Swindon street lights 'brighter than Sun' residents complain

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Street light outside Helena Bowie's houseImage source, Helena Bowie
Image caption,
Helena Bowie said it feels like daylight in the middle of the night"

New street lights in Swindon have drawn complaints from residents who say they are "brighter than the Sun" and "like floodlights".

The local authority is upgrading the town's 28,000 street lights to LED lanterns, which it says will consume less energy and reduce light pollution.

However it said the lights cannot be dimmed as soon as they are installed because they need "special software".

People living near the newly installed lights have voiced their frustration.

Helena Bowie said they were so bright outside her house in Penhill it was affecting her sleep and upsetting her husband who is autistic and has light sensitivity.

She said: "It's like daylight in the middle of the night. They are far too bright.

"I feel like I'm living at Wembley stadium."

Mrs Bowie said she complained to the council shortly after the lights were installed three weeks ago, but has not yet had a response.

Image source, Helena Bowie
Image caption,
Mrs Bowie said her sleep is being affected and the council has not responded to her complaint

On Facebook, Rebecca Mellor said: "Why have the council changed all the street lights in Penhill to now be brighter than the sun?! So much light pollution and won't be able to see the stars now."

Joshua Cook described them as "floodlights", and Sheila Kelly said: "I hate them. I have blackout curtains and they are still too bright."

A Swindon Borough Council spokesman said: "Upgrading Swindon's 28,000 street lights to LED lanterns is a huge programme of work, which will take about 18 months to complete.

"Once installed, the new lights will consume less energy, reduce light pollution and will save the council hundreds of thousands of pounds a year.

"Unfortunately, the new lanterns cannot be dimmed as soon as they are installed because this needs to be applied via special software.

"We would like to reassure residents that we are working with the contractor to implement the dimming function as quickly as possible."

It said any residents experiencing problems should contact the council.

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