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Street Lighting:

To report a faulty lighting unit, contact the Roads team by reporting Online, by Phone, or by Text Message

We are responsible for the repair and maintenance of over 40,000 street lighting units (including associated signs, bollards, traffic lights and pedestrian crossings).

We aim to:

  • Repair all known street lighting faults within 7 calendar days
  • Repair all traffic light faults within 48 hours (24 hours if a red light is not working)

We are not responsible for lighting units on Trunk Roads. Any faulty streetlights on the A90 or A96 should be reported to Bear Scotland.

Part-Night Street Light Switch Off

Aberdeenshire Council is proactively thinking of ways to reduce energy, carbon dioxide and costs, so it is rolling out a part night street light switch off scheme that will cut carbon as well as save vital funding. There are approximately 40,000 street lights within Aberdeenshire that are maintained by Aberdeenshire Council. Annual energy consumption is in the order of 16,000kWh, costing £1.6M. The CO2 output from street lighting is around 8750t.

A trial will be introduced initially in Auchenblae, Auchterless, Monymusk, Rora, Sandend and Sauchen. If proved a success the scheme may be introduced to more settlements. The Council has tried to spread the trial across the whole of the Aberdeenshire area by choosing one settlement in each of the six areas. The chosen locations are all good examples of typical rural settlements which will provide sound feedback on the success of the trial. Locations of major junctions and roundabouts have been avoided in the trial for safety reasons.

Frequently asked Questions (FAQs)

How does part night lighting work? top of page

Part night lighting is exactly as it sounds – the lights will only operate for part of the night. The part night street light switch off trial will be introduced in March 2011 with street lights being switched off from around midnight until around 6:00am.

We are trialling two different technologies to switch off the streetlights. We will either be replacing the current photocells with another or inserting time clocks into the main pillars. The differences in the two technologies are outlined below:

Time Clocks

Time clocks are inserted into the main pillars and set to switch the street lights off at a particular time and switch back on at another. They can account for the change to BST in March so the switch off and on times will remain the same throughout the year; 12.00am until 6.00am.


Photocells operate by calculating midnight as the “middle of the night”- the mid point between sunset and sunrise. During winter (GMT) the “middle of the night” is midnight. The photocells can then be set to switch off a set number of hours before midnight and come back on a set number of hours after. The use of daylight changes to determine the time of day is subject to an annual rhythm that naturally leads to a ±15 minute variation in timing throughout the year.

As well as the natural variance, the photocells do not account for the change to BST. Therefore, when the clocks change to BST in March, the photocell timings will remain at GMT resulting in the street lights switching off an hour later (1:00am ±15 minutes). The timings will return to the original settings when the clocks go back to GMT in October.

These two issues have been considered when programming the photocells. They have been set so that they should never switch off before midnight and on after 6:00am in both winter and summer.

In most of the settlements taking part in the trial there will be both time clocks and photocells used. It is therefore expected that different groupings of lights will switch off/on at different times.
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Can the Council legally turn off the lights?

Yes. There is no statutory requirement on local authorities in the UK to provide public lighting, the law states that the Roads Act (Scotland) 1984 empowers local authorities to light roads in which their opinion ought to be, but does not place a duty.

Will 30mph speed limits be affected if lights are switched off?

A 30mph speed limit automatically applies in any road containing a system of street lights placed not more than 200 yards apart, unless signposted with a different speed limit. There is no current law stating that these lights have to be switched on all night to be applicable. Therefore, motorists are advised that the usual 30mph speed limit will be in place regardless of whether the lights are switched on or off.

How much money is this trial likely to save?

It has been estimated that the trial will create approximately a 43% reduction in burning hours and electricity costs – this is based on current electricity prices.

top of pageNew Housing Developments

Before work can start on the construction of a new road, the developer must obtain Roads Construction Consent.

The developer is responsible for the provision and maintenance of street lighting on roads and footways that are to be adopted by us.

Once street lighting is operational within a new development, the developer is responsible for its maintenance until we formally adopt the road.

We can offer a design service for road lights on a rechargeable basis, further details on this can be obtained by contacting your Local Roads office.