LLANDOUGH residents have said new LED street lights replaced on their road mean it’s “like going back to Dickensian times”.
A petition has been launched, signed by more than 60 people, urging the Vale Council to restore the old lights to ensure people can get around safely.
Members of the Neighbourhood Watch group have warned the elderly are at risk of tripping over in the dark after the street lights were replaced with LED lanterns on Uplands Crescent.
The Vale Council said that its street lighting network had been reviewed following “rising energy costs and on-going financial constraints”, and that the street lights had been replaced to meet the “Governments Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) Energy Efficiency Scheme and reduce its carbon footprint”.
The lights are set to be introduced in the rest of Penarth and surrounding areas and, funding permitting, “it is anticipated that all obsolete, inefficient lights in residential areas throughout the Vale of Glamorgan will be replaced in the future”.
A spokeswoman from the Vale Council added that the new lights were more efficient and produced a whiter light that didn’t necessarily mean they weren’t as bright as the previous ones.
“In terms of the differences in brightness, the existing lanterns contained reflector systems that also projected light upwards and backwards which although appearing to be bright, is actually a waste of light (and money) in terms of illuminating the Council-adopted highway.
“The modern lanterns have been designed to distribute light where it is most needed i.e. illuminating the Council-adopted carriageway and associated footways.”
She added: “By using modern LED lanterns, the light output from these units is used more efficiently. The LED units produce a whiter type of light than the existing lanterns which provides improved colour rendition at night and assists in CCTV operations.”
The petition launched by Llandough residents states that “lighting is inadequate and residents feel unsafe” and urges the council to restore the lights to the ones that have been retained on the nearby Dochdwy Road.
It adds: “We have had local disturbances of prowlers over the recent months and there are many elderly residents and parents with young children who feel very unsafe at present and more unsafe due to the lighting being reduced.”
Quotes from the petition say: “very dark, risk of injury, unsafe for the elderly, all for LED’s but better research needed, and poor visibility”.
Liz Hooper, who launched the petition, said: "It's too dark and it's very risky.
"It's not as bright as it was before and people can't see their keys when opening their front door.
"One of the major concerns is that nobody was consulted about it."
Liz added: “We are calling for a restoration of a better level of lighting that we had before.
“They should change them to something so that the community feel safe.”
Sue John added that it was so dark "it's like going back to Dickensian times".
A Vale Council spokeswoman said: “Some elderly residents may not perceive the new lights to be as bright as the older type, however, the LED lights selected for installation throughout the Vale have been designed to adhere to the current British Standards for illuminating roads.
“The Council is investigating ways in which the light output from these new lanterns can be enhanced at specific locations. The new lighting will provide a more effective solution in terms of energy costs and carbon emissions whilst still providing adequate levels of light.
“Residents would have been consulted if new street lights were being installed in areas where no lighting was previously present.”