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Lighting up the streets of Bristol

Joe Bush, Editor

19/07/2013

Tags: Lighting

Topics: Lighting

GE Lighting has upgraded the street lighting in Bristol to deliver an energy efficient, white light solution - part of Bristol City Council’s aim to reduce its carbon footprint and to promote a safer urban environment.

The project comprises the replacement of existing high pressure sodium street lighting with GE’s improved, higher efficiency CMH Streetwise ceramic metal halide lamps.

As the only UK city to have been shortlisted for the 2014 Green Capital Award, Bristol has a strong environmental ethos and upgrading its streetlights forms part of the city’s energy reduction scheme to generate substantial carbon savings. Much closer to daylight, white light also offers further advantages in the fact that pedestrians feel more secure in their environment and car driver reaction time (mescopic vision) is at least six times quicker.

Bristol Council has rolled-out the street lighting upgrade in two phases, the first of which saw the replacement of around 8,000 existing high pressure sodium lamps to GE’s CMH StreetWise ceramic metal halide lamps over a one year period. Phase 2 of the upgrade began in July 2012 and over the course of the next 12 to 18 months will see the replacement of a further 12,000 lamps in Bristol’s residential areas.

In addition, all the lamps have been replaced in conjunction with dimmable ballasts to allow for greater energy savings and to ensure the council has the flexibility to dim the new lamps (between 7.00pm and 6.00am) to an even lower output as and when required.

“We are delighted with the street lighting upgrade to GE’s CMH StreetWise ceramic metal halide lamps. Along with other energy reduction projects financed with interest-free loans from Salix, the overall result is astounding and will not only make our streets safer but will enable Bristol to save 4.2 million kWh and £500,000 per year on our energy bills as well as a reduction in CO2 emissions,” commented Robbie Park, principal lighting officer for Bristol City Council.

GE Lighting designed the CMH StreetWise ceramic metal halide lamp as an easy fit replacement for outdated technologies. The lamps are fitted with standard E27/E40 bases and can be dimmed, outperforming most standard HID systems. Plus, with high reliability and sustained lumen output across a longer working life of 24,000 hours, they are cost effective. Furthermore, the lamps support electronic and electromagnetic ballasts and are compatible with the major street light ballasts, retro-fitting existing HPS systems. GE Streetwise has approved ballasts with all major manufacturers.

David Orchard, regional sales manager - South West at GE Lighting commented, “Outdoor lighting has become a key consideration for many local authorities as they look to balance a duty of care to provide safe, secure streets against a backdrop of new legislation, a growing resistance to light nuisance and the need to reduce energy and carbon emissions - lighting has had to evolve to become smarter, which is where the latest outdoor white light solutions come into play.”

Councils looking to reduce energy and carbon emissions can now select from an extensive range of options - including LED and CMH outdoor solutions ideal for motorways, bridges, pedestrian areas and car parks. With virtually no ongoing maintenance expenses, both deliver significant operating cost benefits and therefore very attractive paybacks.

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