Best Practice

Public Lighting Working Group


Certificate in External Lighting Training Course 2017

SEAI is running a Certificate in External Lighting in February 2017 - Certificate in External Lighting Training Course 2017.pdf (size 575.7 KB) (Please click the link for more information and booking details)

The Certificate in External Lighting will equip the trainee with the key knowledge and skills to manage a complete public lighting system from planning and design, to day to day operation. The course is a must for those who want to reduce costs, improve service delivery and reduce energy consumption within their public lighting system.

Note: Whilst there is an element of design in the training, the course does not qualify the trainee as a designer, those interested in becoming lighting designers can progress to the ILP External Lighting Diploma (three week course) in the UK.

Energy savings of 20% - 30% Identified by SEAI Working Group

Public lighting in Ireland uses approximately 150 GWh of energy and emits of 80,000 tonnes of CO2.

Several local authorities, actively engaged in energy management, are already achieving substantial savings. The Public Lighting Working Group has already helped other local authorities in their efforts to comfortably achieve savings of  20% to 30%.

Energy Use in Public Lighting.

There are an estimated 400,000 Street lights in Ireland consuming an estimated 150 TWh annually.

Potential Energy Savings of €6-€10 Million Nationally.

There are several technology and management upgrade opportunities that can substantially reduce that 150 TWh consumption.

  • Initial estimates indicate a potential 22% energy savings using currently available technology, rising to 30% for authorities who have not actively managed lighting. This equates to a potential saving of €6-€10 Million Nationally.
  • Capitalisation of energy performance contracting where supplier is paid for light delivered rather than energy, driving efficiency.
  • Trimming (reduced operating hours) and Dimming (reduced lighting levels at low traffic densities).
  • Improve housekeeping, addressing outdated technologies (MBF – mercury based lighting) or excess lighting levels not managed appropriately.
  • Further technology upgrades available including electronic ballasts (with a typical 4 year payback)
  • Roll out of energy efficiency pilot projects at a national level.
  • Capitalise on current changes of suppliers in market.
  • Large amounts of lighting infrastructure located in remote locations with electricity network available to connect medium scale renewable generation.
Breaking Down the Barriers for Implementation

The Working Group addresses the actual and perceived barriers to energy efficiency in public lighting, including:

  • Drivers for energy efficiency, particularly with respect to tariff structures.    
  • Awareness of potential energy efficiency savings, addressing perception of limited potential in public lighting.
  • Decisions often made by third parties, disassociated from energy cost.
  • Central approach to “Best Practice” required with local implementation.
  • Financial support for energy efficiency upgrades decreasing in availability.
Bringing Participants Together

SEAI is facilitating a Public Lighting Working group, bringing together principle stakeholders and leaders in energy efficiency to help overcome these barriers. 

Membership includes:

  • Local Authorities
  • National Roads Authority
  • Industry Experts
  • Local Energy Agencies
  • CCMA – City & County Managers Association
Planned Outcomes. Planned Savings. Planned Results.

The Working Groups are developing a number of work streams to support energy efficiency in public lighting including:

  • Best practice guidelines for energy efficient public lighting procurement and design.
  • Input into future design of future tariffs to encourage energy efficient investment.
  • Standard tender documents and evaluation criteria for Local Authorities
  • Assessment of several technologies and lighting areas for energy efficient retrofit options.
  • Standard public lighting guidelines for energy efficiency
  • Case studies of work completed
  • Summary report of policy requirements


These outcomes are available to download here.  

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