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LED street light‎The man whos Britains councils look twice at their LED streetlighting specs

July 31, 2018 / by admin

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Does he have much ith that the lighting industry will address his quality concerns? No. Im not sure selfregulation will work. Weve got a perfect storm of new technology, huge financial pressures on local authorities and a lack of guidance from central government. Thats where the buck has to stop.

No one seems to be considering the most important thing here aesthetics. The harsh white led lights make the night streets look very cold and uninviting they cast harsh shadows on the buildings and make everything starkly unattractive . Whereas the previous lamps made the streets look warm tungsten light, with an orange/amber glow is r more attractive than this unnatural cold light from leds. The streetlamp poles and the lamp heads look really cheap as well…. Theyve put cold white bulbs in the old gas lights around the harbour where I live, and it used to look so beautiful at night with the orange/amber bulbs… Our world is being made more ugly by the day as if we can live without beauty. It is more vital than the air we breath. You can almost suspect that there is a massive antilife agenda underway and this cheap unnatractive lighting is but a part of that…. As for the car headlights that is night driving a verile nightmare. Your blinded from the lights of oncoming vehicles and also by the lights from behind, reflected in the rearview and side mirrors. But who cares about beauty in this increasingly disgustingly ugly desecrated corrupted world we live in…not many, it seems. And if you believe in the climate/change global warming nonsense you aint done your homework thoroughly enough yet. The United Nations are pure evil, their agenda is pure evil dont ever let yourself be duped by anything coming out of that political cesspool.

I agree that LED lighting is not the only way forward, EnLight, a company based in Loddon, near Norwich has produced an electronic ballast that is as efficient with HID lamps than that of LED and can retro fit into the existing lanterns saving waste and disposal costs. The system is also intelligent with a CMS system embedded into the electronics.

They seem happy to subsidise bad as well as good lights, he said. The risk is that a local authority who got Green Investment Bank funding go and squander it on poor quality equipment and it wont work and the company goes bust and the taxpayer is left holding the baby.

The only criteria anyone cares about is energy efficiency, Nicholas toldLux. When youre introducing LED lighting, the whole process needs to be managed in a very measured and controlled way, and aspects other than energy efficiency need to be considered.

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Nicholas is not a lighting man by . Hes a mechanical engineer who runs a couple of transport and property businesses, and until recently had no more than a passing interest in LED lighting.

Simon Nicholas insists hes not antiLED.

But when his local council in Trafford, Greater Manchestertried to replace the streetlights in the conservation area where he lives with brighter lights on higher masts, he complained, and succeeded in getting changes made.

Then he got wind of Traffords plans to roll out LEDs, and began to examine their plans.

If you have a problem with LEDs lighting your windows find out where the councils chief executive and council officers and elected councilors live and knock there doors see if they have light tresspass on there property,dont let them waste your time with with words like carbon ,cost,saving the planet dont forget we pay there wages and pensions, because these LEDs are ajusle the brightness can be reduced that saves electricity, street lights are for lighting the highway only get a petition together,the bats at the back of my home have gone thanks to staffs county council thanks to john henderson there are laws about killing bats mr henderson,anyone wants to email me do it and we will start an online petition

After all, Nicholas says If there were any serious counterargument Id have heard it by now. And I probably would have gone away.

The man whos Britains councils look twice at their LED streetlighting specs

He even came to LuxLive last year, anddebated LED streetlightingalongside representatives of Westminster City Council, Balfour Beatty and manucturer CU Phosco. Whatever you think about his views, hes determined, engaged with the issues and very well informed.

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I agree that LED lighting is not the only way forward, EnLight, a company based in Loddon, near Norwich has produced an electronic ballast that is as efficient with HID lamps than that of LED and can retro fit into the existing lanterns saving waste and disposal costs. The system is also intelligent with a CMS system embedded into the electronics.

Its a point worth , as he has become mous in lighting circles for his oneman campaign against bad LED streetlighting.

I a retired now but last night I experienced with shock the ct that Carlisle has converted to LED lighting. Awful! Pedestrians you are now at risk of early death below vehicles which you encounter when crossing the road in the areas of darkness between the lighting poles. You wear dark clothing and disappear in the gloom. Never mind, the driver will be blamed so all will be OK. The curse of modern sharp cutoff vehicle lights coming from the other direction only adds to the problem. As for cyclists, some are still stupid enough to ride without lights on their bikes, you will be butchers meat. Of course the driver will be blamed so that will be OK. The depressing ct is that we live in a democracy, freedom and democracy so there should be some way of influencing policy but dont put any money on it. They will not listen and the same wretched governments will be elected at every general election. Guaranteed. Has any independent research ever been done before allowing this dangerous lighting? Have there ever been any trials with the experience of road users invited? Who should be blamed? The EC or the County Councils or the Department of Transport? At least we could be told this but in a corrupt country, my expectations are low.

I live in the London Borough of Hounslow. The small residential road i live in, had orange Sodium lighting units replaced by LEDs in March . There is a lamp post my side of the road near the front wall of my front garden. i.e. metres from my front room and front bedroom windows. Paradoxically i found less light coming in from the street lights in to my home. The only light which is a bit of a nuisance to me is a security light, which someone who lives the other side of my road, installed fifteen years ago which shines light straight through my front room window. My road does look more brightly lit. How bright? I took a photograph. The exposure was / second f/. ISO white balance set to daylight kelvin . The picture and colours looked normal. The colour temperature for sodium light is Kelvin. One thing i have noticed since a lot of the street lighting in the general area was replaced by LEDs is that there are more people about when it is dark.

One of his biggest concerns is the health risks of glare and bluerich light from LEDs. Its certainly true that blue light in certain intensities and under certain circumstances can damage the eye or disrupt sleep. Many experts insist that fear about the blue in LED streetlights is misplaced, but Nicholas is not satisfied that the risks have been properly researched or addressed.

Now that it seems theres no way back to the good old days nights with the street lights so bright in colourful orange, with the councils funds are apparently being cut and redirected abroad to help things like m waste on a girl group, etc. and with the impact of the global warming due to street lights hasnt been proven yet, why dont councils, get us out of this enforced evening curfew in our streets and start to Sponsor a Lamp Post scheme by accepting advertisements from any interested firms and services, and a small poster on the sponsored lamp posts, or can ask the residents living around each darkened street light, if they wish, they can pay a certain amount extra for the light outside their property to be turned brighter, and this extra amount of money shouldnt be more than per year. This way residents living around a brightenedup Lamp post can feel safer, as well as to think they are actually living in the st century! Edison is turning in his grave!

Clients are just believing what people are telling them and taking a leap of ith. Theyre being promised fitandforget for years. In years when the arrays have deteriorated, the driver has blown and the technology has moved on, what are you going to do then?

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Since then, his campaign against what he sees as bad LED lighting either because its poorly designed,bad value for money, foisted on people without consultation or potentially damaging to health has become, in his words, a hobby.

Its not just Trafford Council that Nicholas has been complaining to hehas also targeted other local authorities, particularly those who have made a big PR deal of what theyre doing, such as Wigan.

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I can only speak for Devon here, but the replacement of Sodium with LED here has so r been an improvement. I dont know enough about the units they are using to know if they will be good value for money in the long term, but in terms of quality of light, visibility, and reduction of light pollution, they have been a big improvement. There is one street where the lack of spill and reduction in beam angle has resulted in a pavement losing all its light, that is the only negative I can see so r. I do agree that the fittings are not well designed though, as r as I can see they have no masking whatsoever to reduce any scatter and no means to fit any but that was the same with the old sodiums. They also have no focus on them, so no means of moving either the light engine up and down to reduce/increase the beam angle or to fit a moveable mask externally to achieve the same effect. Better design here would really help.

Our local authority have had LED lights put in place on a corner of a main highway on the edge of a Conservation Area which someone complained was dark; someone was not one of the local residents. Local authority however listened to someone and did not consult local residents before changing lights. Albeit one LED has been shaded following my complaints that I did not appreciate the front of my house being lit up or our being blinded by the light when sitting in our lounge, outside when we are driving it still creates a hazard. When we drive around corner and have to pull over to park on our side of the road we cannot anticipate on coming traffic at night because LED street lights mask oncoming car lights; accident waiting to happen; what guidance is there as to level of lighting required on highways?

The way LED rollouts are funded doesnt always help, Nicholassays. Initiatives like the Green Investment Banks loans for lighting upgrades worry him, because he feels they have not paid sufficient attention to quality, including health and environmental issues.

But he has seen positive changes in attitudes from councils with whom he has raised his concerns. Ive been locked in a battle with Trafford for over months and now we are starting to see some positive results, with a change of emphasis from purely energy savings to consideration of those wider environmental and health impacts which can result from the specificationof the wrong spectralcomposition of outdoor lighting.

He also objects to what he sees as an undemocratic approach to the introduction of LEDs. This new technology is being imposed on people, he says. Any negative feedback is being ignored.

Nicholas thinks taxpayers deserve better, so he hasmade it his business to get councils tolook more carefully at how they procure and specify LED streetlighting and hes getting results.

Dear Simon, I have autism and I am now on curfew from dusk to dawn for a crime I never committed because of these stupid, irresponsible, eye damaging lights xenon, hid and led. They cause me eye pain and migraine and my eyes itch after just a few seconds of exposure to them. I also know there are thousands of eye disabled and light sensitive people like myself who are suffering the same te. It is against our human rights to be kept prisoner when it goes dark and these lights are put on. They could have at least put an orange filter on them if they were telling the truth about energy saving then filters would have been standard like the wonderful street lights that they are ripping out ster than I can blink. Not only that… but drivers are being blinded by oncoming cars that wield these ridiculous lights a lighthouse is for the sea not the road so road deaths will increase. And I will tell you, years in advance of psychologists, these s of lights also cause a sharp rise in aggression when exposed to them, on top of damaged eyesight. All these people care about is money and filling their own t pockets, well I want to live to see the day when we are suing councils for the damage caused by their ignorant and indiscriminate lighting decisions.

Reading John Woodhouses comments has reminded me about the white lighting on the A in Stockport where I used to live. The council installed metal halide lighting to replace the low pressure sodium. They did so with more efficient lighting they believed and they actively cheated their way round complaints about the amount of light they were shining into peoples bedroom windows. About years after the new white lighting was put in place, the council complained that their electricity bill had risen by . It was clear to those that can understand numbers that the reason was the metal halide lights watt are much less efficient, those lights consume at least more energy than the low pressure sodium watt they replaced it could be if the old lights used low loss gear. I would be careful, incidentally, about believing that the ILP Institution of Lighting Professionals is an independent body their roots lie in their formation by councils many years ago and, in the guise of the Institution of Lighting Engineers their previous name, they helped Stockport Council ignore their own guidance on light pollution. The ILP represents the lighting industry, not the people whose lives they affect. One person the council claimed was independent turned out to be a man working for another council in Greater Manchester reduced the light readings he measured into bedroom windows by the tolerance of his meter in an attempt to show that the light intrusion was not as bad as claimed it was still excessive it significantly exceeded the levels recommended by the ILE but this did not matter to the council. The councils company who dealt with the lighting coverup is the same one that lost around million which noone has apparently found.

So whats at the heart of Nicholas problem with LED streetlighting? Surely the benefits of this new technology energy efficiency, light control, colour quality are compelling?

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Meanwhile, Cardiff Council has invited him to discuss LED specifications with its highways team, and hes helping the ILP the Institution of Lighting Professionals update its guidance on LEDs.

Hi, Im not sure if many of the people commenting here have much technical exposure or expertise with LEDs and the technology. I work in the lighting industry and there the superiority of LEDs is unmatched at this point in time. Retrospectively, HIDs and mercury vapour lamps were a nightmare in every way. The public perspective of things is only one side of it. Weve to realise that there are tens and hundreds of engineers, maintenance technicians and managers working tirelessly to fix these old crap luminaires. Glare is purely subjective. Our eyes are so accustomed to the highly inefficient mercury vapour or high sodium lighting . Now when LEDs are rolled out, it all of a sudden seems too bright/glary. Well people, this was the light/lumen levels were supposed to have in the first place, years back! Im not intending to delve into the finer technical details as this is a laymans discussion. However, a question What about all the mercury/lead content in the traditional lighting? So where does that stand in terms of environmental/health hazards?? Surely the risks posed by LEDs that have none of these is much lesser!

A couple of years on from getting involved with LED lighting, Nicholas still hasnt lost momentum. And if central and local government wantto come up with effective lighting policies, and win the public round to them, they would do well to pay attention to determined, knowledgeable critics like this.

Nicholas believes local authorities should explore the option of dimming existing streetlighting, which still has years of life left in it, rather than spending millions on brand new LEDs. Manchester and Cardiff have both invested heavily in highintensity discharge lighting over the last years, he says. Cardiff are spending . million to dim , lights and saving , a year. In Manchester they could save , [if they did the same]. Instead theyre planning to save , a year on an LED rollout thats going to cost million, and all the kit theyve installed in the last years goes in the skip. The lighting level will be less, the glare will be greater and generations of taxpayers will be paying for the debt.

We have recently had the light outside our house changed to an LED. I have real trouble sleeping now. The glare is so bright that it illuminates my bedroom with the Curtains closed. I think that if an authority wants to change lighting in this way it should undertake proper consultation with the people who live in the area and should be subject to planning control. If they want to change something that affects or has the potential to affect someones life, then they should need planning permission to do it.

Everyone is obsessed by LEDs but unfortunately the ct that LEDs use less energy in comparison to other light sources is the only ctor being considered. Sadly this is true not just for street lighting but throughout our industry. Really important lighting decisions are being made by people who are simply not qualified or sufficiently well informed to do so. The current research that is being undertaken by industry professionals some of those sharing their knowledge at PLDC Professional Lighting Design Conference in Rome last month is critical to how we think about lighting and to ensure that new installations are not only energy conscious but provide the appropriate lit environment for the people they are designed for.

Surely these posts should retain paragraphs. ; But I suppose it was a pretty long entry

One issue I have with white lighting is glare and the inherent inability of councils to realise that lighting the foreground i.e. white lighting being good for colour recognition flies completely in the ce of the road lighting codes of practice. Safe road lighting depends on lighting the and hence silhouetting objects against it. An objective test is to drive down a whitelit road and see how soon you see pedestrians compare this with a road lit by SOX Low pressure sodium. The SOX lit roads enable you to see people and objects sooner. Glare and hotspots from white lighting high luminance light sources make driving at night less safe.

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In his spare time Nicholas devours academic s and policy documents, attends technical seminars on lighting, fires off regular Freedom of Information requests to councils and gets into lengthy arguments on theLighting Talkdiscussion group on LinkedIn.

Not only is there a technical guidance void on how best to use LED technology for streetlighting, he says, theres also a policy void. Someone needs to put out some guidance. In my view its the responsibility of central government, but they dont seem to have any appetite for it.

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Just had new street lights put in my avenue. They are r too bright, its like a bright security flood light being left on all night which would be deemed a nuisance. But Im sure that since its the council doing it they wont see it that way. Surely street lighting doesnt need to be this bright?!?

In a world of confusion and misinformation about LEDs, many lighting professionals dream of customers who are as well informed about lighting as Nicholas. Its not often you hear members of the general public throwing around terms like spectral composition and luminaire lumens per circuit watt. But be careful what you wish for Nicholas has been giving manucturers and local authorities a pretty hard time about their products and practices.

A view to critisise the local Governmet seesaw; lights off/lights on and highlight the borrowing of Millions in a dash for LED should be welcome news. All councils are seeking spending cuts, the GIB has money to lend and LED sales teams really know how to sell, is its a one way street. Very refreshing for a member of the public to enter the debate. Sign him up for CMS too?

They said they had done a trial and were going to extend their trial across the borough, Nicholas said. So I ask them a number of questions and theyre struggling to answer them. So I send them some information and ask them to consider it, andas a result theyve decreased the colour temperatureby per cent. I dont know on what basis theyre thinking K is OK and K is not, but its a step in the right direction.

LED streetlighting is being imposed on people and any negative feedback is being ignored campaigner Simon Nicholas

I have also noticed while driving round town that it is very difficult to see at night with white lighting. Pavements do not stand out the same as they do with amber lighting and yes there is a definate glare, which was not there before. Pedestrians are definately harder to see as the white lighting causes more shadow than amber lighting. There are still some of the old lighting around in the area where I live and you can see the difference. I have also missed pedestrians crossing the road in front of me, which is a cause for concern. I think that the accident rate will rise due to white lighting. Less go back to amber lighting before lives are lost because of stupid legislation and cost cutting. Live is more important than money.

Great article I wish Id seen it sooner. SOLIS_Syd

My local council has just marked up my road for installation of these bright LED lights with one situated at the front of my house. This will beam through my bedroom window. Highways department are condescending and completely unsympathetic to my fears of this disturbing my sleep as well as the evidence based health implications , replying that the road is not my property and owned by the council, therefore they can do what they like. What can we do to be heard and stop this complete waste of tax payers money? They have recently introduced a hefty charge for our garden waste collection and use this money to blind me with an unnatural light in my own bed the world has gone mad!

I believe LED is the future of lighting, he says. But its a sophisticated technology being used crudely because of a lack of expertise. Theres a lack of understanding of the wider issues and a lack of skills within many local authorities.

In many cases its cheap and cheerful. Its not even cheerful, its cheap and nasty. In ct its not even cheap, its expensive and nasty. And if residents complain, all they get back from their local authorities are cutandpaste platitudes.

Instead theyre planning to save , a year on an LED rollout thats going to cost million, and all the kit theyve installed in the last years goes in the skip. At last, the voice of sanity, wafting away the greenwash. I am all for LEDs where appropriate but I have been banging on about this for some years without halting any LED install.

He hit the headlines in when theManchester Evening Newsquoted or rather paraphrasedhim as saying that LED lights might damage brains, and last year he appeared on the BBCsDaily Politicsto speak out against bad lighting.

Hes equally unimpressed by private finance initiatives. PFI and LED are not happy bedfellows, Nicholas says. The objectives of the PFI supplier and the client are, in my view, mutually exclusive. The contractor wants to do as much as possible and the client just wants to save money. And the contractor doesnt necessarily give the client the best solution. Manchester is a clear example of this.

Birmingham is going LED and have already installed a lot in and around the Cotteridge area. Talking to the men who installed it I asked what they were going to install on the B. They said LED and it is going to be considerably brighter out here. They have installed taller lights which admittedly give out a slightly more even light than the low pressure sodium that was fitted before but why the extra power ? Im inclined to feel that lighting engineers have forgotten that as a species we are perfectly capable of seeing well in moon light. Years ago people used to drive by it. Not that I would advocate that but it illustrates the point well. When gas lighting was around people drove on side lights. Ended by a drive on dipped headlights campaign when the majority of streets were lit with electricity more I feel to make cars more apparent than allow drivers to see properly. At one point street lighting used to be switched off late at night then those on junctions were left on. It was surprising how much difference just these made when walking about. Reports suggested that this change reduced accidents so the lot were left on. Since then any change to street lighting seems to involve more and more light. I am concerned about both the cost of running these lights and the future costs when energy costs escalate to such a point that light levels have to be dropped. No doubt gas will be used up mainly for generating relatively clean electricity rather than retaining it for home heating another aspect of electricity use. In countries I have been were homes are heated by electricity phase goes in because the power levels needed exceed what can realistically be done on single phase. The B is a purely residential road. In real terms traffic levels are very low when the street lighting is on. Other none classified local roads are lit by a different of led lighting. Lower and dished so that they spread light over a larger area even across the entire road. Its safe to assume that these consume less electricity than the main road lighting. They dont provide the same light levels but people can still see clearly. I cant help wondering what all purely residential streets arent fitted with them. However they appear to be high cri s. To do this they have to emit rather a lot of blue light that our eyes are not very sensitive too so very high levels of it are needed to obtain the cri. They are not terribly efficient. I cant help wondering if the colour temperature exceeds K. Sweden seems to have jumped on this aspect at least for domestic lighting from conversations with some one who lives there. They are unhappy about the amount of blue that has to be emitted to obtain higher colour temperatures. There is cause for concern. Really its time both local authorities and government had a very careful look at the whole area of street lighting. Both seem set on reproducing sunlight or as near as they can currently get to it. Who pays for changing it and also running it us and there is plenty of evidence that both are perfectly capable of wasting rather a lot of it without any real justification. I also read something some time ago that reckoned that many were installing lighting which is less efficient than low pressure sodium lighting. I believe it was by the IEEE who were concerned that the changes were being made without much thought. If so installing lights which provide even higher light levels does not make any sense at all.

My Parish Council decided to install Lumen LED streetlamps on the existing lamps posts with no community consultation at all. The one opposite my cottage floods my bedrooms with light even though I have thick lined curtains. My sleep is disturbed. I have tried and tried to get a fix but all that is done is the installer came and tweaked the angle of the lamps. I asked for shields to be put around the whole lamp and I also asked for the lights to be turned off from midnight to am. Shropshire Council has a partnight light scheme which is being ignored by the PC. Robins sing in my garden at night and the wildlife that relies on darkness to thrive is at risk. My health is also at risk which I have pointed out. No thought and little research has been conducted by those who make decisions. I want to enjoy dark skies, quiet nights and restful sleep. Is that too much to ask?

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