Is this the solution to Norwich’s street light problem?

UEA student union have launched a campaign to keep street lights on later in residential areas. Pict

UEA student union have launched a campaign to keep street lights on later in residential areas. Picture: Nick Butcher - Credit: Eastern Daily Press Archant

With regard to the UEA Student Union calling on Norfolk County Council to switch on street lights in residential areas of Norwich where significant numbers of young people live, there are technological solutions available.

Norfolk County Council is gradually rolling out LED (light-emitting diode) lights to save energy and carbon.

However, Smart cities are networking LED lighting to give much better control over street lighting.

Networked LED street lights enable the different parts of urban areas — city centres, main roads, residential streets and parks — to be lit according to need.

Computer software specifies which lights switch on, at what times and to what level of intensity.

Options include motion sensors and data gathering on the street environment such as noise and traffic.

Norwich has installed motion sensitive eco-lighting along Valley Drive at Mousehold and along Marriotts Way between Barn Road and Dragon Bridge.

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Networked LED lights save considerable money on energy.

They also save on operation costs. Standard street lights last around five years and faults are either reported by members of the public or found through periodic checks. Networked LED lights last up to 20 years and faults can be identified on the computer immediately.

The technology is available for creating more pleasant and energy-efficient living places of which smart street lighting is just one aspect.

It is however important to use warm white light and avoid blue rich light which is bad for wildlife and human health.

It would be a welcome move if Norwich if explored the opportunities for becoming a Smart city, starting with trials of smart lighting.

Councillor Denise Carlo, Green Party, Nelson Ward, Norwich