As part of our commitment to sustainability, we are replacing the majority of street lights in Portsmouth with new energy-efficient LED lighting technology. 

Some of the benefits of this project include:

  • reducing the amount of energy we use by 40%
  • saving £400,000 of public money every year
  • improved visibility
  • less maintenance work so less disruption for residents
  • safer streets and reduced crime
  • ability to remotely control lights in different areas


We will be writing to residents before installation starts to notify them of what we will be doing, and when.

The work will be done by Colas who use a vehicle with an elevating platform to reach the top of the lampposts. If contractors cannot park alongside the lamppost it may be necessary to close the road temporarily.

Replacing each light should take between 10 to 15 minutes. Only the lantern head will be replaced, so there should be no disruption to your electricity supply on the day.

We will not be replacing any special heritage or ornate street lights such as those in areas such as Old Portsmouth and parts of Southsea.

Trial Installation

A trial installation took place on the 6 and 7 November 2017 in three streets in Portsmouth.

Main Installation

This covers the rest of Portsmouth, approximately 15,000 lights. Installation started on Monday 5 February 2018 and runs until summer 2019.

Residents will receive a letter informing them when work will be done in their road and dates will be published here when they are available. 

From Wednesday 30 January we will be upgrading the lights in 'Zone 1' (view the map to see the location of each zone). If you live in Zone 1 you can check when your street will be upgraded in the Zone 1 street light replacement schedule.

In addition we will be upgrading lights in Queen Street and Sywell Crescent on Wednesday 6 and Thursday 7 February, and Chichester Road and Queens Road between Wednesday 13 and Thursday 20 February.

Benefits of LED lights

Saving energy and money - we will reduce our electricity energy use by up to 40%. Reduced energy use means smaller energy bills, and by the end of the LED installation programme we expect to save up £400,000 a year. 

The old yellow/amber lights no longer meet lighting standards so we need to replace them. The new LED lights are manufactured to current lighting standards and use a clearer white light that reduces glare. They have been cleverly designed and fitted to avoid an intrusion of light into people's homes.

Better management of lights in your area: Lights are fitted with remote-monitoring technology to allow us to dim lights in certain areas at certain times; this helps to reduce carbon emissions even further.

More reliable and less disruption: The new lighting is more reliable and shouldn’t need replacing for 20 years, which is five times longer than the current lighting system. This means there shouldn't be as much need for anyone to come out and carry out work on lampposts near you.

A safer city: It is important to us that people feel safe moving around Portsmouth at night time. Better lighting can also reduce crime and fear of crime. A whiter light improves the images captured on CCTV as well as allowing clothing colours and car registration numbers to be more easily identified.


Q. When will the lights in my road be replaced?

Installation of over 14,500 LED lights across the city will start in February 2018 and will take 18 months. Our contractor, Colas, will carry out the work in stages, based on zones.

We will update this web page with timescales when we have them.

Q. Will all lights be replaced?

No. We will not be replacing the following lights:

  • special heritage or ornate street lights found in areas such as Old Portsmouth and parts of Southsea
  • bespoke street lights
  • subways
  • illuminated traffic sign lights
  • illuminated bollards.

Q. What disruption should I expect?

We are only replacing the lanterns at the top of the lamp column - and not the whole lamppost. The installation is very straightforward and should only take 15 minutes per streetlight to complete. You may experience some noise from the vehicle during work.

We will avoid causing an obstruction in the road where possible, however if contractors cannot park alongside the lamppost it may be necessary to put in place a temporary road closure. We will not need to disconnect the electricity supply to do this.

Q. Will I need to move my car?

If contractors cannot park alongside the lamppost it may be necessary close the road temporarily.

Q. My streetlight has never caused any problems in the past, so why is it being replaced?

Recently the cost of electricity has increased on average by 6% per year. In addition there is a requirement to work towards reducing our carbon emissions in line with the objectives set out in the Climate Change Act 2008. To achieve this we, like many other local authorities across the UK, are introducing LED lighting technology - lighting apparatus that consumes less energy. 

Q. My street seems a lot brighter since the new lights have been fitted. Why is this?

Most Portsmouth streets still have the old yellow/amber discharge type lighting, which doesn't comply with British and European lighting standards. Because these lights do not meet these standards, they require replacing to bring them up to recommended standards.

The LED lighting project will do this and will increase light levels in some streets, whilst still providing energy savings, in contrast to the old lights, which were very energy inefficient.

Q. My street seems darker since the new lights have been fitted. Why is this?

The LED lights are manufactured using a flat glass luminaire, and fitted in a way to help reduce light pollution. The light distribution is mainly concentrated on to the roads and footpaths surface areas, meaning these are well lit, but at the same time avoiding any nuisance glare or intrusion of lighting into people's homes and gardens. However, where lampposts are positioned at the front or rear of footways, and are directly in front or adjacent to household properties, then some nuisance glare is unavoidable, however, this can be mitigated by either adjusting the tilt angle tilting the luminaire or by the fitting of a shield.

The sole function of street lighting is to light the highway to ensure we meet our duty of care to road and footpath users.

Q. If the council wants to save money - why doesn't it look to turning the lights down during the night when there are less people and fewer vehicles around?

The new LED lights will be fitted with technology that enables us to control the street lighting and vary lighting levels at certain times of the night. We won't be turning any street lights off, however, we may consider varying the lighting levels if both pedestrian and vehicle flow is reduced significantly during the early hours of the morning, for example.

We will be trialling variable lighting levels of the LED lights. The trials will be carried out in full consultation with Ward Councillors, the Police, and the City Safety Team.

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