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opinion4 min read
We wanted to help. We know many LA’s need more budget to invest in new lighting. And we know some of you feel like central government isn’t listening. We wanted you to know we feel your pain.
The industry must unite and focus on innovation
So, how do we as (as a collective) come together to fight budget pressures?
We agree we need a united voice. There were some excellent suggestions by the keynote speakers including Perry Hazell, ILP Junior Vice President and business Manager at Southwark Council – who suggested a country-wide energy procurement system.
However, we believe the turning tide is beginning to see lighting infrastructure as an asset rather than an expense.
To help we have put together our guide to commercialising your lighting assets and making them cost-neutral. We hope that you can save money and generate revenue by implementing some of our suggestions!
Our top tips:
Adaptive Lighting – use only what you need
Allan Howard, Group Technical Director, Lighting and Energy Solutions WSP, ILP presentation looked at the argument’s engineers can and should make when asked by their authority to switch off.
It’s an important point to highlight that Local Authorities are not legally obliged to provide street lighting but if they do, they must maintain it: which has led many to consider removing assets – but, the associated costs of removal can be prohibitive.
Given the choice most LA’s would prefer to dim rather than switch off. There are a number of arguments about whether lighting levels should be lowered but given the choice our vote would always be to dim rather than trim (switch off).
Adaptive lighting: systems that use sensors to adjust the brightness of streetlights based on the ambient light levels, means streetlights can be dimmed during off-peak hours or when there’s enough natural light. By reducing the energy consumption of streetlights, you can save still save money and make your lighting assets more cost-effective
Switch to 10/10 photocells – because every little helps
Older photocell systems are less accurate and efficient than new 10/10 photocells. These newer devices have perfect or near-perfect sensing accuracy or sensitivity. The term “10/10” indicates that the sensor can detect or respond to the smallest or faintest amount of light, such as a change in the ambient light levels, with high precision and reliability. Switching to 10/10 photocells can help LAs save as much as 58 hours per annum, which when you multiply by a typical lighting inventory of 13,000 lanterns could save thousands in energy costs. Additionally, 10/10 photocells can be integrated with adaptive lighting systems to reduce energy consumption further.
Switching Mindset – lighting as an Asset
Here is the real game changer. While traditional streetlights have only one function, they have the potential to offer much more. The humble lamppost can be transformed into an asset that generates revenue for LAs. For example, streetlights can be equipped with sensors and Wi-Fi hotspots to provide connectivity to the public. This can be especially beneficial in remote areas where internet connectivity is limited.
Furthermore, the addition of sensors, such as Air quality monitors, Footfall counters or Traffic monitors, ultimately unlocks the potential to provide data to various companies for research.
Infrastructure for so much more
LAs can earn revenue by harnessing the power of the humble post top and providing infrastructure for 5G, Wi-Fi, CCTV, and electric vehicle (EV) charging stations. This can be done by integrating equipment with streetlights, which can be leased to telecommunication companies, EV charging providers, and CCTV operators. By monetising your lighting assets, LAs can generate revenue that can be reinvested in maintaining and upgrading lighting infrastructure.
And lastly, here’s one that may not have crossed your mind:
Seeing Solar Street Lighting as energy storage systems
One potential option for LAs looking to make their lighting assets cost-neutral is to explore using solar energy storage systems.
Solar energy storage systems collect energy from the sun using solar panels, which convert the energy into electricity. The electricity is then stored in batteries for later use, which can be used to power streetlights during times when the sun isn’t shining, or energy demands are higher.
While the initial installation costs of solar are not insignificant, the long-term benefits are substantial. LAs can reduce their energy bills, lower their carbon footprint, and harvest energy to power secondary assets such as CCTV, air pollution monitors or speakers.
At Acrospire, we are committed to supporting LAs in finding innovative solutions to make their lighting infrastructure more cost-effective. Contact email@example.com to discuss what options are available to you.
With these ideas in mind, let’s turn your lighting assets into a valuable asset rather than an expense!
The idea for Acrospire was formed in 2012 when founder Tim envisioned a different kind of lighting manufacturer: one that would not only deliver outstanding customer experiences but also prioritise fair treatment for its employees.
We’ve come a long way
Motivated by the belief the industry wanted and needed better, Tim shared his plan to establish his own venture with Hatty, who simply couldn't let him do it alone.
The rest, as they say, is history.
Protecting local jobs and ensuring the best quality possible.
Working from a rented office by day and assembling lanterns in a garage at night, Tim and Hatty set to work.
11 Years later
Acrospire now inhabits a 14000² ft manufacturing facility in Basingstoke, Hampshire. We’re a proud partner of the Made in Britain scheme, ISO9001 certified and a member of all relevant lighting industry trade bodies.
Along with great relationships with our customers and a great team! We've attracted some of the most experienced members of the lighting industry, all by following one golden rule.
A simple ethos
That runs through all that we do. Customers who have made the switch to Acrospire have found working with us to be a breath of fresh air.
If you’re a professional in the lighting industry, you’re probably familiar with warranties that range from 3 to 10 years, with extensions available on special request or at additional cost. At Acrospire, where we’re proud to be different, we offer a market-leading simple 12-year warranty, as standard.
We focus on our customers not our competition. We manufacture our products in the UK: with the exception of our solar products, our supply chain is within a 60-mile radius of our factory in Basingstoke: to maintain greater control over quality. We al
Speed of response is crucial when it comes to resolving warranty issues. If we’ve made a mistake, we own it, get to the root cause, and fix it as quickly as possible. We believe in timely communication with our customers and making the resolution pro
Test and Test Again
We believe in independent testing and certification. Our new product development is in line with ISO 9001. Many of our products hold ENEC Certification. To meet the requirements of ENEC we also send random product samples for third party safety testi
Our product design is another key factor in our ability to offer a 12-year warranty. We value engineer rather than cost cut, never compromising on quality. We stick to our processes and engage with our supply chain to ensure that every product meets