National Park Turns on to LED Lighting to Lower Pollution

Around 3,600 LED lights are to be installed in residential roads in the New Forest and South Downs National Parks in a bid to achieve carbon reduction savings, reduce light pollution and create more natural night skies in rural areas.

Campaigners have welcomed the move by the Hampshire County Council to switch to dark-sky friendly lamps in residential streets at a cost of £1m.

LED lanterns are about twice as expensive as conventional street lamps, but reduce night sky light pollution and are more energy-efficient.

The lights are expected to save £24,000 each year on energy bills as well as 138 tonnes of carbon emissions.

Environment and transport chief Mel Kendal approved plans for 3,600 LED lamps as part of a multi-million pound private finance initiative project to replace ageing street lights across the county.

A small scale test of the LED technology has already been conducted in Stanier Way, Hedge End . The lanterns can be dimmed.

In the New Forest, Brockenhurst, Sway and Beaulieu are among the towns and villages to benefit from the new LED lights while West Meon is on the list in South Downs. Graham Bryant, chairman of Hampshire Astronomical Group, said members had lobbied for years to reduce light pollution in South Downs National Park and welcomed the new LED street lamps.

Mr Bryant, who is also a leading member of Campaign For Dark Skies, said: “LED lighting is better because it is more controllable. It can be directed to light the ground whereas conventional street lamps throw a lot of light into the sky, up to 30 per cent in some cases.”

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