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Shining a light on Torbay

14 October 2015

Torbay Council has partnered with GE Lighting to deliver significant financial and energy savings as part of a major refurbishment of the street lighting assets on its main roads

Torbay Council considered that GE Lighting’s tender submission provided the best solution in terms of cost, performance and service delivery to suit its requirements.
The ambitious project saw more than 1,600 sodium streetlamps replaced with low energy LEDs, resulting in a dramatic 60% reduction in energy consumption. In addition, the project has slashed C02 emissions by 57%, as well as creating a brighter, safer night-time environment.
Located on the south cost of England, Torbay is a popular tourist destination with a high number of retired residents, many of whom move there for the coastal scenery and comparatively warmer temperatures. For the council, ensuring a high standard of lighting is a key priority, to protect the safety of vulnerable residents and visitors alike. However, with budget cuts placing a strain on resources, Torbay Council turned to GE Lighting to develop a more cost effective solution.
Dave Simmons, Street Lighting and Systems Engineer at Torbay Council commented: “Like many councils in the current financial climate, one of the main challenges we face is budget restraints. Streetlighting accounts for about 19% of Torbay’s energy consumption so we are under real pressure to reduce this cost burden. Unfortunately, this means that we’ve had to engage in partial night lighting and out of 12,500 lights in residential areas about 8,000 are switched off late at night. 
“We managed to achieve cost savings of about £100,000 per year this way but we were determined to find a better solution. I was therefore asked to put a business case together to reduce costs by replacing the old sodium lamps with white light LEDs, to help us meet both our energy efficiency and night-time safety objectives.”
GE Lighting’s project team worked closely with the council to develop a meticulously planned lighting scheme – taking a street-by-street approach to maximise the energy efficiency returns, while simultaneously ensuring well-designed and effective illumination throughout.
GE Lighting’s Spinella lanterns were installed throughout the project, using advanced optical reflector technology to minimise glare and direct the light, preventing it from trespassing into unwanted areas.  This has enabled the council to switch to white LED light on the majority of its main roads, delivering improved facial recognition, less glare and better driving conditions.  The light fittings also have the capacity to be dimmed and the system is compatible with a variety of central management systems, giving the council full control of its lighting assets moving forwards.
“We’re really happy with the results of the upgrade,” Dave continued. “It’s reduced our energy use by up to 60% and cut lighting costs by 57% on the affected roads. It’s certainly helped us achieve our efficiency goals, as well as improving visibility on our streets. We’re really pleased with the technology and will be standardising to LED across our streetlighting network.”

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