South Gippsland, East Gippsland and Wellington Shire Councils are taking a collaborative approach in replacing high energy streetlights with energy efficient LED’s on existing major and minor road lights. This program includes the replacement of approximately:
Why do this project now?
Recent advancements in LED technology present the three Councils with the opportunity to significantly reduce the energy use and maintenance costs associated with street lighting along its roads. In addition, it allows each Council to address issues with the current lights, which are inferior from an energy, maintenance, and quality perspective.
Also, Mercury Vapour lights have been banned from importation, due to the Minamata Convention. These lights have been mandated for replacement by the Australian Government.
When does the project take place?
The installation works are commencing mid-February 2022, to be completed by June 2022. Please note, weather and other factors can result in delays.
What does the project involve?
Around 5,126 major and minor road streetlights will be replaced with energy-efficient and better-quality LED alternatives in this project across the three Councils.
Around 1420 lights will be replaced across Wellington Shire. Mercury Vapour, Compact Fluorescent and High Pressure Sodium lights will be replaced.
How is the project being funded?
This project is being funded by the Australian Government’s Local Roads and Community Infrastructure (LRCI) program.
How will the works affect my street on the day?
The changeover of street lights involves a single elevated work platform with two to three crew members. It takes less than 5 minutes to replace a street light, so any disruptions to traffic flow in your street should not last long. All cars can remain parked on the streets.
Who is installing the new lights?
Magnetic Power Services have been contracted through a collaborative tender across the three council to undertake the replacements. Ironbark Sustainability, who will be project managing the installation on behalf of Council, will also manage the contractor and liaise with each Council throughout the project.
Why did Council choose these particular lights?
The LED lights chosen by Council have been approved for use by AusNet, which is the distribution company that owns the lighting infrastructure in the municipality. The lights have been tested to ensure they meet relevant Australian Standards in regard to safety and light levels. Trial results throughout Victoria have demonstrated that they have superior performance to the existing lights.
Who makes the lights?
The LED lights are made by Sylvania Schreder.
How long do the lights last?
The luminaire (the main body of the light) will last about 20 years, as will the LED chips. The photoelectric cells last 10 years.
Who actually owns the lights?
The street lighting infrastructure is owned and maintained by the local distribution network service provider, AusNet.
Are the old lights recycled?
Yes! The recycling of old lights that are taken down during a bulk change is the responsibility of the installer. The tender for installation of the lights specifies waste disposal requirements including the recycling of around 98 per cent of the old lights. For example, the glass collected is recycled into products such as glass wool insulation for homes. The mercury is distilled and reused in the dental industry to manufacture amalgam. The aluminium body and other fixed components (for example, steel screws, copper wires) are collected and end up as ingots used in the industry.
My light outside my house doesn’t appear to have changed?
During the installation, the installers may have visited your site and been unable to change the light. This might be due to parked large trucks on the street or other obstructions, or the requirement for non-standard fittings/brackets.
The installer may return to your street to complete the installation at a later date. You can monitor progress through the live tracking map.
Below are some potential common concerns from the public during bulk LED replacement projects.
Streetlights progressively fail and need replacing, with the existing light having lifetimes of between 5 and 15 years, resulting in multiple and frequent disruptions. The new LED lights have a lifespan of 20+ years, so disruptions will decrease over time as a result of this rollout. We request your patience during this time.
The light levels are governed by regulations, and are regulated for safety and amenity reasons.
The new lamps are an equivalent brightness to the old lamps they are replacing. However, the old lamps fade over time, so may have appeared ‘duller’ when compared to the new ones. The old lamp would have been approximately the same light level as the new one when it was first installed.
Also, the different “colour temperature” of the LEDs (cooler white; bluer / less yellow) can sometimes make the light appear brighter. But the lighting levels are the same.
All lamps are now replaced with LEDs, as the old lamps are no longer available. LEDs are, by their nature, are a more “blue” or “cooler” white than many of the lamps they are replacing, which appeared more “yellow”. Council chose the “warmest” LEDs available.
The project is fully funded by the Federal Governments Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program – Phase 2.
This map provides a live update on that status of the works.
The first place to look is Council’s website at www.wellington.vic.gov.au.
For Wellington Shire residents, if you have any questions before or after the project has been completed, please do not hesitate to contact Joanna Rule, Sustainability Project Officer on (03) 5142 3042.