'Too bright or too dark': Wakefield's new LED streetlights divide opinion

People in Wakefield can't agree on whether or not new streetlights in the district are too bright or too dark.

By David Spereall
Tuesday, 29th March 2022, 4:51 pm
Updated Tuesday, 29th March 2022, 4:52 pm

Wakefield Council said it had had around 200 complaints from members of the public about LED lights, which were split 50-50 across both sides of the argument.

The council has replaced 22,000 local streetlights with LED lightbulbs, both to reduce its energy costs and its carbon footprint.

They generally emit a whiter light than more traditional bulbs, but they can have their brightness adjusted manually by either increasing or reducing the voltage going into them.

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The council is in the middle of installing tens of thousands of LEDs in streetlights across Wakefield.

Speaking on a meeting with local town and parish council representatives, council officer Graham West said opinion was divided on the lights.

Mr West, the council's service manager for the highways network, said: "We've had around 200 complaints.

"100 of those - 50 per cent - say they're too bright. 50 per cent say they're too dark.

"When you think we've done 22,000 columns and we've got that amount of complaints, that's really positive.

The brightness of the lights can be adjusted.

"In each case, we'll contact the complainant and we'll have that discussion."

Mr West said the LEDs had "improved road safety" as well as saving the authority money and emissions.

Conservative councillors wanted to turn off lights in mainly rural areas where local people had demanded it.

But the idea was widely criticised and rejected out of hand by the council's ruling Labour administration.

Local Democracy Reporting Service