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LED street lighting rollout would save Australian councils $100 million per year

14 December 2016: 

A major report on the future of Australia’s street lighting provides a pathway to a LED street lighting rollout that would save Australian councils $100 million per year.

An initiative of the Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia (IPWEA), and lead-authored by NZ specialist consultancy Strategic Lighting Partners, the Street Lighting and Smart Controls (SLSC) Programme Roadmap makes 12 recommendations to fast-track Australia’s changeover to LED street lighting.

Compiled with the support of the Department of the Environment and Energy as well as major lighting and smart controls companies, the Roadmap demonstrates the massive economic, environmental and public safety benefits of light emitting diode, or LED street lighting.

IPWEA modelling shows that if every street light in Australia were changed over to LEDs, the energy used to power those lights and the greenhouse gas emissions produced would be halved.

With the addition of smart controls – that enable ‘smart city’ functions such as remote monitoring and lights that adjust light levels at different times of the night or when they sense motion – this reduction could be as much as 72 per cent.

In Australia, councils spend about $400 million each year on street lighting. Changing over to smart controlled LEDs would reduce that cost by 25 per cent.

In addition, international studies have indicated that the high quality white light produced by LEDs may have an important role to play in reducing the fear of crime and in reducing road accidents.

However, only 10 per cent of street lights in Australia have been changed over to LEDs, and almost none have been installed with smart controls. Many street lights still use old mercury vapour technology, which is both inefficient and contains the toxic chemical mercury.

IPWEA CEO Robert Fuller says Australia cannot afford to ignore this opportunity to provide communities with better, safer, cheaper and more efficient street lighting.

“The international community has overwhelmingly embracing the technology, placing Australia in a situation where our journey toward LED street lighting is lagging behind some other countries and regions, including in India, Europe and America,” he said.

Mr Fuller said the Roadmap provided a clear pathway to achieving a large-scale changeover to LED street lighting.

“All of industry, including peak industry associations, have worked collaboratively with all three tiers of government to produce this Roadmap,” he said.

“The addition of smart controls will make street lights the backbone of smart city infrastructure, an innovation that is destined to become increasingly vital as we strive to meet the demands of our growing cities.”

The Roadmap has been compiled in consultation and with the support of the Department of the Environment and Energy as well as major lighting and smart controls companies. A wide number of parties were consulted including state and territory governments, the Australian Local Government Association, Lighting Council Australia, Energy Networks Australia as well as individual utilities, road authorities, local governments and more than 30 street lighting technology suppliers.

To read the Roadmap you can download it here. For more information on the SLSC Programme, visit the Programme website,

The goals of the Roadmap will be supported by the 3rd International Street Lighting + Smart Controls conference, to be held in Brisbane, March 14 – 17 2017. View the conference website for more details:

PARTNERS in the SLSC programme
Strategic Lighting Partners are partners in IPWEA’s Street Lighting Smart Controls (SLSC) programme along with a comprehensive group of public and private sector organisations with an interest in the street lighting sector and the potential benefits that a switch to LED could bring.

Strategic Lighting Partners (SLP) Ltd
Consultants in Lighting Innovation and Strategy