WILTSHIRE Council is planning to spend £12million to replace older street lights with low-energy, LED bulbs.

The council’s cabinet hopes the move will provide a long term saving, as the switch is estimated to save £1million each year.

Unlike the older lights, the LED versions can be dimmed to save energy, and the council plans to cut energy consumption by 69 per cent by dimming the lights between 8pm and 6am.

It will include lights in public car parks, open spaces and housing estates.

Currently about three per cent of Wiltshire’s 45,000 existing lights are LED, and running costs are at about £1.9million a year.

The move is subject to proposals being approval by full council and, if successful, a two-year installation is planned for 2019/20.

Wiltshire Council cabinet member for highways, Bridget Wayman, said: “Now is the right time to convert our ageing streetlights to modern, flexible LED technology.

“It’s a significant investment but in the long term it will make vital savings and give us a much more reliable system.

“As well as the financial benefits it will also significantly reduce our carbon footprint.”

The Liberal Democrat opposition said the £12million investment was welcome, but added: “[The cabinet’s] universal plans to dim lights between 8pm and 6am needs greater flexibility and community consultation.”

The council has also agreed to consider converting non-highway lighting to LED, including public open spaces, car parks and housing estates, subject to suitability and cost.

The decision was agreed by the council’s cabinet on Tuesday.