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Take the LED street lighting trial survey

As part of our commitment to sustainability, we are replacing around 15,000 street lights in Portsmouth with new energy-efficient LED lighting technology.

The improvements to more sustainable street lighting will:

  • reduce energy use by around 40%
  • save about £400,000 of public money every year
  • improve visibility with a whiter light
  • reduce the amount of maintenance work that disrupts residents
  • lead to safer streets and reduced crime
  • be able to be adjusted remotely

We’ll also be looking at how we could make the special heritage or ornate street lights more sustainable. This type of lighting is found in Old Portsmouth and parts of Southsea.

The work takes place over 2 years:

  • Phase 1 – LED technology was put into most street lights along residential streets. A successful trial took place on three streets in Portsmouth in 2018.
  • Phase 2 – LED technology was put into street lights along most main roads.
  • Phase 3 – We will start adjusting the lighting levels across the city between 10pm and 6am. There will be a full consultation with ward councillors, the police, and the city safety team. A trial will begin in five areas across the city.
  • Phase 4 – We will make recommendations about improving the sustainability of street lighting in the city. This will include any special heritage or ornate street lights.


Before installing new street lights, we send a letter to all affected properties telling them what we will be doing, and when. Colas will carry out the work using a vehicle with an elevating platform to reach the top of the lampposts. Temporary road closures may be put in place if Colas can’t park near enough to the lamppost.

Replacing each light takes about 15 minutes and shouldn’t cause any disruption to your electricity supply.

Reduced energy street light trial

By adjusting the level of lighting across the city between 10pm and 6am each day, we will reduce our energy consumption. A trial took place in 2018 with the emergency services. This was to ensure the level of lighting is above what they need to respond effectively to any emergencies.

Research has taken place into the areas where the lighting can be adjusted and we will be carrying out a trial in five areas. We will inform each area that they are in a test location and provide them with a survey for feedback. Areas include Cosham, Milton and Southsea. To help our research, there will be no change to the light levels for one of these areas.

We will review the feedback following the six-week trial. This will help us decide if any changes are needed before we roll this out across the whole city later this year.


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

From February 2018, the programme will take about 18 months to complete in residential areas, and another six months on main roads. We will send a letter to homes letting you know around a week before the works on your road are due to be carried out.

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?

Replacing each light takes about 15 minutes and should not cause any disruption to your electricity supply. Temporary road closures may be put in place if Colas can’t park near enough to the lamppost.

Q. Will I need to move my car?

No. If Colas can’t park alongside the lamppost they will temporarily close the road to carry out the work.

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

We aim to reduce our carbon emissions in line with the objectives set out in the Climate Change Act 2008. To achieve this we are introducing LED lighting technology that consumes less energy, like many other local authorities across the UK.

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

The type of light given off by the LEDs is white, rather than the old yellow lights.

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

The LED lights help reduce light pollution. The light is directed onto the roads and footpaths, reducing the light going into people’s homes and gardens. If your house is close to a light and there is too much glare, please contact the city helpdesk and we will investigate.

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.

Q. In Havant they are turning off the lights at night, will we be doing the same?

The research has shown that lighting is needed throughout the night in Portsmouth. We will adjust the lighting so that it is appropriate to the area and continue to monitor what is needed to ensure we live in a safe city.

Q. When the lights are adjusted will they all be the same across Portsmouth?

No. We’ve carried out a lot of research into the lighting needed in different areas across the city and we will adjust the lighting so that it is safe for the area. For example, we won’t adjust the lights at major junctions.

Q. What does adjusting the lights mean?

We will reduce the energy going to the street lights, which will reduce the level of the light. Our research has shown that the change is hard to detect if you are not aware of it. This is why we are also including an area with no change in our research.

Q. Why have you chosen to adjust the lights between 10pm and 6am?

To start with, we are adjusting the level at the time when the least number of people are moving around the city. Once we’ve monitored this over time we could change when light is reduced. The new system is very flexible and each street light can be managed independently.

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