Signify helps illuminate Somerset County Council with energy-efficient LED street lighting

2nd February 2023
Harry Fowle

Signify is supporting Somerset County Council in upgrading its street lighting with energy-efficient LED lighting across Minehead, Street, and Taunton.

The project is part of a comprehensive development plan that puts Somerset on a trajectory to carbon neutrality by 2030. The retrofit also ensures greater longevity for the county’s traditional lanterns, allowing Somerset to stay true to its cultural heritage. The project is carried out with the support of the Council’s Term Maintenance Contractor, ENERVEO.

Somerset’s towns and city are currently lit by a combination of conventional and LED street lighting. Signify will upgrade approximately 20,000 remaining conventional light points with products from its Philips TrueForce LED range. Through the first phase of the program in 2022, the Council estimates a saving of £160k per year (based on the revised 2022 rates) in energy costs and a full return on investment within the first 18 months of installation. In 2023, a second phase, which will see additional districts added to the programme, will further reduce energy expenditure and slash carbon emissions.

Somerset has been on its path to carbon neutrality since 2020, but skyrocketing energy prices and the need for safer streets for pedestrian and highway users have raised the urgency of replacing outdated technology with alternatives that are long-lasting, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly. Switching from conventional streetlights to LED is a relatively quick and low-cost intervention that can cut energy consumption by up to 50%, and the effects are immediate.  According to Signify’s own data, if the entire UK&I region followed the example of Somerset County Council and switched all conventional road and streetlights to LED, the country could save 603 thousand tonnes of carbon and £520 million per year in energy costs.

Beyond energy and climate goals, upgraded lighting offers improved visibility to towns around the county, helping residents feel safe and secure, and boosting visibility for CCTV. 

Somerset County Council worked with Signify to select lighting solutions that would combine the performance of modern lighting technology while keeping to the traditional aesthetic of the area’s towns and villages. By using retrofit lamps, the county will transform traditional lanterns to reap the benefits of high-performance, energy-saving technology. This retrofit solution avoids high upfront costs, prolongs the life of traditional lanterns, and preserves the county’s historic appeal.

“We selected to work with Signify for the breadth of its product range and expertise,” said Mike Rigby, Lead Member for Transport and Digital. “The Philips TrueForce product range was also well known to us for its reliability and ease of installation along with the minimal maintenance required.”

“Energy costs are a major concern for public organisations, businesses, and households across the county. Committing now to 100% LED street lighting helps us reap immediate rewards by cutting energy costs so we can continue to provide great value to the people of Somerset. And at the same time, we take a big step forward in our longer-term ambition for a carbon-neutral Somerset by 2030. Additionally, the streets now lit better than before ensure citizens can feel more confident and secure during the evenings or nights.’’

“TrueForce LED lamps are a great a like-for-like replacement due to their easy installation, true retrofit in size and long lifetime,” said Phil Green, Senior Lighting Engineer for Highway Lighting at Somerset County Council. “Also, the colour temperature, CRI and brightness are a vast improvement compared to the HID lamps previously used.’’

“Somerset’s LED upgrade demonstrates that lighting is an area where a relatively small change can have an immediate and far-reaching positive impact,” said Simon Greenwood, Trade Sales Director, Signify UK&I. “Combining new and retrofit lighting solutions offers the best of both worlds, giving new life to existing lighting assets and creating major energy savings with low upfront costs and minimal disruption. I am very proud of Signify’s role in supporting Somerset as it pursues its ambition to be carbon neutral on a county-wide scale.”

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