Newly installed LED streetlights may be over illuminated for a short period of time before being added to a start up and dimming schedule. Once on the start up and dimming schedule they will not be as bright and will dim further during the evening.
Residents are often surprised at the apparent brightness of newly installed LED streetlights, even after being added to the start up and dimming schedule. LED lights offer a whiter light with better colour-contrast than the older sodium (orange) streetlights, resulting in objects that are more visible for road-users and residents alike. Many people perceive that the light from LEDs is brighter, whereas in fact it is just whiter and clearer. Studies show that our eyes adjust to the new light over a few weeks, so we ask that residents wait for up to 8 weeks after installation for their eyes to adjust to the new lights before contacting us. LED lighting is also more directional, so there is not as much ‘spill’ in other directions as there was with sodium lights. LEDs shine more down onto the road, as they should. The lights we install are aligned with the relevant British Standard.
Supporting Essex County Council’s ‘Net Zero’ commitment, we are also seeking to significantly reduce our carbon footprint and one clear way to do so is to use less energy. The LED lanterns chosen for installation right across the County’s highway network have specifically been designed to dim in stages from dusk, when they switch on, to 1a.m. when they switch off (in areas that retain part-night lighting). This contributes significantly to reduced energy usage and, crucially, reduced carbon emissions, as well as other environmental benefits such as reduced light pollution, or ‘sky glow’. We were unable to dim the old sodium ‘orange’ streetlights.