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The brightness of street lighting across the Isle of Wight is currently being reviewed by the Isle of Wight Council, which could mean that our residential roads become darker in the future.

Last month, Island Echo was told that a local councillor had claimed that street lighting would be switched off in parts of the Island at periods during the night. Although the Isle of Wight Council has now confirmed that there are no proposals to switch off the street lights altogether, they have said that the brightness of each light is being discussed.

The authority says that public safety is a ‘top priority’ when considering the correct level of dimming, but that they have always had the intention to take advantage of the ability to adjust lighting levels.

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Since their installation prior to 2016, the ‘new’ LED street lights have received much criticism for being too dark and too focused compared to the previous orange street lighting. It is understood that the lights are currently dimmed by around 20% after midnight.

There are over 12,000 LED lights across the Island that have all been installed as part of the PFI contract with Island Roads. However, the council are continuing to look at ways of reducing the PFI bill.

An Isle of Wight Council spokesperson has told Island Echo:

“There are currently no proposals to switch off street lights but discussions are ongoing to establish the correct level of dimming with public safety very much our top priority.

“As a council, we are committed to achieving the objectives set out in the Climate Emergency motion to Full Council last July and we will take the necessary steps to aim towards being a net-zero-carbon Island by 2030. We are also supportive of the Island’s aspiration to achieve International Dark Sky status.

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“Thanks to the Highways PFI, we are proud to have one of the best street lighting networks in the country, and our intention was always to take advantage of its ability to adjust lighting levels.

The news could, of course, mean that street lights will become brighter in the future, but that would so against making ‘reductions in energy and cost’. The council spokesperson adds:

“Our state-of-the-art LED street lights allow us to achieve good lighting levels, whilst maintaining safe highway conditions and above all, make valuable reductions in carbon, energy and cost”.

The Isle of Wight Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is working with the Council and Island Roads to change the colour temperature of street lighting in the area of Military Road, changing the blue light to a more yellow light. The Council say they are supportive of the Island’s aspiration to achieve International Dark Sky status.

The views/opinions expressed in these comments are solely those of the author and do not represent those of Island Echo. House rules on commenting must be followed at all times.
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So more accidents and crime on the darker streets


Absolutely agree Betty – street lighting on the Island is already TOO DARK. Crime levels are rising dramatically across our country and here we have an authority on the side of crime. It beggars belief! And anyway these modern LED lights should be powered by solar power… not the mains.


No sun at night time though…. and harvesting with batteries and associated electronics would be a financial non starter.


Solar Panels charge batteries during the day and expel their energy overnight. Already in use on traffic lights and pedestrian crossings and many other areas of traffic control across the country – and it is ‘simple’ technology.


Sun charges them up during the day to be lit at night like solar fairy lights perhaps? Mind you they don’t last long and that’s when we do get sun during the day!

Richard Kenward

Charging batteries using solar lower (PV) is not dependent on the sun but brightness.


I agree Betty, as far as the council are concerned, it’s all about money, not safety…


is it possible to have motion sensor lights on the more used eareas? just a thought?


It would be like the lightning in a nightclub with the amount of traffic on our roads now……on off on off on off every second, I wouldn’t want to live on a that had that gear on it..


Have a system where I live .as you walk down the corridor the lights in front of you come on, to show the way and after a set time the lights go off .simple

Az-zahra Aziz

bob, that is called a lose connection. Try walking more carefully instead of stamping about.

Daniel Skelton

It would be cool to have sensors that when passing in a car, the lights adjust accordingly, then dim back down to save power. I don’t know how it would work but it’d be pretty cool.


Street lights are not there for cars, they are there for pedestrians – so yes if a pedestrian passes light up brighter…

Grumpy Old Git

Personally, when driving at night, I prefer unlit roads, because dim street lights interfere with night vision, but obviously in areas where there are pedestrians the brighter the better. It does help if the old adage of wear something light at night is followed and walking facing oncoming traffic too.

Daniel Skelton

All all the Brexit Tory boomers still downvoting me?

Don't tell him pike.

Yes we are .because you are an idiot


Your being voted down because a true democracy doesn’t want far left Marxists running the country! try China, but be careful because if you say one word chritisizing the Chinese rulers you will realise the Tory’s are not has bad as you think they are….

Billy Harrison

How is your ancient Greek, Clare? Demos means the people and the people are far from running the show I am afraid. In 5th century B.C. Athens all offices were voted for; in 21st century Britain we don’t even get to vote for our Prime Minister – the party does that. We don’t vote for the cabinet, or any of our public service leaders. The House of Lords, where acts of parliament are ratified, is a wholly unelected body, as is Whitehall (where the real decisions are made). No, Clare, I am afraid the universal suffrage we enjoy is far… Read more »


How did politics come into the debate? It’s the Tory-run Isle of Wight Council who are proposing the dimming. So blame the Tories. Brexit: nothing to do with it, duh.

Daniel Skelton

Just for context as to why I said that: I voiced my own opinion on a previous post about politics, and all the Tory boomers got butthurt over it and they’re all downvoting me because they don’t allow opinions they don’t like.


Yes, you sound like a far left lefty to me, because they never like anyone that don’t agree with them…


@Daniel Skelton
If all you can do is discuss issues using insults then whatever your point is, it is lost, even if it has legitimacy. Try focusing on the issue being discussed.

Don't tell him pike.

Yes because you are an idiot .


Good ideas usually have to come from a fat controller.


And expensive I’d assume so they won’t consider it!

A. Resident

wouldn’t work esp when you got a car parked directly under the lamp post they need to be brighter not darker

Yoshikage Kira

“I don’t know how a C# programmed light would work”
Really? These are people allowed to vote?

Az-zahra Aziz

Perhaps they could fit passive infra red so they only come on when a person is walking by them or a car is approaching.

If they make them dimmer, little point in having them.

Whilst they are at it, they could fit the same to all pedestrian crossings, so that people have to stand there for two minutes after pressing the button to stop thick kids pressing it for the ‘fun’ of it with no intention of crossing. Simple.


Darker streets mean more opportunity for crime and less chance offenders being identified if they are seen. Would you want your wife or daughter walking home alone on unlit streets? Perhaps the Council need reminding that they are required to take the implications of crime and disorder when they come up with these harebrained schemes. Bring the police and their crime prevention officer in on the discussions.


The most effective crime prevention is regular patrols of bobbies on the beat. Does our limp and listless police service actually have a properly funded and equiped crime prevention officer?


I am a retired police officer and Crime prevention officer. I can say from experience that darker streets lead to increases in crime and the opportunity for crime. The current street lights are bad enough, but to reduce them further is just asking for trouble.


I’ve often thought that it is terrible waste of electricity having main road lights on all night, eg Newport — Cowes. Vehicles have lights.

Caroline Wood

I am visually impaired and really struggle with the LED lights. Under the previous system I could cope as the lighting level was even, whereas with the LED lights you get a bright area directly under the light and then suddenly you are plunged into pitch black. If the Council are going to make any changes it should be to remove LED and install something that gives an even light level right along each pavement! As for saying they have one of the best street lighting networks they have obviously never given a thought to anyone with less than perfect… Read more »


They are rather dim already. The old lights in our area had individual censors and were far better at giving an even spread of light whereas with the led ones there are pools of light with dark patches between.


If you dimmed some of the Street lights then drivers might actually use their headlights properly and not just run on sidelights.


If the fat controllers attack the problem of our poisoned planet with gusto and green energy,then ample power will provide ample lighting from the tide and the wind.


Any dimmer we won’t be able to see at all.Try walking along Caesars Road Newport after dark already have to use a torch.Greedy corrupt Isle of Wight Council


Brilliant idea more crime more crashes makes perfect sense why not just turn them off.


Seldon Avenue which is walkway through to apply manor in Ryde is dangerously dark in places with many potholes to add to the risk of injury.
Also the dimness near to Belisha beacon crossings along the broadway Sandown makes it very difficult to see anyone waiting to cross if they are wearing dark clothing.
Surely pedestrian safety is a priority.


If as they say “public safety is very much our top priority” maybe they should consider making them brighter. Certainly around the Victoria Road/ St Pauls View Road area. The lights are so dim you can’t see the pavement you are walking on or the kerbs when crossing the roads. Add to that the cars parked on the pavements at the bottom of St Pauls View Road it is not a safe place to walk after dark.

Az-zahra Aziz

All they need to do for a ‘cheap’ remedy, is to cut the street lampposts in half. Then the light would be closer to the road and pavement, where it is supposed to be, and not defused in the night sky, adding to light pollution.

The lighting led module could then be divided into two, slightly angled to ‘cover’ the loss of the ‘spread angle’ when it was higher placed.

Easier to change and maintain and clean too.

Trust me to sort out ANY of the Island’s issues, large and small.


Dark Sky Status ? Turn off everything on the Island and become like Kielder Forest…. No chance of getting that status. Is that an EU directive ?

L Thomson

Our LED street lighting is absolutely appalling and is much more of a
Spotlight on the road , making driving and walking much more of a hazardous,
I believe also its a factor of so many more road accidents and pedestrians accidents . As when walking people don’t tend to wear light colours ,


Why are they worrying about saving money on electric for the street lighting ??? But at the same time installing multiple traffic lights at St Mary’s roundabout that use electric in there lighting and controlling systems, where as the roundabout didn’t us any ??? Makes about as much sense as the Floating ?? Bridge


I find the lighting levels are now close to being dangerous. I use to drive quite comfortably here at night but now it’s very much a strain, especially with some of the poor road marking out towards West Wight.


Turn them off and get a head torch, let’s see the night sky as nature intended.

Tim C

Its a fine line to tread and as a race we need to ask ourselves some difficult questions. Lighting is a drain on planetary resources, that’s a fact. We have made improvements in power consumption with the led lights but the fact remains that it is a waste of power for most of the time. We cannot revert to the old sodium lights that were good but consumed vast amounts of power. I do however find it more difficult to see pedestrians whilst driving which is unnerving and a lot of people agree it is harder to see. Perhaps we… Read more »


You miss the point – would everyone please take vehicles out of the equation. It’s about the safety of the ‘person’: whether it be child, female, male or vulnerable – who all need to be protected whilst walking our streets. I now need a torch to see the keyhole on my front door now we have ‘dull’ LED street lighting; so I carry a torch for this, BUT, will reflective clothing or a torch save a child, female, male or vulnerable person from an unwanted attack on a dark street – no way!


FLIR costs mega bucks…


Excellent idea to turn the lights down, how on earth are the council going to continue fat cat wages and exorbitant
pensions to their staff without making cuts. Remember nearly 18% of our council tax contributes to their pensions!!

Gary hawkins

It’s traffic lights that should be turned of at night.Not just here but all over the country.Look at the saving on electricity

Bob Frapples

If the mafia want to dim the light then the mafia will dim the light

Joe Blogs

Haven’t people heard of torches?


A torch will not save as persons life if attacked or mugged in the dark streets of the Island with the street lights dimmed down


I am convinced that the timings and light levels have already been changed. Perhaps that question needs to be asked?

Old bean

They tried this on mainland as people are quite rightly saying crime went up and women felt unsafe to walk anywhere surely the council can see that or don’t they care that’s the police problem


What about men’s safety? Or does it not matter if a man is mugged in the dark?


So what are we paying our council tax for? Maybe we should all have some money back seeing as our street lights are useless, the bin collection is apauling and don’t even get me started on presence of Police. This is an absolute joke!!


And the rumours are it’s increasing this year!

Matej Sedlák

The LED can have a biodynamic effect, by changing to amber colour and low wattage during the deep night hours. While in less critical times may contain “whiter” light witg higher power to provide a “better” feeling of safety.


Which joker thought it is a good idea to make the lights even darker. LED street lights are a joke and already give very poor lighting. The old lights were much better for safety both for drivers and pedestrians.


Someone ought to ask for FOI on this subject as I believe the wrong coloured lights were installed in the first place!! It has been said they would correct when they needed replacing. So what happened to that statement.

isla wight

If they put it out to public consultation i think they would find the answer they are looking for, after all they are supposed to be working for us, the constituents of this already too dark isle.

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