In case you hadn’t noticed by the drop in temperature and Halloween decorations in the supermarkets, autumn has officially arrived in the UK. But for us lighting design experts, Halloween isn’t the next thing on our radar now the season’s changed — it’s the return of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).

At 2 AM on Sunday, 30 October, the clocks will go forward one hour, meaning the evenings will get darker earlier (right in the middle of rush hour, around 5:30 PM). And pedestrians and road-users need to know the streets will be bright enough to see where they’re going after sunset after work even though British Summer Time (BST) has ended. See where we’re going with this?

Essentially, if your exterior lighting isn’t up to scratch, there’s not long before people will start noticing and problems begin to emerge. That’s why we’ve outlined some of the things you might want to implement before the end of the month, and how we can help you out with it all…

Time for change

It goes without saying that having enough effective streetlights along roads and pathways is an absolute must for councils and authorities. By helping people see road markings, kerbs and potential obstacles, these crucial assets help prevent collisions and keep communities out of danger.

However, as the clocks go back, it’s worth considering where these streetlights are positioned. For example, if you’re lacking lights at crossings and intersections, you could benefit from a few extra assets in these high-risk areas to ensure drivers and motorcyclists steer clear of pedestrians as they pass to the other side of the road this autumn.

Exterior lighting can also be the difference between a resident feeling safe to leave their home once the sun’s gone down or staying in due to fears of criminal activity. So, if you haven’t done already, it’s a good idea to install streetlights in places like dark alleyways — it can reduce crime and prevent anyone from feeling scared and isolated during the colder, darker months.

And that’s only the tip of the iceberg.

Nowadays, with cost-effectiveness and sustainability being so important, councils and authorities can really benefit from upgrading existing streetlights to more modern, efficient alternatives like LEDs before the clocks go back.

Whilst older lamps are typically inefficient and require frequent maintenance, resulting in regular downtime and costly energy bills, LEDs are ultra-reliable, have a low energy consumption and last for ages. Install them now, and you’ll save money (and the planet) this season and beyond, all whilst providing exterior lighting the public can rely on.

Adaptive lighting profiles are also an option — using sensors to detect ambient lighting levels and dim streetlights accordingly, so there’s no wasted energy or plunging places into complete darkness and fewer chances of road accidents.

The clock’s ticking

If you like the sound of our suggestions but don’t know where to start, we’re here to help. As one of the UK’s largest independent lighting consultancies, we provide a range of support to help you achieve the streetlights of your dreams this autumn.

For instance, if you know your scheme could be better but want some expert advice before you get started, we can conduct a night-time survey of your proposed site to work to find out what’s working well and what’s not.

After that, we’ll draw on our knowledge of key street lighting standards and regulations, including Section 287 and Section 38 of the Highways Act 1980, to develop a fully compliant lighting design — using the fewest number of assets to tick off all your boxes and save you money.

Want proof of our capabilities? Say no more. We recently worked on a huge street lighting upgrade for Kent County Council (KCC), in which a whopping 120,000 are set to be converted to LEDs over a three-year period. Our lighting designs helped KCC achieve an impressive 65.7% energy saving, exceeding its targets.

Of course, you could go it alone if you’re feeling confident. But with so much experience in exterior lighting, we know exactly what it takes to get your upgrade project in the planning authority’s good books. That means we can help you avoid time-consuming appeals and get your new streetlights rolled out in good time. What a way to start the new season!

Learn more about our services and get in touch with a member of our team at +44 (0)1962 855080 or to discuss your street lighting requirements today.