LED Streetlight Rollout


Ausgrid LED Streetlight

Infographic - 170,000 LEDS streetlights installed in 33 councils areas since the program began

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. 

What are the benefits of switching our streetlights to LEDs?

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.

26,300 LEDS installed in FY 2022Commitment to climate change action

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.

LED rollout progress

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. 

What are LEDs? 

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.

How long has Ausgrid been using LEDs?

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.

Which types of old streetlights are being replaced?

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.

What is the smart street lighting control?

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.

How many lights are being changed to LEDs by Ausgrid?

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.

When will the streetlights in my area be replaced?

Ausgrid is aiming to finish the LED rollout by 2026 and is working with local councils on individual delivery plans. 

Will traffic be disrupted in my area during installation of the new LED streetlights?

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.

How much will the upgrading to LED streetlights cost?

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.

What are the benefits of LEDs in terms of energy reductions and cost-saving?

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.

How long will the LED replacement project take to complete?

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.

Do LEDs increase or decrease light pollution?

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. 

Are LED streetlights harmful and can they disrupt my sleep?

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.

What is colour temperature and what colour temperature of LED streetlights does Ausgrid use?

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.

What will happen to the old streetlights that are being removed?

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.

Why aren’t you replacing these streetlights with solar?

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. 

How is the LED rollout progressing in my area?

Updated 20 July 2023

 COUNCIL  No. of lights LEDs   % Complete
 BAYSIDE COUNCIL  10,763  7,094 65.9% 
 BURWOOD COUNCIL     2,198  1,588 72.2%
 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%
 CUMBERLAND COUNCIL  4,301  2,959 68.8%
 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%
 KU-RING-GAI COUNCIL   10,147  8,091 79.7%
 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%
 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%
 RANDWICK CITY COUNCIL   10,404  7,759 74.6%
 SINGLETON COUNCIL   1,966  1,611 81.9%
 SUTHERLAND SHIRE COUNCIL   15,282  11,573 75.7%
 UPPER HUNTER SHIRE COUNCIL  1,200  1,034 86.2%
 WAVERLEY COUNCIL   3,717  2,264 60.9%
 WILLOUGHBY CITY COUNCIL   4,591  3,374 73.5%