The existing streetlights are now at the end of their specified life and in order to maintain the reliability of the street lighting service the existing lights need to be replaced anyway, so this is a once-in-twenty-year opportunity to upgrade the lights.

The Northern Lights Project commences in February 2017.  It will occur as one continuous installation and is expected to be completed the end of financial year 2017/2018. For a project of this size, specific works schedules are developed on a week-by-week basis. Weather and other contributing factors can result in delays.

Work in specific municipalities will be completed as follows:

Council Timing
Launceston Feb – May 2017
Meander Valley May – Jun 2017
Georgetown Aug 2017
Break O-Day Sep 2017
Northern Midlands Sep – Oct 2017
West Tamar Oct – Nov 2017

During the project, around 9,089 street lights will be replaced with energy efficient and better quality alternatives. Light levels will be made more consistent across the area, complying with Australian Standards for lighting. The project will involve Pedestrian Category lighting only.

Generally councils are funding the bulk change project themselves (City of Launceston has received some funding from the Roads to Recovery Program for 2016/2017).  By participating in this regional scale project significant money has been saved on project management costs and through bulk procurement at a scale that wouldn’t otherwise have been possible, especially for smaller, regional councils.

The changeover of a street lights involves a single elevated work platform with two to three crew members. It takes less than 5 minutes to replace a street light so any disruptions to traffic flow in your street should not last long. Resident’s and visitor’s cars can remain parked on streets. Works are expected to take place on weekdays.

TasNetworks are responsible for engaging contractors to install the lights.  They will be liaising with Council throughout the project. Lights will be installed by a number of contractors, including ETS Electrical Services, Lend Lease and possibly one other.

The LED lighting system is the most energy efficient lighting available that have been approved by TasNetworks, the distribution company that owns the lighting infrastructure.

The lights have been tested to ensure they meet relevant Australian Standards in regards to safety and light levels. Trial results throughout Melbourne and Hobart have demonstrated that they have superior performance to the existing lights.

The new lights have:

  • Greater uniformity of light across and along the street;
  • Better “colour rendering” and visibility;
  • Less depreciation of the light output over time; and
  • Lower glare.

This project will save energy and costs, and drastically reduce greenhouse emissions. It will:

  • Significantly reduce energy consumption and associated costs
  • Achieve energy and maintenance cost savings of over $16 million over the life of the assets.
  • Save around 7,850 tonnes of greenhouse emissions between now and 2038 (equivalent to removing 172 cars each year for the next 20 years)
  • Reduce costs to ratepayers for the provision of street lighting
  • Align with Council’s environmental sustainability strategies
  • Align with the Federal Government’s Clean Energy Future package to reduce emissions
  • Replace approximately 9,089 street lights with energy efficient and better quality alternatives

There is no electricity spike when street lights are turned on. This is similar to the myth regarding residential lights – i.e. that there is such a large spike at the start that if you’re leaving the room you should keep lights on. There is no large spike. This is easy to test and prove with simple power monitors.

The lights are made by Gerard Lighting. They are made in Australia.

The luminaire (the main body of the light) will last about 20 years. The photoelectric cells last 10 years and the poles last around 35 years.

The new energy efficient street lights are specifically designed to produce a similar light output to those they have replaced.

The replacement LED lights will be owned by councils and maintained by energy distribution business TasNetworks.

Yes! The recycling of old lights that are taken down during a bulk change is the responsibility of the installer. The tender for installation of the lights specified waste disposal requirements which includes the recycling of around 98% of the old lights. For example, the glass collected is recycled into products such as glass wool insulation for homes. The mercury is distilled and reused in the dental industry to manufacture amalgam. The aluminium body and other fixed components (for example, steel screws, copper wires) are collected and ends up as ingots used in industry.

If you are seeking more information about the project please visit the Contact Page of the website where you can enter your query into an online form. Contact details for each council involved in the Northern Lights Project are also provided on the Contact Page.