Street lighting is known to be a major cause in the reduction of insect life and harmful to other night flyers such as bats, so the conversion of street lighting to LEDs throughout the county - including, now, Tisbury - is really good news. The Council has provided the following information, in response to an email I wrote asking for reassurance as to the impact on insects as well as, of course, our Dark Night Skies:
'With regard to insects the council is not directly aware of any negative research related to insects and LED lighting but it is appreciated that there is always research going on in this area. There is a significant reduction in UV content with LEDs compared to many other light sources in use as well as reduced heat generated as waste energy which would translate to reduced attractiveness compared with full spectrum lighting such as incandescent, metal halide, mercury vapour or fluorescent, but the main directive in the area of LED lighting is to use warmer LED lighting where possible to reduce blue light content.
'The street lighting to be utilised in Tisbury as well as the wider AONB and surrounding buffer zone (1km) will be of 2700K CCT which is considered the most appropriate for use in the AONB and is recommended for areas with bat populations. This has a considerably lower blue content compared to older LEDs which have been around 4000K CCT, but we are also changing the older “less warm” LED equipment for the new equipment in these sensitive AONB areas.
'We are also endeavouring to minimise light pollution and ensuring we have full flexibility of the lighting levels by introducing remote monitoring and operational control where it has not been present previously. All assets will be programmed in for dimming later in the evening a few days after installation. We are aware of some areas currently operating on Part Night switch off basis, and on request from those Parishes we would be happy to reintroduce this, or for individual lights when requested by residents, providing it is safe to do so.
'All roads have had lighting design class reviews and only the most appropriate levels of light will be installed. Where systems of lighting are sporadic or individual lighting points are present the most equivalent light source for the existing is being proposed to prevent any increase in light pollution. We will review any concerns raised after install and with our remote operational control can be fine-tuned and adjusted as needed.
'Specific assets on the outer perimeter of towns and villages where there is direct view from the darker areas of the AONB are being planned to be fitted with shielding in the appropriate directions to preserve the night time view and enhance the AONB dark skies status.
'We are only replacing street lighting on a like for like basis based on existing streetlights which have generally only been introduced following request, new developments or because of a general need to meet highway and road user safety. We are not intending to increase the number of lights and would welcome any suggestions for removal where street lighting is not seen as necessary or a benefit to the community. These can be discussed with the Parish Council for wider consultation.
'We trust you understand that we have considered many ecological and environmental aspects of the LED project and not just the reduction in energy consumption which is of course also good for the environment.
'For further information contact email:
'Issues regarding street lighting can be reported through the My Wilts app or on-line at:
http://www.wiltshire.gov.uk/mywiltshire-online-reporting (26 May 2021)
If you have any comments or requests, your County Councillor or Parish Council should be your first port of call - contact details can be found via Google. In Tisbury, email Cllr Nick Errington or the Parish Council or complete their contact form online.
Photo: Barn owl
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