Brighter eco-friendly street lights coming to a street near you

New energy efficient street lights are set to be rolled out across the Capital from next month, generating savings of £54 million for the city over 20 years. 

The move follows a successful 2012 pilot project and follow-up scheme in 2014 to replace around 7000 obsolete lanterns in Edinburgh with Light Emitting Diode (LED) lights. These 'white light' technology lamps give off a clearer light and can last for more than 20 years,compared to existing lights’ current life span of just two to four years. 

The crisper light and new technology enhance community safety by making CCTV images clearer and by allowing light levels to be varied. 

The Council has approximately 65,000 street lights, costing around £3m in energy alone every year. Energy costs continue to rise and the current lanterns are becoming obsolete, making them harder and costlier to maintain. 

To pre-empt these increases, £24.5m* is being spent on upgrading all the city’s street lights; replacing inefficient lanterns with modern, energy efficient and environmentally friendly ones. This will achieve savings for the taxpayer of £54m over 20 years.

Transport Convener Councillor Lesley Macinnes said: "Residents in the pilot areas for the new lights overwhelmingly said that they preferred the crisper, brighter light to the orangey glow of the old, inefficient street lights.  As well as saving the city millions of pounds, replacing the old lights will help cut our CO2 emissions in Edinburgh and comply with Scottish Government energy efficiency legislation.

"We're gearing up now to introduce energy efficient street lights to streets and communities right across the Capital. We'll make every effort to minimise disruption to residents and businesses throughout and will target information locally as the roll-out comes to different wards."

A dynamic street lighting monitoring and control system (CMS) will also be installed, giving much greater, centralised control over the city’s lighting. The CMS will provide real-time monitoring and reporting to identify and track faults, which will cut the number of residents' complaints about broken street lights and remove the need for street lighting staff to undertake night-time scouting work to identify faulty lights. 

It will also track actual energy consumption, submitting information directly to the Meter Administrator and increasing the accuracy of energy billing.

The ward-by-ward rollout of energy efficient street lights is due to start in Ward 7 (Sighthill / Gorgie) in w/c 12 November. 

*Prudential borrowing of £24.518m was approved by Full Council on 19 November 2015. The project is anticipated to deliver revenue savings of £3.6m and avoid costs of more than £54m associated with increasing energy prices.

  • Reduced energy costs. Energy costs are expected to double in the next decade. The use of modern lighting equipment will greatly assist in reducing the impact of increasing energy costs.
  • Improved environmental performance. This new equipment is more energy efficient and lamps have a longer life span.
  • Provide continuous lighting throughout the night. A number of local authorities have been switching off lights for periods of time during the night to save energy.  The City of Edinburgh Council is not currently considering this option.
  • Compliance with EU directives.
  • Brighter and clearer lighting from LED is recommended for safety reasons over previous technology. White lights improve colour recognition and improves images captured on CCTV at night.  They also allow clothing colours and car registration numbers to be more easily identified.
  • In October 2012, a pilot project was undertaken in the Gilmerton and Saughton Mains areas of the city. A total of 271 lights were changed and the results from consultation with local households achieved around 90% satisfaction levels.



Nov-Dec: Ward 7 - Sighthill / Gorgie


Jan-Feb: Ward 9 - Fountainbridge / Craiglockhart

Feb-Apr: Ward 8 - Colinton / Fairmilehead

Apr-May: Ward 2 - Pentland Hills

May-Jul: Ward 1 - Almond
Jul-Sept: Ward 3 - Drum Brae / Gyle

Sept-Nov: Ward 6 - Corstorphine / Murrayfield

Nov-Dec: Ward 5 - Inverleith

Dec-Feb: Ward 4 - Forth


Feb-Mar: Ward 13 - Leith

Mar-Apr: Ward 12 - Leith Walk

Apr-Jun: Ward 11 - City Centre

Jun-Aug: Ward 14 - Craigentinny / Duddingston

Aug-Sept: Ward 10 - Meadows / Morningside

Sept-Oct: Ward 15 - Southside / Newington

Nov-Feb: Ward 16 - Liberton / Gilmerton


Feb-Mar: Ward 17 Portobello / Craigmillar

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