Changing our street lights to LEDs 

Changing our street lights to LEDs


  1. When will this work take place?
  2. Work timetable
  3. Why are the lights being changed to LEDs?
  4. Why can't we use solar powered streetlights?
  5. How much is this costing the taxpayer?
  6. I reported a South Cambridgeshire (SC) light out some time ago, why has it still not been fixed?
  7. Are the LED lamps brighter than the old lamps?
  8. The light is shining into my property, can this be blocked?
  9. Why are some of the LED lights different types?
  10. Why haven't all the lights in my area been change to LEDs?
  11. Will you be installing more streetlights as part of this work?
  12. Why have some streetlights been completely replaced, whereas some have only had the lamps changed to LEDs?
  13. An LED has been installed but it is not working

We will be upgrading the lights that we are responsible for within South Cambridgeshire to low-energy LEDs and, where needed, replacing entire streetlights as part of this work.  All our lights can be found on our map. 

Each LED will be fitted to provide the equivalent light output to the lamp it replaces and improve the control and quality and of the lightLEDs focus the light they emit and provide greater colour rendition, making objects clearer to the eye.  

The LEDs we have chosen will be a slightly warmer colour temperature to those generally used (3000k compared with 4000k), in response to concerns around the potential effects of the bluer LEDs on ourselves and wildlife.   

Consistent with the majority of streetlights, which are provided by Cambridgeshire County Council, the lights will be dimmed by 40%, giving a 60% light output between 10pm and 6am. 

When will this work take place? 

Some lights have already been upgraded but the main program of works will begin in September this year and is scheduled to finish in March 2021. A second phase of works will include all ornate and heritage lights. 

Details on when we plan to undertake works in each parish can be found below. As work progresses, this schedule will be updated and therefore may changePlease note that we do not have lights in all parishes across the district, so you may not see your parish listed. 

Work timetable

Over 500 new LEDs have been installed in villages so far, with remaining works currently scheduled for the following dates:

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Village  Scheduled month
Arrington December
Babraham January
Balsham December
Barrington January
Barton December
Bassingbourn Cum Kneesworth December/January
Bourn January
Castle Camps December
Caxton December
Conington December
Cottenham December
Croxton December
Dry Drayton December
Duxford January
Elsworth December
Fen Ditton December
Fen Drayton December
Fowlmere January
Foxton January
Fulbourn December
Gamlingay December
Girton December
Grantchester December
Graveley December
Great Abington January
Great Chishill January
Great Shelford January
Great Wilbraham December
Guilden Morden December
Harston January
Hildersham January
Hinxton January
Histon December
Horseheath December
Impington December
Kingston December
Knapwell December
Linton December
Litlington December
Little Abington January
Little Shelford January
Little Wilbraham December
Longstanton December
Madingley December
Melbourn January
Meldreth January
Newton January
Oakington December
Orwell December
Over December
Pampisford January
Sawston January
Shepreth January
Stapleford January
Steeple Morden December
Stow-Cum-Quy December
Swavesey December
Teversham December
Thriplow January
Toft December
Waterbeach December
Weston Colville December
Whittlesford January
Willingham December
Wimpole December

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Why are the lights being changed to LEDs? 

The upgrade will benefit communities and the environment by reducing the energy used by our streetlights by 60%, improving the quality of the light emitted and reducing light pollution.  

The old sodium lamps used on nearly all of our streetlights are also being phased out of production, with LEDs being the most currentefficient and effective alternative lighting option available for streetlighting 

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Why can’t we use solar powered streetlights? 

Solar powered streetlights were considered and found to currently be more practical for use in remote situations and where there is no existing power supply. As this technology is developed further, this could be considered as an alternative to steetlighting in the future. 

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How much is this costing the taxpayer? 

The works are capped at £1.38m, which includes the replacement of entire streetlights and surveying works. Funding is coming from savings that have been set aside by the authority to achieve energy savings and therefore environmental benefits.   

Although we are not required to provide new streetlights, we are required by law to maintain all lights we are responsible for and maintain them in a safe condition. Prior to the commissioning the upgrade all Parish Councils were consulted on the need for the streetlights in their areas and as a result some have been removed. There remains an aging streetlighting stock which means increasing annual service management, maintenance, and energy costs. Upgrading the lights as part of a planned program of works will be a more cost-effective means of maintaining the service 

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I reported an SC light out some time ago, why has it still not been fixed? 

Many of our lights have old lamps which need an LED lamp fitted to get them working again. As this is scheduled as part of the LED upgrade works program it may be that we have not yet reached this parish.  Please refer to our works schedule for details. It is cost effective for the fault to be rectified as per the works schedule, but where necessary and to ensure safety, we will look to bring works forward. 

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Are the LED lights as bright as the old lamps? 

The LEDs have been specified to provide the equivalent light output to the lamps they are replacing whilst providing a more focussed light, which reduces light pollution. The light from the older lamps is, by comparison, emitted in all directions which can mean that the LEDs can appear to be providing less light.   

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The light is shining in my property, can this be blocked? 

The LEDs better control the light emitted, so should reduce light pollution when installed. Where there is still an issue, the benefit of LEDs is that shields can be fitted to block the light. Please contact the service by emailing

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Why are some of the LED lamps different types? 

The LED lamps fitted before commissioning the full upgrade program were installed on an ad-hoc basis.  Following a tender exercise, the LEDs being fitted as part of the wider program were selected as they demonstrated best value.   

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Why haven't all the lights in my area been changed to LEDs? 

We are responsible for a relatively small proportion of the streetlights in South Cambs. The majority of streetlights are owned by Cambridgeshire County Council, with a small proportion in private ownership or owned by Parish Councils. We can only upgrade the lights that we are responsible for.  

The small number of ornate or heritage lights that we are responsible for will be considered as part of a second phase, as these will need careful consideration. We will be working closely with Parish Councils to determine an approach with these lights.  

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Will you be installing more streetlights as part of this work? 

We do not have the resources available to install additional lights and our policy for the service is to maintain our current stock. We will, however, look to support Parish Councils where they wish to install new lights.  

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Why have some streetlights been completely replaced, whereas some have only had the lamps changed to LEDs? 

Not all the units, i.e. columns and brackets, need replacing. A conditions survey was undertaken on all our lights which identified where a unit needed replacing due to its condition and where shown to be more cost effective.   

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An LED habeen installed but it is not working. 

Please report any instances using our webform. Sometimes we do uncover electrical faults during works which need to be attended to by the energy provider. 

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