LED lighting project

Wiltshire Council LED Street Lighting Project

Wiltshire Council is making a £12 million investment to convert its street lighting to LED lighting. The older types of lights are going out of production and the cost of energy is becoming prohibitive. The new lights are much more energy efficient and have a reduced carbon footprint.

The light from the LED units looks different as it is not orange in colour as some of the older lighting is. The new lights will provide similar lighting levels with less light spill and be considerably cheaper to operate and maintain. Instead of being turned off for part of the night many of the lights will be dimmed during off peak periods to further reduce energy consumption.

The conversion will be carried out quickly in most locations with little disturbance and disruption as it is only the electrical equipment being changed. However, in a few cases it may be necessary to renew the lighting column which will require excavation in the pavement to provide and connect the new column.

The operation of the lighting and the dimming regime will be reviewed after six months. The frequently asked questions below have been developed below to aid any queries regarding this project.

Programme of work

Work started on the two year project in Chippenham and the surrounding area in October 2019 and the majority of street lights have now been upgraded in Amesbury, Salisbury, Westbury, Melksham and Devizes. The remaining areas of the county will be completed during 2021. 

Whilst most of the lights will be changed to the new type during the planned visit there will be occasions when special units are required. In such circumstance the special units will be fitted later in the programme.

Background & Key Information

There are almost 45,000 street lights on Wiltshire Council's highway network. Energy costs have risen sharply in recent years, and are likely to continue to rise in the longer term. The annual cost for street lighting energy is currently over £1,900,000, and with current budget restrictions these costs are becoming increasingly unaffordable.

Light Emitting Diode (LED) lighting is energy efficient and has reduced in price considerably in recent years. At present, only 3% of the Council's street lighting is LED lighting, with the majority being the older low pressure sodium (SOX) or high pressure sodium (SON) units. The SOX units are becoming obsolete and going out of production, and are becoming increasingly difficult to obtain.

LED lights use considerably less energy than the older SOX and SON units. A major advantage is that LED lights provide the opportunity to dim the lighting during off-peak periods to further reduce energy consumption. LED lighting dimmed between 8pm and 6am, with additional dimming after 11pm, would typically reduce energy consumption by 69% compared to the current SOX units.

It is proposed to convert most of the Council's street lighting to LED units over the next two years. The cost of the project is estimated to be £12,295,000 and it is expected to have a pay back in 11.88 years, but this could be substantially sooner depending on future energy costs.

Contact Us

For further information please use contact details below;


Or in writing to:

Highways Asset Management
Wiltshire Council
County Hall

BA14 8JN

Issues regarding street lighting can be reported through the My Wiltshire app or online.

Frequently asked questions