Street Lighting Maintenance UK Market Intelligence

*This report was last updated in Q4 2018. Please click on request customization if you are looking for an updated version of this report

Report Coverage

  • Technical Risks associated with LED Renewal Project
  • Pricing Models Applicable for Street Lighting Maintenance in the UK
  • Pricing Models – Comparative Analysis
  • Mapping of Engagement and Pricing Models

Table of contents

  1. Executive Summary
  1. Street Lighting Overview in the UK
  1. Best Practices in Street Lighting Maintenance
  1. Engagement Models
  1. Pricing Models
  1. Competitive Intelligence on Local Authorities to Manage their Street Lighting Assets Once Converted to LED
  1. Case Studies:
  1. Birmingham City Authority
  1. Hampshire County Council
  1. Salford City Authority
  1. Leicester City Council

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Regional Market Outlook on Street Lighting Maintenance

  • 7.5 million street lights in the UK with less than 15% are currently low energy LEDs
  • The UK spends £300 million every year on energy for street lighting with escalating energy prices
  • £200 million annual energy cost saving with switching to LED street lighting and paying off investments in 10–12 years
  • 40% of local authority energy bill is for street lighting


Environmental Issues

Global warming

  • UK CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme: In 2008 British Government committed that the scheme will reduce 80% of UK carbon emissions by 2050
  • Local authorities to reduce their carbon footprints to achieve Carbon Leadership

Energy Crisis

Annual price rise predicted for the future

  • Increasing supply demand pressure to focus on reducing energy consumption (reduce base load)
  • Authorities are considering drastic actions, such as switching off lights (part night lighting/selective switch off)

Reasons for Municipalities to Convert to LED Street Lighting: Factors

Street lighting can account for 50% of a municipal energy budget. Cities around the world have taken the step to upgrade their lighting systems to incorporate new LED technology and controls, and realized the financial benefits and performance improvements of doing so. More detail on the motivation behind this shift, including light quality, energy savings, lower maintenance, and intelligent networks, is given below: 

Lighting Quality

  • LED street lighting offers a significant improvement over the yellow glow of sodium. The white light of LED systems offers better color rendition and object detection, and enhances safety and comfort
  • LED street lighting also offers better optical design opportunities, which cannot be achieved with conventional sources, resulting in more even illumination and reduced light pollution

Energy Savings

  • LED street lighting is more energy efficient than conventional technologies – with designs that save on average between 40 and 80% of energy, depending on the technology being replaced. For example, a 300 W sodium fixture can be replaced with 110 W LED. Adding controls to the network to enable late night dimming can further lead to 15–30% savings

Less Maintenance

  • Street lights operate about 4,000 hours/year (on an average 11 hours/night) and that most conventional lamps are rated for about 20,000 hours of service
  •  LED lighting systems are offering multiyear warranties and come with lifetime of 100,000 hours – a five-fold improvement over the service life of conventional street lighting technologies, representing 25 years of service at 4,000 hours/year

 Intelligent Network 

  • Intelligent networks are able to monitor and report back on their performance and functionality, thus enabling the control unit to know exactly where any failures have occurred
  • Intelligent lighting systems can also improve the emergency response to dangerous developments by assisting with traffic control, providing information about the location of an incident and reducing response time

Cost Structure Analysis for LED Street Light Project

In a typical LED replacement and retrofit project, the major part of viable spend is done in column replacement area, as the columns need to be entirely replaced to match lantern design with existing column spacing, this is important, in order to meet required lighting performance standards in a way that realizes the energy saving potential of LEDs.

  • Local authority's street lighting network consists of a combination of lighting in the residential, urban center, and highways
  • LED luminaires and bulbs may range from low-powered heritage to high-powered, high-dispersion. The luminaire pricing will also vary from c. £300 up to c. £1,000
  • The LED project costs could be increased by column replacement, dimming and trimming technology, including a full CMS, installation costs, survey costs, and adviser and project team costs
  • The total project capital and development costs could vary from low GBP millions on some smaller authorities to up to £100 million + on the largest authorities, where a large amount of columns to be replaced

Best Practices in Street Lighting Maintenance 

Structural Condition Inspections

  • The structural assets in street lighting are the most costly to replace and carry the most risk to users if not managed correctly
  • The frequency and type of inspections would be undertaken as per recommendations in the Institution of Lighting Professionals (ILP) Technical Report No. 22 and any subsequent revisions of the UKRLG Code of Practice and the PFI Contract requirements

Cyclic Maintenance

  • To maintain the operation of the luminaires at its designed output, therefore it is necessary to consider the replacement of the lamps at a regular period and the regular cleaning of the luminaire. The replacement period of each type of lamp, including those used in street furniture installations, is mentioned below:

1. High pressure sodium: 48 months

2. Ceramic discharge fluorescent: 12 months

3. General lighting service: 12 months

Planned Maintenance: Renewals

  • As a part of the PFI/PPP contract, the planned renewal of all columns at the end of the design life will been identified for replacement. Additionally, the inspection regime instigated by the contractor as a part of the contract is designed to identify areas where columns may need to be brought forward in the program for renewal

Lighting Performance

  •  Practiced by regular patrolling of every item of equipment by the service provider during the hours of darkness, throughout the year
  • The patrolling frequency will be once per fortnight throughout the year. Due to the shorter nights during the summer months, the service provider may wish to amend this frequency with prior approval from the authority

Electrical Testing

  • In every six years, electrical testing will be carried by service provider in accordance with current and all subsequent revisions of the British Standard BS 7671:2008 Requirements for electrical Installations, IEE Wiring Regulations Seventeenth Edition, by trained and qualified staff on all illuminated highway apparatus and Private Cable Installations

Asset Management System

  • Service provider is responsible for the development and operation of an electronic-based inventory system of all street lighting assets
  • Without this essential information, authority would not be able to monitor current condition, current performance or predict future performance of the street lighting assets, this would allow city council to formalize procedures for contract monitoring against specific performance targets

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