The street light switch off

With Warwick District Council planning a mass plug-pulling of street lights to preserve the pounds, now may be a good time to make an investment in exterior lighting and home security to deter anything that may be tempted to lurk in the shadows.

Before I start getting anyone worried, I should point out that darkened streets don't mean an increase in crime and areas already knocking off the neon in the small hours aren't reporting a rise in crime related incidents. That said, if you're used to having the comforting orange glow of a sodium street light outside your home, you may want to make provision for that light clocking off from midnight to 05:30 which is what Warwick District Council are planning from as early as December 1st 2012, or by April 2013 at the latest.

It doesn't make sense to go nailing up a 200W floodlight to compensate, as that will defeat the Council's objective of saving money through saving energy and you'll end up forking over a small fortune to your electricity provider as well as on your council tax which, let's face it, isn't going to decrease even if the Council do make their planned savings of £500,000 per annum. That said, there are energy efficient solutions you could consider for lighting up the external areas of your home through manual activation, timed activation, dusk detection or motion sensors.

According to the Leamington Observer (18/10/12), Warwick District may go dark from 1st December 2012, Nuneaton, Rugby and Bedworth by February 2013 and Stratford-upon-Avon by April 2013. Personally, I'd have thought that it would have made more sense to convert some of the existing posts with low-power LED heads so instead of just switching most of them off, you would still have some providing a comfort glow if nothing else. I do think there are too many streetlamps in some places however. I notice in Coventry they're busy pulling out all the old posts and replacing them with fewer high efficiency lamps. In some cases they're only lining one side of the road which seems to make sense where foot traffic is reduced or where there is only a single pavement.

The worst place for streetlamps in this area is on a stretch of the A45 where Solihull meets Birmingham. For some bizarre reason both sides of the road along with the central reservation are littered with diminutive posts which are three quarters the size of a normal streetlamp. Goodness knows who came up with the 'bright' idea of installing this many lamps on a straight section of carriageway or why they thought this particular section should be super illuminated! Presumably it's something to do with the nearby airport, but you'd hope the approaching pilots would be able to distinguish the A45 from the runway without it having to be lit very very brightly by pygmy-posts. 


posthellThis many lamp-posts means you shouldn't miss where you're going on this part of the A45 at night,
although you shouldn't get too lost as it's.. uh.. a straight slice of road.

On the bright side, so to speak, those who like a spot of stargazing should see their view of the night sky improve with the decrease in light pollution. As for whether the rest of us find it a success, only time will tell.

For more information including maps showing exactly which lampposts are affected in Warwickshire, see the following web page: