Modernising our street lighting

Many of Edinburgh's street lights are no longer made and need replaced. We are upgrading these lights to energy efficient ones which are better for the environment and are cheaper to run. They also give off a clearer light and can improve safety.

We are putting in a new street lighting control system at the same time which means we will be able to identify faulty lights quicker and without people needing to report them.


The light will look different. It is whiter and clearer than the more orange light we are used to. There is also less light spill, meaning it lights up roads and pavements better, rather than escaping upwards or shining into people's homes or gardens.

A safer light

The new lanterns can make our streets safer at night

  • there is less glare and dazzle and they light up a street more evenly
  • it is easier to see colours, making it safer for people driving, walking and cycling
  • the clearer light improves the quality of CCTV images.

Better for the environment

The new lanterns are much better for the environment as they

  • use 60% less energy and reduce the Council's carbon footprint
  • light up immediately
  • reduce light pollution as there is less light spillage, providing a better environment for birds and wildlife
  • don't use ultraviolet light reducing the attraction of night time insects
  • can be recycled
  • don't contain any harmful substances.

Cheaper to run

The new lanterns are cheaper to run and maintain

  • they last up to five times longer than existing lanterns
  • they shine for 100,000 hours, 25 years
  • we will avoid £54m of energy, maintenance and disposal costs over 20 years.


We plan to begin in summer 2018 and finish by the end of 2020. We are working in one ward at a time and we expect it to take between four and ten weeks in each ward, depending on its size and the number of lanterns to be replaced. It should take around 15 minutes to replace each lantern and since we aren't generally replacing the street lighting columns we don't expect to cause any disruption to people.  

We are also carrying out routine safety and electrical checks on street lighting at the same time and so we may need to do a small amount of extra work in some streets. 

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