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Islington Council Street Light Upgrade

As part of Islington council’s commitment to reducing carbon emissions in the borough by 40% by 2020, December 2017 saw the start of a switch over of Islington’s street lights from conventional to more energy efficient LED lamps. The council agreed capital funding for this project in April 2016, and along with the current PFI subcontractor, SSE, a competitive procurement exercise awarded Phillips Lighting the contract.

Generally, LED lights have a lifetime of 12 years compared to every two to four years of current street lamps. This upgrade will result in reduced costs and carbon emissions simply from fewer maintenance visits being required. In addition to this the lighting will help improve safety in the borough; LEDs improve colour rendering and help produce better facial recognition images from CCTV. Unique to Islington, the project will also upgrade a number of ‘heritage style’ lanterns to LED, something overlooked by other councils.

Overall 11,350 street lights are going to be upgraded to LED with the projected savings outlined below.


Project Description

Over the past 4 to 5 years the council has been testing different LED products covering 500 streetlights. The 7,325 regular LED lanterns are technically more advanced than the heritage lamps due to producers prioritising their manufacture. The designing of the location of these lamps on the 265km of streets was an important process in this project, as minimum lighting levels must be achieved alongside creating significant energy savings. On average the lights would produce energy savings of around 40 – 70% depending on the characteristics of each road.

Heritage Lamps

 The procurement of the heritage lamps has now started with the installation phase taking place soon. These lamps are technically less advanced due to their decorative nature; however the LEDs will still be controlled through the CMS (Central Management System) alongside the regular LEDs. No lamp posts had to be replaced during this process, minimising costs, as this had already been done around 10 years ago. Structural safety checks were carried out on the older lamp columns however, with this being completed during planned maintenance wherever possible to further keep costs down. 

Project Feedback

By investing to save, Islington council will have more resources available to protect front line services as well as reducing their impact on the environment. The energy savings will be registered through the update of the lamppost registry which will be submitted once a week to UK Power Networks. This project comes as part of a pledge to the charity 10:10 Climate Action, affirming its plans to switch all street lights in the borough to energy efficient LEDs.