Sustainable upgrade to Ballarat’s heritage style street lighting

Up close photo of LED light being held by male

Phase two of the City of Ballarat’s LED residential street lighting upgrade is complete, with almost 850 heritage style street lights receiving new fittings.

Switching street lighting to LED (light emitting diode) is a flagship of the City of Ballarat’s Carbon Neutrality and 100% Renewables Action Plan, with the completion of phase two bringing the total number of street lights that have received the upgrade along Ballarat’s minor roads and residential streets to 7,400.

The old mercury vapour lighting is no longer supported in Australia and only had a four-year life expectancy compared with 20 years for the new LED lights. LED lighting is between 80 and 85 percent more energy efficient than the old lighting and is expected to save the City of Ballarat more than $10 million over the next 20 years.  

City of Ballarat Councillor, Ben Taylor said LED is more reliable, lower maintenance and most importantly better for the environment.

“The new LED lights will save more than 40,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions over the next 20 years — the equivalent to taking 9,300 fossil fuelled cars off the road,” he said.

“LED is superior at delivering light along and across the street, resulting in improved compliance and less light spill to neighbouring areas and the atmosphere.

“At the City of Ballarat, we are committed to leading the way in sustainability, continuously seeking ways to actively reduce our impact on the environment, as well as working towards a circular economy. With that in mind, most of the materials from the old lights will be recycled into various new products.”

The $1.5 million replacement program demonstrates that the City of Ballarat is committed to delivering a better Ballarat and is line with Goal 1 of the Council Plan 2021-2025: an environmentally sustainable future.

The City of Ballarat shares responsibility with Department of Transport and Planning for almost 2,500 existing lights on main roads throughout the municipality that are yet to be converted to LED. Planning will kick off soon for this program of replacement works.