Illuminating Developments: A Comprehensive Guide to Street Lighting Design

In an era where the face of our public spaces is radically transforming, we are seeing many innovative technologies coming to the fore. One of the most notable is the revolution in street lighting design, a field where Aptus is leading the charge.

LED Technology in Street Lighting and Installation

The Beacon of Progress & Sustainability: LED Technology

LEDs offer a myriad of benefits over traditional lighting sources. First and foremost, they are highly energy-efficient. This means they consume less electricity to produce the same amount of light output, reducing the carbon footprint of your project. 

LEDs also have a longer lifespan than most conventional bulbs, translating to less waste from bulb replacements. Unlike other lighting options, LED lights do not contain hazardous substances like mercury, making them more environmentally friendly.

In addition to adopting LED technology, we embed energy efficiency into our design process. We carefully consider the placement of streetlights to ensure maximum illumination with minimum power usage. We consider factors such as the reflectivity of surfaces, the use of timers and sensors for light control, and optimising colour temperature for visibility and comfort.

Our sustainable practices culminate in installations that provide adequate and safe lighting and promote long-term environmental sustainability. We proudly shoulder this responsibility at Aptus as we contribute to a greener tomorrow with every project we undertake.


A World without Borders: Our Flexible Design Approach

At Aptus, we pride ourselves on our ability to seamlessly adapt to the specific needs of each client and project. Our comprehensive expertise spans the entire spectrum of street lighting design, allowing us to undertake projects of varying scale and complexity. Be it new developments, major road expansions, or both, the project size does not limit our abilities.

Our flexible design approach is rooted in our recognition of each project’s unique requirements and constraints. Whether it’s a single project that we can execute in one visit or a more complex scheme involving hundreds of plots that unfolds over several years, we approach each with the same meticulous attention to detail, precision, and passion.

Take the example of our larger, multi-plot projects. A development of 500 plots is certainly significant and requires intricate planning. For these larger-scale projects, our process incorporates strategic, long-term planning in the design phase, meticulously taking into account how the project will unfold over time.

However, it’s crucial to understand that when we refer to a project spanning over a decade, this isn’t indicative of the design process alone. Instead, this timeframe encompasses both design and installation phases. The design component is completed upfront, with installation carried out in stages as the overall development progresses. This ensures a coherent and seamless execution that aligns with the development’s wider schedule and objectives.

We recognise the evolving nature of these projects and maintain flexibility to accommodate changes that inevitably arise over such extended timelines. This can involve breaking down the development into smaller, manageable projects, ensuring that each phase is executed efficiently and to high standards.

At the same time, our readiness to rise to more minor, less complex challenges remains undeterred. In cases where all work can be completed in one visit, our efficiency and expertise enable us to provide a swift and high-quality service, minimising disruption and maximising customer satisfaction.

With more than 350 live sites across the UK, our portfolio is a testament to our capability to manage a multitude of projects, regardless of their scale or complexity. From private lighting design to designs adopted by local authorities, we exhibit a breadth and depth of experience that sets us apart in the industry. This versatility and our dedication to delivering high-quality, bespoke lighting solutions embody our flexible design approach at Aptus – a world without borders.


From Conception to Culmination: The Aptus Process

One of our standout qualities at Aptus is our comprehensive in-house service, which covers every phase, from the initial design to the final installation. Here’s a glimpse into our unique process:

  1. Enquiry and Quote: The process kick-starts with the site layout furnished by the client, based on which an initial quote is given.
  2. Design Proposal: We create a design proposal within 10 days of the enquiry, a significant USP. This proposal is shared with both the client and the council for approval.
  3. Cost Estimation: Our estimating team provides detailed pricing once the design gets the green light.
  4. Installation: We leverage our unique advantage of being able to design infrastructure around electric mains, significantly reducing installation costs and minimising disruption.
  5. Sign-Off: The procedure culminates with a pre-inspection involving the local council or authority and the developer.


Street Lighting Design Guide v2

Aptus: The Mark of Street Lighting Design Excellence

Our professional accreditations serve as solid proof of our industry-leading status at Aptus. Holding the prestigious NICEIC accreditation, we ensure that our designs and installations adhere to the highest electrical safety and operational standards. This stamp of approval is a testament to our technical competence and commitment to safety, providing our clients with the quality assurance they deserve.

Being corporate members of the Institution of Lighting Professionals (ILP), we are at the forefront of industry advancements. This allows us to stay abreast of the latest lighting technologies, guidelines and best practices, which we incorporate into our services. Our clients benefit from this through our ability to deliver cutting-edge, efficient, and adequate lighting solutions.

In a testament to our exceptional standards, we are also one of just two lighting companies in the UK that have earned the ‘Secured by Design‘ accreditation. This police-initiated scheme recognises our efforts in designing lighting that significantly enhances safety in public spaces. Through strategic lighting placement and intensity, we eliminate dark corners and deter potential crime, creating safer, more secure environments for all.

Our numerous accreditations and memberships are a testament to our industry-leading position at Aptus, reflecting our dedication to delivering excellence in every project we undertake. When choosing Aptus, you can expect the highest standards of quality, expertise, and safety.

“As we draw up plans, we’re continuously guided by our commitment to meet and exceed industry standards, creating designs that illuminate and add character and safety to the spaces. Being one of the few companies with ‘Secured by Design’ accreditation, it’s a responsibility we take seriously. Every streetlight placed, every level of luminosity chosen, is a decision made with meticulous care, a balance of aesthetics, efficiency, and safety.” – Abigail Aspin, Street Lighting Technician, Aptus.


Key Design Considerations

Effective street lighting design is a delicate dance of balancing numerous crucial factors. This requires an in-depth understanding of various considerations, each integral to the ultimate success of the project. 

Here are some of the key considerations that we meticulously address in our design process at Aptus:

  • Luminosity: This term refers to the overall brightness of the light emitted by a fixture. Achieving the right luminosity is critical as it directly impacts visibility and safety. Too dim, and it fails to illuminate the area sufficiently, creating potentially hazardous conditions for pedestrians and drivers. Too bright, and it can result in unnecessary light pollution, adversely affecting wildlife and potentially causing discomfort for nearby residents. At Aptus, we employ LED technology to achieve the ideal balance, providing optimum visibility while minimising light pollution and energy consumption.
  • Uniformity: Another pivotal aspect of street lighting design is uniformity, which entails providing consistent lighting across an area. Good uniformity helps prevent the creation of dark spots that could pose safety risks. It also ensures a more comfortable and pleasing environment for pedestrians and drivers, as their eyes don’t have to continually adjust to varying light levels. Our strategic placement of streetlights and selection of appropriate luminaires aim to achieve maximum uniformity in light distribution.
  • Design Aesthetics: Streetlights aren’t just functional – they contribute significantly to the overall aesthetic of the area they illuminate. The choice of lanterns plays a crucial role in defining this aesthetic. While there are thousands of lantern styles to choose from, we advise maintaining a degree of uniformity in design. This results in a cohesive and visually pleasing streetscape and reduces maintenance costs and complexity. Lanterns that are aesthetically appealing yet robust, efficient, and easy to maintain are preferred.
  • Environmental Considerations: It’s crucial to factor in environmental considerations in street lighting design. For instance, choosing warm white colour temperatures is becoming more popular due to its less disruptive impact on nocturnal wildlife, particularly bats. At Aptus, we believe in sustainable solutions and leverage our expertise to design efficient and ecologically responsible lighting.


Navigating Common Queries

Our clients often come to us with certain questions and challenges. Some of the most common areas we’re asked about include:

  1. Proof of Approvals: All our work is done in compliance with regulations, and we provide the necessary proof of approvals to our clients.
  2. Design Specifications: Sometimes, designs provided by third-party designers do not meet council specifications. We ensure that our designs are always in line with the required standards.
  3. Project Planning: Clients might sometimes underestimate the importance of engaging a street lighting design team as early as possible in the planning stage. Early involvement can significantly streamline the process and help avoid costly redesigns further down the line.


Your Partner in Street Lighting Design & Installation

Choosing Aptus for your street lighting design and installation guarantees a comprehensive and fully managed service delivered by an award-winning team of specialists. Our nationwide operations, competitive rates, and a team of 250 fully equipped and skilled personnel make us the partner of choice for a broad range of clients. As an Independent Connections Provider (ICP), we provide direct connections to the distribution network.

Our services include street lighting design, planning, single operation connection, and disconnection. We have a dedicated in-house street lighting design team. Our designs are produced in accordance with BS5489-1:2020, BS EN 13201-1:2014, BS7671 and ILP guidelines, ensuring you receive nothing but the best.

Interested in seeing how we put our principles into practice? We invite you to read our case study, which showcases our approach to street lighting design and how it benefits our clients. Read our case study here.

“We understand that our clients aren’t just looking for a service provider – they’re seeking a partner;  a partner that brings expertise, integrity, and commitment to every project. We pride ourselves on our longstanding client relationships”, explains Adrian Cunningham, Technical Manager at Aptus, explains.

“With our comprehensive service range, sterling reputation, and our unwavering dedication to delivering the best possible solutions, we are uniquely positioned to assist with any street lighting needs. Whether it’s initial planning or seamless installation, our team is ready and eager to bring our best to your project.”


Charting the Path Forward

As we navigate towards a more sustainable future, the role of innovative, energy-efficient lighting solutions grows increasingly vital. We at Aptus are leading the way, offering versatile design solutions, comprehensive service from planning to installation, and a steadfast commitment to environmental responsibility.

Early engagement with a professional street lighting designer like us at Aptus can significantly impact your project’s success. Whether you’re dealing with a small-scale development or a major urban regeneration scheme, our expertise, industry accreditations, and customer-focused approach make us a standout choice in the field.

With summer upon us and the evenings bathed in soft light, now could be the ideal moment to turn your attention to your street lighting needs. Start planning your project with us at Aptus today – your partner in illuminating the path to a brighter, more sustainable future.


Frequently Asked Questions

What are the different types of street lighting designs?

Street lighting design can be broadly divided into two types: designs intended to be adopted by local authorities and those for private purposes. Each design is customised to the project’s specific needs, whether it is for new developments, road expansions, residential areas, or commercial complexes.


How can street lighting solutions be more environmentally friendly?

Modern street lighting solutions are moving towards more environmentally considerate options. The most notable trend is the shift to LED lights, which are significantly more energy-efficient than traditional lamps. Additionally, considerations are made for the impact on wildlife, such as choosing warm white colour temperatures that are less disruptive to nocturnal creatures like bats.


What are some important considerations when designing street lighting?

Designing effective street lighting is a complex process that demands an understanding of numerous factors and a careful balance among them.

  • Luminosity: The brightness of the light is critical for visibility and safety. The goal is to provide adequate illumination without causing unnecessary light pollution, achievable through the informed choice and positioning of luminaires.
  • Uniformity: Uniformity in lighting helps prevent the formation of dark spots, enhancing safety. A well-designed layout ensures consistent light levels across the area, creating a visually pleasing environment that’s comfortable for pedestrians and drivers alike.
  • Luminaires: The selection of a suitable luminaire, with an optimal optical distribution, at the appropriate mounting height is crucial to minimising light spill and obtrusive light effects. For most general sports and area lighting installations, using luminaires with asymmetric optics aimed correctly ensures minimum obtrusive light.
  • Sky Glow: Sky glow is the general diffuse illumination visible in the direction of large urban areas and industrial complexes. It’s not entirely dependent on the lighting design but also on factors such as atmospheric conditions. However, careful selection and positioning of luminaires can help limit the upward spill of light and consequently reduce sky glow.
  • Obtrusive Light Reduction: The design should consider the impact of lighting installations on surrounding areas. Light trespass into properties, particularly bedrooms, can be intrusive and disruptive. Careful planning can help keep light confined to its intended areas and minimise this effect.
  • Environmental Impact and Sustainability: It’s important to consider the environmental footprint of the lighting design. This involves choosing energy-efficient lighting options, such as LED technology, and considering the impact of lighting on nocturnal wildlife. Warm white colour temperatures are becoming more popular due to their lesser disruptive impact on wildlife.

Published on 4th July 2023

Adrian Cunningham

Adrian Cunningham

Technical Manager

Adrian Cunningham leads the Technical Management division at Aptus, specialising in Electrical Engineering within the Street Lighting & Utilities sector. He has demonstrated expertise in Electrical Estimating, Electrical Design, Contract Management, and Project Planning.

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