STREETS will be lit up by LED lighting that will be dimmed in the evening as part of a £12m scheme to overhaul road and street lighting.

There are 45,000 street lights in Wiltshire but just three per cent are currently the more energy efficient LED. Lighting the roadways currently costs the council £1.9m every year and new LED lights, which provide white lighting, are expected to offer savings of £1.3m every year.

The project will cost £12.2m and take nearly 12 years to pay off, but the council says dimmable LED lights offer clearer lighting to prevent road accidents. LED lights offer 20-25 years of coverage before breaking, whereas current sodium lights need to be replaced every three years.

During the Environment Select committee on Tuesday, Peter Binley, head of highways asset management, said: “One benefit we have is that we can tone down the lighting in energy sensitive areas as we have great flexibility, so we can dim in off-peak periods. We are looking for 100 per cent coverage.”

Cllr Ian Mclennan urged the council not to replace some lights that turn off during the night with a continuous stream of dim light. He added: “Villagers have discovered turning off the street lighting very good for seeing the night sky. Please don’t stop the turning off lets see the night sky.” Cllr Tony Jackson said: “Warminster people will welcome lights remaining brighter for longer in the High Street. Will we be able to control and allow variations?”Mr Binley confirmed that lighting could be adapted and changed more easily through the new system.

The committee agreed to dim new lighting between 8pm and 6am, with the lights being dimmed further after 11pm.