Street lights are installed to light public roads and accessways for traffic and pedestrian safety purposes. Major roads within the urban areas of the city are brightly lit, with less street lighting provided on minor urban roads and in rural areas.
Reporting a problem with a street light
You can contact us with any enquiry regarding street lighting, including the following issues:
- Lights not working or flickering.
- Lights left on during the day.
- Lights left off at night or with incorrect timings.
- Damaged lights - particularly if it is causing a safety hazard.
- Electric pole with street light knocked over.
- Nuisance caused by positioning of light.
- Lights being obscured by trees.
- Dim or outdated lighting.
- A need for stronger or additional lights.
Please note: Auckland Transport maintains street lights above street level. Vector is responsible for the power to street lights below street level.
Street Lighting Policy
A study on road lighting was undertaken in 2002-2003 with the primary objectives of:
- recommending appropriate standards for lighting the city's roads and pedestrian areas
- assessing the performance of existing lighting against the standards recommended
- finding ways to alleviate adverse effects of trees on lighting
- determining how to use white light optimally
- identifying needs for upgrading the city's lighting to the proposed standards and provide a strategy for the upgrading.
Note: that this study applies primarily to roadways, and pedestrian footpaths/areas that directly adjoin the roadway. Where pedestrian footpaths are not associated with roadways, or for other pedestrian focussed areas, please refer to the Pedestrian Lighting Guide.
Recommendations from the street lighting study
A report based on the study findings was tabled at the Transport Committee meeting on 3 March 2003 seeking committee approval for adoption of the standards and the policies recommended in the study. Report recommendations adopted by Transport Committee are:
a. That the lighting standards as set out in Appendix 1 (PDF 98KB) be adopted for the city's roads and pedestrian areas, it being noted that the recommended standards follow AS/NZS 1158: Road Lighting for roads but apply a higher standard for pedestrian oriented areas. Note: The other light technical parameters set out in AS/NZS 1158: also apply.
b. That the city's lighting be progressively upgraded to the recommended standards through incorporation into appropriate urban upgrading, streetscape projects, transport safety improvements and renewal programmes.
c. That white coloured lighting (metal halide) as opposed to golden yellow coloured lighting (high pressure sodium) be installed in:
- the city centre and other main centres
- commercial areas with heavy pedestrian use in the night
- areas of significant tourist, historical, amusement, and entertainment interest
- public transport facilities
- areas with security cameras
- major intersections
- pedestrian routes actively used at night that are regarded as high-risk areas.
d. That the code of practice for addressing street trees as set out in Appendix 3 - Tree Policy be adopted.
The appendices provide details of the lighting standards and policies:
Appendix 1 (PDF 98KB ) - the lighting standard titled 'Proposed levels of service and light technical parameters for lighting of roads, pathways and public activity'.
The standards and policies are now formally adopted by the council, and to be adopted in relevant renewal and new work programmes.
For a copy of the CD containing the full report of the lighting study and Road Lighting Categories listing of city streets, contact us.
Street Lighting Policy - appendix 2 white light policy
The Street Lighting Policy Appendix 2 report examines the literature and opinion within Auckland City with regards to the use of 'white' light as opposed to 'golden yellow' light, for new and existing public lighting works.
The international trend in recent years has been to light public places in city centres and places of interest with 'white' light. The main advantages and disadvantages of doing so, are as follows:
- imparts natural appearance due to better colour rendition and generates a general feeling of security and wellbeing
- makes city centres and places of interest appear more natural and attractive, and thereby attract more people
- research indicates that 'white' light may reduce an observer's reaction time under normal street lighting conditions.
- more expensive to own, operate and maintain.
- colour shift in the older technology lamps
- lamps contains mercury amalgam - potentially hazardous mercury waste (though less than for mercury vapour lamps currently in use).
Opinion within Auckland City would appear to be favourable towards using 'white' light in areas of commercial interest, in areas with high night-time pedestrian traffic and in public amenity areas.
Although the benefits of 'white' light are mainly aesthetic and therefore subjective, there is a growing body of opinion and research that 'white' light produces notable benefits in reduced reaction times. It does however also add to the 'comfort' of amenity lighting.
For these reasons this report recommends the adoption of 'white' light producing luminaires at intersections between major roads and at main centres (particularly active commercial areas with heavy pedestrian use at night and where pedestrians cross roads, eg zebra crossings, refuges and major intersections) and in other places of substantial historical and economic interest.
Street Lighting Policy - appendix 3 tree policy
The Street Lighting Policy Appendix 3 report was commissioned to examine the issues of providing adequate lighting to roads, when trees are present and may cause undesirable shadowing. Also considered are ways in which new roading installations can be designed to mitigate these issues.
The results of this study have come up with the following solutions:
Where trees are existing
- For mature tree-lined roads, if single sided and of narrow nature, poles need to be located on the road side opposite the trees. If there are trees on both road sides, lighting columns on each side may be required within the minimum of 700mm of the kerb and having long outreach arms and located midway between trees. Careful pruning may be necessary to allow the light to pass under the tree canopy to the road. Consultation with the power and telecommunications utilities is required if there is overhead reticulation.
- Mature trees, where there are existing overhead, power lines will require long outreach brackets from the existing power poles with lighting columns supplementing from the other side of the road.
- Poles should be placed equidistant and at least 5m from the centre of any tree. Trees should not be planted where root structure can interfere with underground lighting cabling or other underground services unless tree pits are used to confine the root structure.
For new roading installations
- Where there are areas of new planting, consideration should always be given first to the potential impact of shadows from road lighting for safety reasons when selecting the positioning and the species of trees.
- In new subdivisions lighting column positions must be determined to conform to the Auckland City road lighting requirements at the onset and these positions fixed. The subdivider often installs these and it may be necessary to more closely specify what is acceptable. Only then should the trees be located by the Auckland City arborists and planted to a minimum number and size to create the future daytime aesthetics and to be within the minimum distance requirements of the lighting columns.
There is no simple single solution applicable for all roads or streets, which already have existing trees, but there should be a high level of coordination between the trees and the placement of lighting columns to provide an acceptable urban landscape.