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Westminster Employs Smart New Lighting System

Keen to eliminate wasted energy and to cut pollution, Westminster City Council is taking steps to make savings from its street lighting with the deployment of a revolutionary new system it has been trialling as a part of its SMART Lights project.

Savings of up to £46 per street light per year and 100kg of carbon emissions per street light per year can be made from the Council’s energy bill thanks to a ground breaking street lighting solution called LeafNut. The technology has been developed over a 6 year period by Harvard Engineering, a UK based Technology Company.

With the City Council managing around 15,000 street lights the SMART Lights project is expected to make savings of up to £420,000 per year and reduce its carbon emissions by over 1.5 million kg.
The savings are achieved by using modern electronics to replace old systems in the lamp heads - existing street lighting is up to 30 years old and very inefficient. These are connected to innovative wireless technology providing remote access and control to individual or groups of street lights.

The system manages the light output allowing the dimming of the street lights to match the specific requirements of a location at different times of night. This reduces energy wastage due to over lighting, saves electricity and cuts costs, whilst also reducing carbon consumption and light pollution.

A junction or area of all night activity can remain fully lit, whilst reduced lighting levels may be sufficient for adjacent housing, industrial or park areas. Even then, such is the flexibility of the system that at the press of a button the lighting can be brought back to full intensity. This safety aspect can be maintained in conjunction with the city’s CCTV monitoring service.

Westminster City Council requires lighting solutions that help enable the highways to be illuminated to meet the specific needs of its diverse and ever changing environment. The LeafNut system allows designed lighting solutions to be operated at dimmed lighting levels and only increased when required to meet environmental needs which may be daily/weekly such as a theatre opening and closing or monthly/annually for known events.

The solution also cleverly provides a daily maintenance report for each light. This not only identifies bulbs which have failed, but also ones which are about to fail. No longer will costly inspections be required as maintenance can be accurately scheduled and managed via the Internet.

Dave Franks, Public Lighting Manager at Westminster City Council commented, "With the introduction of the Climate Change Act 2008 and the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) it is becoming increasingly important to identify ways of reducing the amount of electricity used, including street lighting. Some local authorities have made the decision to switch off street lights, in Westminster we are looking to technology to help us achieve savings, reduce carbon emissions and minimise the wasted energy from over lighting the highway. The LeafNut system allows us to do this by reducing light levels at particular times, rather than completely switching lights off."

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