Street light LED change begins


Racing against the seasons and the weather, electrical contractors have started work converting all the Clutha district’s street lights to light-emitting diode (LED) lights.

Team leader Nick De Paula said it took them between 15 and 20 minutes to change the units over and replace the older yellow sodium lights with a new 24-watt LED street lamp.

His two-man team from Waikato has started changing the 128 street lights in Kaitangata and it is one of 12 towns he will visit over the next two to three months, depending on the weather.

“We are racing against the seasons here. The days are getting shorter and cooler and when it rains or blows we have to stop.

“We will only take three to four days to finish the lights here in Kaitangata, if the weather is nice, then we will move to another location,” he said.

Almost 400 units will be changed over in Balclutha, while Milton has the next biggest total of 175.

Clutha District Council group manager, service delivery, Jules Witt said the work was being done now as the result of the Government’s decision to offer councils a significant subsidy if they converted from the old yellow sodium lights.

“Once the lights are installed, council will be able to achieve savings in power consumption and in street light maintenance,” Mr Witt said.

He said the new units were easy to spot, as they were small, square and gave a whiter light than the sodium lights.

“This is not just a bulb replacement. It is the installation of a whole new electronic luminaire – a complete light unit.”

Crews will work down each lit street in the district, replacing the lights as they go and the work is expected to take four months to complete.

“There are about 1500 luminaires to be changed around the district,” Mr Witt said.

Contractors started in the Catlins and will be progressively working up through the district.