fix faults on the first visit. If the fault was not fixed then there may be a fault in the electricity supply or new parts are needed.

Why has nobody been around to repair the light?

We aim to respond to reports of street light faults in 10 working days. If there are problems with the electricity supply, a new part is needed or the street light has been damaged then the repair may take longer than 10 working days.

Can I request new or extra street lights in my area?

You can write to the Principal Lighting Manager Design to request new or extra street lights. There is currently a waiting list.

We have lived on this new estate for some time now. Why haven't the lights been put on?

The developer will look after the street lights until the road maintenance has been formally adopted by the council.

When will the faulty street light be fixed?

Faults are normally repaired within 10 working days. In an emergency we will try to be on site within 2 hours of receiving the report.

If there is a risk of danger (but it is not an emergency) we aim to be on site within 24 hours of getting the report. This includes lights on pedestrian crossings, busy road junctions, school flashing signs or footpath steps.

If the fault is with the electricity supply then these will take longer to fix.

Street lighting inventory

Total number of street columns25,626
Total number of street lanterns (excluding road signage and traffic bollards)28,552
Number of LED 'white light source' lanterns20,465
Number of fluorescent 'white light source' lanterns523
Number of other 'white light source' street lanterns (eg metal halide lanterns: types CDM-T and CDM-TT)258
Total number of 'white light source' street lanterns21,246
Number of SON street lanterns5,172
Number of SOX street lanterns2,134
Number of underground / subway lanterns (not included in any of above)0
Number of other street lanterns (not included in any of above)0
Number of street lanterns excluded from above (community owned/funded)0
Total number of illuminated signs / lanterns (excluding street lanterns above)3,947

Most of our street lights use one of three types of lamp:

  1. High pressure sodium lamps
    These provide a golden colour. They are used where a more natural colour is required, eg in town centres and conservation areas. They are also being used increasingly in other locations.
  2. Low pressure sodium lamps
    The majority of lamps are of this type. It is the most efficient way of converting electricity to light and produces the familiar orange colour.
  3. Fluorescent tubes
    These tubes are used to illuminate pedestrian subways and traffic signs. They provide a natural colour.

Electricity

Electricity is generally supplied to street lights via underground cables and internal wiring in the columns. Underground cables are either our responsibility or Western Power Distribution Limited.

In some instances electricity is supplied via the electricity company's overhead network to lights attached to electricity poles.

Electricity is supplied at 230 volt 50Hz. We work closely with Western Power Distribution Limited as damage to their equipment or failure of supplies requires them to restore services.

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