Ausgrid is partnering with councils that use our network to upgrade main road streetlights to smart LEDs. LED luminaires use less energy and require less maintenance and physical inspections.
The first phase of the LED rollout began in November 2018 with the upgrade of luminaires on residential roads. The program was then extended to include luminaires on major roads and replacement of CFL (compact fluorescent lamp) luminaires. The entire program is expected to be completed by the end of FY25.
They reduce maintenance costs – LED luminaires require less maintenance, fewer physical inspections and last up to 20 years which is longer than conventional luminaires. This reduces maintenance costs which in turn reduces running costs for ratepayers.
They reduce electricity consumption – LED luminaires are up to 80% more efficient than the technologies they replace, providing huge energy savings across the network.
They improve lighting quality – LED luminaires are brighter than conventional streetlights. Residents have also told us they prefer the lighting quality and colour of the LEDs.
They are smarter – Some of the new LED luminaires have integrated smart controls which can help detect faults, optimise maintenance, measure energy use and facilitate future dimming. All new luminaires on our network also have the ability to accommodate smart sensors that could be used in the future to monitor parking, air quality and other types of applications.
Transitioning to LEDs reduces both Council and electricity network greenhouse gas emissions. In FY22, the LED replacement program contributed to the reduction of Ausgrid's indirect greenhouse gas emissions (Scope 3) from 60% to 40%.
All new LED luminaires will be Zhaga-enabled, allowing councils to expand their Smart City capabilities by installing sensors on luminaires such traffic counters or sensors that measure temperature and air quality to create more liveable cities.
We installed 36,797 LEDs in FY23 which takes our total to more than 190,000 LEDs installed since the beginning of this program (of the 260,000 streetlights in our network). We have now upgraded 81% of all streetlights to LED on our network across 33 Council areas.
LED is the short form for ‘Light-emitting diodes. Effectively they are semiconductor devices which produce light when an electrical current is passed through them. The LEDs luminaires being installed are much more energy efficient and reliable older streetlights and each LED is expected to last for up to 20 years.
Ausgrid was one of the first Australian utilities to widely deploy LEDs beginning in 2013. With the support of the Southern Sydney Regional Organization of Councils (SSROC) and the 33 councils that Ausgrid serves, more than 190,000 have been deployed since then. LEDs are now Ausgrid’s standard for all categories of road lighting and its LED deployment is believed to be the largest in Australia.
There are a range of older lighting technologies being replaced as part of Ausgrid’s continuing LED rollout program, including large numbers of high pressure sodium and mercury vapour lights. Most of the lighting on residential roads has been replaced with the focus now on replacing the legacy lighting on main roads.
Each of the old streetlights uses a photoelectric cell that contains a small sensor which turns the light on at dusk and off at dawn. Ausgrid’s latest initiative on main roads is to instead use smart street lighting controls. These devices are connected to a telecommunication network and can detect faults, optimize maintenance, measure energy use and facilitate off-peak dimming in the future. The lights will also be able to accommodate future smart city sensors.
More than 190,000 legacy streetlights have been converted to LEDs by Ausgrid in recent years. The partnership with councils will see more than 60,000 additional LEDs deployed over the next three years, mostly on main roads.
Ausgrid is aiming to finish the LED rollout by 2026 and is working with local councils on individual delivery plans.
We expect the replacement of LED streetlights to be carried out with minimal disruption or outages. In some instances we may need to organize traffic control services, temporary road closures or detours to ensure the safety of our workers and the community While the work is taking place. No civil works or excessive noise is envisaged as part of this activity.
The cost of the lighting service and the replacement program is approved by the Australian Energy Regulator (AER). For most councils, Ausgrid will be funding the capital costs of the upgrades with councils repaying this cost over 10 years. In general, the energy and maintenance savings more than cover the cost of the LED upgrade. Please contact your council if you would like to find out the cost of the LED streetlights being installed in their area.
Compared to Ausgrid’s previous mixed portfolio of lighting, LEDs are reducing energy consumption by about 60% and significantly cutting maintenance costs. By using much less energy than older streetlights, LEDs deliver significant savings on council lighting costs which are ultimately paid by ratepayers.
The delivery of the latest LED upgrade program, mostly focused on main roads, commenced in 2023 and is expected to be complete by 2026. The actual work in each area will be completed in phases in consultation and collaboration with councils.
The LEDs chosen by Ausgrid have similar total maintained light output as compared to the older street lights they are replacing but LEDs are better at directing light where it is wanted and not where it shouldn’t go. Ausgrid’s LED replacement project is expected to dramatically reduce upward waste light compared to the old streetlights being removed. The LEDs are chosen by Ausgrid to meet Australia Standards with respect to glare and obtrusive light beyond the road reserve.
Latest study from Queensland University of Technology, known as Assessment of Blue Light Hazards and Correlated Colour Temperature for Public LED Lighting, suggests that all parameters of LED luminaires are well below exposure limits that would have the potential to disrupt sleep. The study also noted that the circadian stimulus values recorded for common interior night-time activities (e.g. smartphones and laptops) were between 10 and 100 times higher than those recorded for road users at night under all street lighting technologies.
Colour temperature refers to the appearance of the light emitted from a luminaire. A colour temperature of 4000K is generally considered neutral white while a colour temperature of 3000K is considered warm white. Ausgrid generally uses 3000K LEDs on residential roads and 4000K LED on main roads to maximize safety outcomes.
Ausgrid undertakes an environmentally and economically appropriate recycling program for lamps and luminaires that are removed. Ausgrid is also a signatory to the FluoroCycle scheme, which is a national scheme to encourage recycling of mercury-containing lamps.
Although solar streetlighting is an evolving technology that advanced over past few years, its use on Ausgrid network is not preferred. As solar streetlights require direct sunlight to operate, they are not suited for most locations across Ausgrid network. Solar Streetlights also require higher maintenance that would increase the cost to Ausgrid’s public lighting customers.
Updated 20 July 2023
|COUNCIL||No. of lights||LEDs||% Complete|
|CANADA BAY COUNCIL||4,513||3,415||75.7%|
|CANTERBURY BANKSTOWN COUNCIL||21,593||15,028||69.6%|
|CENTRAL COAST COUNCIL||23,759||16,597||69.9%|
|CESSNOCK CITY COUNCIL||6,071||4,576||75.4%
|CITY OF PARRAMATTA COUNCIL||2,363||1,770||74.9%|
|CITY OF RYDE||7,725||5,370||69.5%|
|CITY OF SYDNEY||11,637||10,405||89.4%
|GEORGES RIVER COUNCIL||9,262||6,552||70.7%|
|HORNSBY SHIRE COUNCIL||9,763||7,842||80.3%|
|HUNTERS HILL COUNCIL||1,042||656||63.0%|
|INNER WEST COUNCIL||13,066||8,695||66.5%|
|LAKE MACQUARIE CITY COUNCIL||17,310||14,145||81.7%|
|LANE COVE MUNICIPAL COUNCIL||2,587||1,792||69.3%|
|MAITLAND CITY COUNCIL||9,960||8,392||84%|
|MOSMAN MUNICIPAL COUNCIL||2,075||1,560||75.2%
|MUSWELLBROOK SHIRE COUNCIL||1,738||1,211||69.7%|
|NEWCASTLE CITY COUNCIL||14,348||13,393||93.3%|
|NORTH SYDNEY COUNCIL||4,019||2,795||69.5%|
|NORTHERN BEACHES COUNCIL||7,331||5,083||69.3%|
|PORT STEPHENS SHIRE COUNCIL||6,308||5,236||83%|
|RANDWICK CITY COUNCIL||10,404||7,759||74.6%|
|STRATHFIELD MUNICIPAL COUNCIL||2,652||1,808||68.2%
|SUTHERLAND SHIRE COUNCIL||15,282||11,573||75.7%|
|THE HILLS SHIRE COUNCIL||105||23||21.9%
|UPPER HUNTER SHIRE COUNCIL||1,200||1,034||86.2%|
|WILLOUGHBY CITY COUNCIL||4,591||3,374||73.5%|
|WOOLLAHRA MUNICIPAL COUNCIL||4,549||2,870||63.1%|