Exeter Part-Night Street Lighting | Progress update


The implementation of part-night operation of street lights in Exeter began in September 2013 in Alphington and Cowick wards and involved the fitting of remote monitoring components into existing lanterns and replacement of existing lanterns that were not suitable. Similar work in Exwck and St Thomas wards began in October 2013.

Street lights in Alphington and Cowick started operating part-night in April 2014 and in Exwick and St Thomas in May 2014.

Each individual street light has a communication node fitted to it and up to 250 lighting units in an area are controlled by a Branch node located within the ward.

Communication between the nodes and branch and between the branch and central control is via air-borne radio communication and can be accessed via the internet. So it is possible to allocate switching profiles to individual and groups of lights so that they can operate all-night or part-night.

The efficient operation of this remote monitoring system relies on good radio communications and the geographic location of branch controllers, so that command instructions can be issued as necessary. The lights themselves will operate during the day for a day or two when first commissioned to indicate that the lights work and then operate dusk to dawn, or part-night as required. In some instances however, lights may be on during the day for longer than envisaged, either as a result of poor communications, or faulty components. In such instances it is necessary to reconfigure the communication network within the affected area and this is very much a trial and error process, so a quick resolution is not always possible.

Conversion work began in Duryard and Pennsylvania wards in June 2014 and lights started operating part-night in November 2014.

Conversion work began in St James ward in October 2014 and in St Davids ward in November, lights in both wards will remain operational all night.

Conversion work began in St Leonards and Priory wards in February and April respectively and it is envisage that works Polsloe and Newton wards will commence during June.

The table below gives details of units converted to-date in each ward with the remaining provisional implementation programme shown in descending order.

Alphington 99% Complete * Yes 1219 787
Cowick 99% Complete * Yes 444 353
St Thomas 99% Complete * Yes 400 307
Exwick 99% Complete * Yes 887 523
Duryard 99% Complete * Yes 194 143
Pennsylvania 99% Complete * Yes 634 461
St James 99% Complete * No 330 0
St Davids 99% Complete * No 673 0
Priory 90% Complete * Not Yet 245 0
St Leonards 90% Complete * Not Yet 311 0
Newtown Branch & new units No 5 0
Polsloe Branch & new units Not Yet 8 0
Pinhoe Branch & new units Not Yet 77 0
Mincinglake Branch & new units Not Yet 67 0
Heavitree Branch & new units Not Yet 31 0
Whipton Barton Branch & new units Not Yet 8 0
St Loyes Branch & new units Not Yet 9 0
Topsham Branch & new units Not Yet 20 0

*Although conversion works are substantially complete, there are a small number of lanterns that are of modern architectural design, or classic heritage type, that are not suitable for immediate conversion with the remote monitoring system. These lanterns may also be expensive to replace, or still have quite a long working life remaining.

As technology develops and when the bulk of the works are complete in Exeter as a whole, the wards will be revisited to see if there are affordable solutions to address these remaining lanterns.

Branch nodes, which control over 200 lighting units, have been installed in all wards, more than one in some wards. The remote monitoring equipment has also been installed where lanterns have been replaced, or developments have been taking place. These wards will not operate part-night until conversion works are substantially complete.

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