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About 1500 street light systems across the Clutha district will be converted from sodium vapour to more energy-efficient, low-maintenance LED lights.
The work, expected to take about four months to complete, recently got under way in the Catlins and crews will progressively work their way through the district.
Clutha District Council service delivery group manager Jules Witt said the work was being undertaken as the result of a government initiative to offer councils a subsidy for converting from sodium vapour lights.
"Once the lights are installed council will be able to achieve savings in power consumption and in street light maintenance.''
The new units would be easy to spot, as they were small in size, square and produced a brighter light than the traditional street lighting.
"This is not a bulb replacement. It is the installation of a whole new electronic luminaire, the complete light unit.
"There are about 1500 luminaires to be changed around the district.''
A separate project to replace lights on state highways and some of the council's larger roads will be carried out later.