City switches on £4m public lighting strategy


The Square Mile’s street lights are in for a £4million eco-friendly makeover once the Corporation switches on a London-first public lighting strategy designed to cut energy usage and help tackle light pollution.

Announced last week, the new strategy will see urban spaces coated in various lighting types, levels and colours at different times during the night using state-of-the-art remotely-operated technology and more than 12,000 LED light fittings.

This will complement work by the Corporation to upgrade the City’s street lighting to high quality, energy-saving and cost-efficient LED lighting.

Apart from making the City’s world-famous historical landmarks look (even) prettier, the new futuristic lighting will serve to reduce light pollution.

Surveys show that some streets in the City may be excessively lit compared to how many people actually use them, or that the current street lighting adds little because of nearby commercial lights.

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Speirs and Major has designed a strategy that tackles light pollution while reinforcing crime prevention. 

Over-lighting streets causes light pollution which leads to less starlight in the night sky, disrupted ecosystems and a reduction in bio-diverse populations. It can also have an impact on human health and sleep rhythms.

Along with looking at the environment, planning committee chairman Christopher Hayward said the strategy will also consider the role lighting plays in crime prevention and reinforcing road safety.

“The City Lighting Strategy will improve the quality of life for the Square Mile’s workers, residents and visitors, and tackle the problems of light pollution,” 

“We want our streets to be safer, more sustainable and more inviting. Poor street lighting is a constant issue for London and it’s time to change that.”

The City Corporation is working with lighting designer Speirs and Major on the strategy which will be implemented in phases throughout the City. The strategy is currently open to public consultation until 2 March.