Street Lights In Chiswick Still Causing Frustration
Council responds to local questions on the bright lights
Hounslow Council has replied to queries from this website about the new street lights in Chiswick which have annoyed and frustrated local residents.
Complaints have ranged from the lights being on during daylight hours, to the brightness of the lights shining into residents' homes, to the height of the columns often set high amongst trees. We asked for a comprehensive answer to the questions that people have asked. See below:
Locals say the street lamp columns are too high
The street lights are on during the day and this is a waste of money.
The new LED street lights burn during the day until they come under the control of the Central Management System.
Residents are not incurring higher electricity charges as the day burning is a recognised step in the installation process.
The Central Management System uses wireless technology to control the switching on and off of the lights across the borough, but relies upon a chain of lighting columns to pass information between lighting unit controllers. Until the chain is completed back to the controller, all the lights remain permanently on, as this is safer than having no street lighting during the night. We have investigated the sites provided and can confirm that:
• Stamford Brook Avenue, No day burners were found as of 07/03/13.
The corner of Marlborough road and Chiswick High Road
The lights are too bright and shine into people's homes.
The new LED lights have been designed to meet British Standard Guidelines and so ensure a safe environment for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians. The installed lighting units have all been certified independently to ensure that they have been installed correctly.
Some residents have found the lighting too bright but equally others complain that it is too dim. To ensure we have a fair assessment of residents’ concerns we are allowing time for residents to become accustomed to the new white light before any dimming trials commence. However, we are compiling a list of requests to change lighting levels around the borough. These will then be considered by the council.
The street lamp columns are too high and often put up in trees.
The basis for the street lighting design throughout the borough was to replace columns in their original positions, without installing extra columns, but we have to achieve a minimum lighting level. This can be achieved by putting a brighter, more widely focused lantern on a higher column, in places where the existing columns were widely spaced for example. The lighting level for a road is influenced by the category of road, the volume of traffic using it, and the number of junctions. In this way, the column heights can vary in streets which are similar in appearance.
Where possible, we prune trees before installing the new street lights. However in some cases this is was not possible due to the large number of lamps being installed across the borough in such a short period of time. All street trees in the borough are assessed annually and maintained on a three-year cyclical programme. Where trees are noticeably surrounding street lights we will assess these on a case-by-case basis to decide whether extra pruning is needed.
The new LED street lights began their installation on 1st January 2013. It was a conscious decision by Hounslow Highways to upgrade the street lights in every ward throughout the two year programme. This was to minimise disruption to residents by avoiding repeatedly digging up pavements across the borough.
What can people do if they find the LED lights shining too brightly outside their homes?
We are compiling a list of requests to change lighting levels which will be considered by the council. Residents can report these to the LBH Call Centre on 0208 583 2000 or to Hounslow Highways via the Contact Us page on the website: www.hounslowhighways.org
In some streets the lamps are now being replaced with smaller columns. Why?
The type of column/ lamp used is defined by local conditions (volume and type of traffic, footfall, proximity of schools, business, etc). In some cases the column height would have been reduced in accordance with the specification required for that road or section of road.
March 16, 2014