New lamps for old

A major streetlight upgrade is starting soon replacing more than 8,500 sodium lights across Bath with new, low energy, Light Emitting Diode (LED) units.

Bath & North East Somerset Council will be rolling out the energy efficient technology, which is already used on main traffic routes into Bath, in residential areas around the city under a six month rolling programme starting in mid-June.

It’s a project that will significantly reduce the city’s carbon footprint yet – says ‘Mo’ in an email to Bath Newseum –

” Larkhall, Bathampton,Bathford & Batheaston wards miss out on them.

They are badly needed in Bathampton – especially in places like Dark Lane. It’s a well used shortcut for the kids going to the school and – in dark winter evenings – the name is very suitable.” 


The LED lights will reduce energy consumption of streetlights in the area by up to 60 per cent compared to the existing sodium lights and current estimates show this will result in a 35 per cent reduction in the Council’s carbon footprint.

This will be aided by the introduction of variable dimming technology, which involves reducing light levels throughout the night when the roads are less busy and has been successfully done by other local authorities across the country. This will also improve our view of the night sky by reducing light pollution.

Councillor Anthony Clarke (Conservative, Lansdown), Cabinet Member for Transport, said: “The introduction of LED streetlights in residential areas will be a major step in making Bath and North East Somerset more sustainable and will significantly reduce our carbon emissions by slashing the amount of power needed to light our streets.

This upgrade will also reduce light pollution in a way that ensures we keep streetlights switched on for our residents.” 

The new LED lights also require less maintenance and last significantly longer, with one LED lantern having the life span of eight conventional sodium lights, reducing waste.

The lanterns are also more directional in pointing downwards and focusing on the area where the light is needed, which will also reduce light pollution.

Work to replace the lights will involve replacement of the streetlight heads only and streetlights within the inner city centre are not included in the programme to protect the heritage of the central area.

The upgrade is due to start mid-June and will take place in the following wards in the following order: Bathwick, Combe Down, Lyncombe, Odd Down, Southdown, Twerton, Westmoreland, Oldfield, Widcombe, Lambridge, Walcot, Lansdown, Weston, Newbridge and Kingsmead.

Timescales for each area will be updated regularly online at, where further information on the programme is also available.