Downing Street upgrades street lights to LEDs

The street lights in London’s Downing Street have been upgraded to LEDs.

The project involved upgrading the existing heritage DW Windsor ‘Windsor’ lanterns to LED and smart light, wirelessly controlled, drivers.

Dave Franks, service development manager for the City of Westminster’s lighting services department, said: “We are continually reviewing new lighting technologies to ensure we are using the best solutions, so when the Downing Street lighting became due for an upgrade it was an opportunity to make use of LEDs, integrating them with the ‘smart lighting’ CMS (Central Management System) that we are rolling out across all of our public lighting.

“Downing Street is a unique environment that required us to address a number of design challenges. It is not a uniform street, from a lighting perspective, and we also had to ensure the new lighting would be acceptable to the residents without creating issues for security or media cameras. Because of the high security, access for maintenance can also be quite difficult.”

Supporting the City of Westminster’s long term strategy to optimise street lighting whilst reducing energy consumption and carbon footprint within the City, DW Windsor proposed a solution that involved replacing the existing HID gear trays with retrofit LED light engines.

The new 3000K LED light engines have replaced 70W (2800K) HID, effectively maintaining the light levels while using approximately half the energy, with the potential for an additional 20% energy savings from the use of an adaptive lighting approach, controlled through the CMS. Energy consumption is reduced from 7500KWH to 4900KWH and carbon emissions have been reduced substantially from 3,934kg to 2,570kg.

The projected life of the new light sources is around 20 years.

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A good call as an improvement over the harsher whiter LED’s so many cities have installed. I am hoping that the warmer color will become the new standard. The International Dark-Sky Association will not give its seal of approval to any light whiter than 3000K due to the many adverse effects which science is measuring of whiter light including higher perceived glare for the same brightness, worse light scattering affecting light pollution even if shielded, reduced melatonin production having an adverse effect on sleep and certain hormone based cancers including breast cancer, and greater attractiveness to insects. And I would not be surprised if the film industry finds cities that use a little warmth in their lighting to be the desirable ones in which to film. This article is being sent to city councils elsewhere as a good example. Thanks.