opinion3 min read

Is it time to upgrade your first-gen LED streetlights? 

LED streetlighting revolutionised the landscape when it first emerged in the UK back in 2009. Since then, it has become a common feature in our urban environments, with a whopping 3.9 million LED lanterns on our streets, representing almost 55% of all lanterns, according to the State of The Nation 2020 Streetlighting Survey.  

Typically, LEDs boast a lifespan of 100,000 burning hours, translating to roughly 20 years of service. However, the reality is that many first-generation LED fixtures are now nearing the end of their lifespan. This presents a crucial question: Is it time to consider upgrading your streetlights to newer, more energy-efficient models? 

Once you’ve installed LED light fixtures, it’s easy to assume you’re set for the long haul. However, technological advancements have continued to improve LED efficiency, energy savings, and overall performance. As such, sticking with outdated LED technology could mean missing out on significant cost savings and performance enhancements that newer models offer. 

It’s time to replace 1st-gen LED lanterns 

If it’s been at least five to 10 years since your last LED installation, it’s worth considering an upgrade. Especially for first-generation LEDs which are showing signs of wear and tear. Many of these fixtures are now out of warranty, so any issues could lead to costly repairs. Moreover, outdated technology means these older LEDs consume more energy than necessary, contributing to higher energy bills.  

For instance, take the case of the Strategic Road Network, where around 26% of lights are already LED. By March 2027, National Highways plans to invest £132 million to retrofit most remaining lights, potentially resulting in up to 65% less energy consumption, proving there are more energy savings to be had with newer technology. This investment saves on energy costs, reduces carbon emissions, and enhances road safety with longer-lasting, low-maintenance LED fixtures. 

Why upgrade now? 

- Up to 35% further energy savings: Newer LED technology and chip efficiencies offer improved energy efficiency, translating to significant cost savings on energy bills. 

- Retrofit or replacement: Choose between retrofitting existing fixtures or opting for brand new, energy-efficient replacements. 

- Greater LED efficiencies: Technological advancements mean today’s LEDs offer superior performance and longevity compared to older models. 

- Improved photometry: Enhanced light distribution allows for greater spacing between luminaires, reducing the number of lanterns needed. 

- Lanterns out of warranty: Aging LED fixtures are more prone to failures,  

- Quick payback: While it’s an investment to make an upgrade, it’s typically a lower cost than the initial outlay. Plus, with the savings generated from the newer technology the upgrade will pay for itself in as little as 3 years.  just a few years. 

Our offering includes a free lighting design and audit to determine the best solution for your needs. We provide SMART fully programmable (DALI enabled) drivers as standard and are compatible with various control systems, ensuring seamless integration with existing infrastructure. 

Introducing the Sprint Acrospire Range


Looking for a reliable, cost-effective LED streetlight solution? Look no further than the Sprint Acrospire range: 

- All-aluminium body: Built to last with a durable LM6 grade aluminium construction. 

- Suitable for M and P classes: Versatile design to suit various mounting configurations. 

- Futureproofed: Compatible with a range of control systems, ensuring adaptability to future technological advancements. 

- Mounting options: Flexible mounting options to accommodate existing brackets. 

- Warranty: Enjoy peace of mind with a 5-year standard warranty 

Our Sprint luminaires are designed for easy installation and maintenance. Ideal for upgrade projects, they are manufactured to withstand the rigours of outdoor environments while delivering superior lighting performance. 

Ready to Take the Next Step? 
If you’re ready to unlock the benefits of upgrading your streetlighting scheme—saving money, boosting efficiency, and enhancing light quality—contact us today.