Cumbria LED street lights to "cut bills by £430,000 a year"

LED street light
Image caption The LED lights would be more flexible and energy-efficient, the council said

The installation of nearly 12,000 energy-efficient road lights is planned to save Cumbria up to £430,000 a year.

The county council will invest £7.6m over three years replacing high-wattage street lights with more "efficient and effective" LED systems, it said.

Once installed in the summer, they will offer flexible levels of lighting.

Cabinet member for highways Keith Little said: "We want to cut our energy bills and there are ways of using modern technology to do that."

LED - light-emitting diode - bulbs produce more light for the amount of energy used than traditional incandescent bulbs, with less energy lost as heat.

A review of the 33,000 remaining street lights will explore the potential for dimming them, not replacing broken ones or reducing the hours they are switched on.

Not all old street lights would be modified, but there was "scope to significantly reduce lighting levels while still maintaining safety", Mr Little said.

Residents will be consulted on any proposed change to lighting levels, the council said.

It currently spends £3.7m on street lighting per year, of which £2m is spent on energy.

The new lights are expected to reduce energy bills by £140,000 in 2014/15, £290,000 in 2015/16 and £430,000 a year by 2016/17.

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