Wellington Scoop

14,500 new street lights will save money and last longer

News from WCC
The Wellington City Council is installing eco-friendly LED streetlights across the city in a bid to lower energy-consumption and to improve public safety.

The 14,500 energy-efficient streetlights are expected to reduce the city’s streetlight energy bill from $684,000 a year to a projected $225,000.

Councillor Chris Calvi-Freeman, Council portfolio leader for transport strategy and operations, says alongside cost-savings, safety is a key consideration in the city’s shift to LED street lighting.

“As well as appearing brighter, the LED streetlights’ colour allows the human eye to better distinguish shapes at greater distances. If you’re a pedestrian crossing the road at night, this is very important.

“And it’s not just a lower energy bill that will help save the ratepayer money; the LED streetlights are more robust and last significantly longer than the current lights. This will lead to fewer outages and much lower maintenance and replacement costs.

“Another key feature is they can be remotely dimmed and brightened through a central control system. They can also self-report faults and be set up on installation to direct light only where it is needed,” he says.

The LED streetlight roll-out has started in Miramar, Paparangi and Khandallah, and is expected to be completed city-wide by mid-to-late year.

The full-cost of the wider project is estimated to cost $17 million, which will largely be funded by a subsidy of up to $14.5 million from the New Zealand Transport Agency.


  1. greenwelly, 4. April 2018, 15:02

    What is the “temperature” of these lights?

    Dunedin decided to install “warm white” LEDs with a 3000K temp, and temperatures of 3000k or below are recommended by the American Medical Association,

    Or are we going to be inflicted with “cool white” of 4000K or higher with its higher “blue” levels?

  2. Andrew, 4. April 2018, 16:57

    Good point greenwelly. The CRI (colour rendering index) of the lights is very important and goes hand in hand with the colour temperature. The cheaper LEDs are all cooler with a low CRI. Objects look flat. I really hope the WCC have gone with warmer LEDs or this will be an expensive failure.

  3. Ian Apperley, 4. April 2018, 17:24
  4. Mike Mellor, 4. April 2018, 21:31

    Good point, Ian.

    Another issue that seems to have been overlooked is the brighter the light, the darker the shadow. The lighting of many walkways is not continuous, with streetlights providing oases of light separated by areas of darkness. LED lights make those dark areas relatively darker, and I think overall such paths feel a lot less safe.

  5. Cllr Chris Calvi-Freeman, 4. April 2018, 23:23

    For most of Wellington (i.e. residential and minor streets) the LEDs will be 3000 Kelvin, which is a “warm white” light. This meets the International Dark Sky Association’s requirements and the European Standards regarding health issues. High traffic volume arterials will have 4000K LEDs, which are rated as “cool white”.

  6. Andrew, 5. April 2018, 7:52

    A few questions for Chris Calvi-Freeman, if you are reading.
    The new lights are controllable but the press release does not state whether the WCC will have hardware in place to actually control them. Will the WCC be able to control the lights from the start of installation? And can you please state which product is being installed? Many thanks.

  7. Cllr Chris Calvi-Freeman, 5. April 2018, 8:31

    Yes, I believe the controls will be in place from day 1. I don’t know the detailed equipment specs. If you email me at chris.calvi-freeman@wcc.govt.nz I will pass your request to the relevant officer.