Should low energy bulbs replace energy-guzzling Leeds street lights?

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Low energy and solar lighting could be used to replace outdated energy-guzzling bulbs on Leeds’s street lamps.

However the initial cost of conversion per light would be almost 15 times higher than the average annual saving of switching off one single light overnight.

That’s the finding of researchers, as Leeds City Council looks to turn up to 1,800 street lanterns off overnight this year as part of a wider cost-cutting exercise.

As reported yesterday, the council is reviewing the scheme it launched in 2013 with a view to expanding on the 3,700 lights already switched to part-time operation.

Up to 25,000 street lights - more than one in four of the city’s total - could go the same way eventually.

Leeds council’s cabinet will discuss the proposals at its monthly meeting today (Wednesday) at Leeds Civic Hall.

.A report to be presented to the panel suggests that switching to LED low energy bulbs would be a “potentially viable investment”.

The report says: “There are a number of measures that can be taken to save energy from street lights. Since 2013, energy prices have increased and the cost of low energy consumption LED lanterns has reduced.

“As LED lanterns become more affordable, it is beginning to make conversion to LED a potentially viable investment”.

However the council’s own research has shown that the cost to convert a single residential street light to LED would be £176, and it would take almost eight years for the investment to be clawed back.

The annual saving per light of switching it part time would be £12.

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