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Alistair Scott discusses the 'switch-off' debate on BBC Breakfast

Posted July 8, 2014
Alistair Scott discusses the 'switch-off' debate on BBC Breakfast

Designs for Lighting Managing Director, Alistair Scott, was asked to represent the Institution of Lighting Professionals on the famous BBC Breakfast sofa with Naga Munchetty and Jon Kay to discuss the ongoing street lighting “switch-off” debate.

View the discussion here:

The catalyst for the discussion was a recent AA press release which suggested that local authorities may be ignoring coroner’s advice following inquests where lack of street lighting has been mentioned as a potential factor.

Alistair was joined on the sofa by Mathilda Wellbelove whose brother was tragically killed by a motorist on an unlit street in Leamington Spa in 2012. Mathilda stated that ‘you can’t put a price on someone’s life’ but also admits that there were a number of contributory factors that led to the death of her brother, one of which was that the street lighting had been switched off.

Street Lighting is primarily a safety feature.

Alistair made the point that “Street lighting is installed primarily as a safety feature and it is a tragedy when any death occurs on our streets”. Wherever there is a move to Switch-off street lighting there should be a proper due diligence approach. There should be a risk assessment carried out by competent lighting professionals along with road safety engineers to ensure that the potential risk to the public is minimal.

He made the point that modern LED Street lights together with adaptive lighting technology allows light levels to be reduced rather than switched off at times of low usage. This maintains uniformity and still allows pedestrians to see and be seen. Dimming is a safer option than switching off and will contribute to significant energy savings which can result in relatively short payback periods.

In conclusion, Alistair believes that it is essential that competent Lighting Professionals be consulted as part of the decision making process regarding the quality and levels of lighting to make our streets safer.