Edinburgh residents lash out against LED streetlights that 'leave them in dark'

Edinburgh council has brightened the city's new LED streetlights after hundreds of residents ranted that the energy efficient luminiares left them feeling unsafe in the dark.

But the city might still have to install additional light columns to make up for the narrower beam emitted by LEDs compared to conventional streetlights, one councillor warned.

Edinburgh took the action after receiving 331 complaints from nearly a quarter of the 537 upgraded streets where people worried about possible crime and vandalism, the Edinburgh Evening News reported.

While the brighter levels 'seem to help a bit,' there is an ongoing problem with the beam spread, which leaves 'bright spots and dark spots,' said Councillor Allan Jackson.

'The new lights are going into lamp posts which were never designed for them,' he said, noting for example that they don't throw light back toward front doors as happened previously.

Residents in many other towns and cities have lodged similar complaints about LEDs and dark spots (see related stories below).


Photo is from David via Wikimedia

Comments 5

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Initially it went okay, that was until they started to install the Thorn LEDs on the 8 metre concrete columns. Basically, these are nothing more than LED torches that make a bright spot underneath: no Fresnel optics to spread the light along the road, so in between the columns, it is almost total darkness. Not fit for purpose. Bring back SOX!

The reality is that most LED street lights are simply not fit for purpose. Why - if it is so obvious to residents up and down the country - are councils continuing to squander millions of pounds of taxpayers money on LED lighting which is not just totally inadequate, glary and intrusive, but is also environmentally-damaging due to a spectral composition which is high in blue-rich short wavelength emissions? Don't council officials bother with due diligence any more?

The stories above leave me totally puzzled. We went to see Edinburgh City Council, Gordon, you were then in another life and we GAVE the City of Edinburgh, gratis, a street area of LED lighting which you installed with your own hands in the January snow. The Councillors enjoyed the press coverage:- http://www.scotsman.com/news/scotland/top-stories/capital-seeks-illumination-from-eco-friendly-street-lights-1-789337 That was 2010 five years ago. With all the great lighting designers employed by OEMs and a World Heritage City like Edinburgh how is that we can't get a simple lighting design for streets right? My ford Training said, "If ya gonna do it, do it RIGHT!" So why is this not happening all over Britain? Beats me! When you installed these lights, and that took 18 months to satisfy all concerned there was not a single complaint

Same story on the motorways and most LED schemes replacing street light. But how do you get clients to by more lights?

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