IT'S been three years in the making, but malfunctioning streetlights could be forgotten as early as October.
Orange City Council voted on Tuesday night to convert the estimated 8500 streetlights across the city to brighter, more efficient LEDs.
The council had been waiting on the state budget to see if the government would fund the Southern Lights project across 41 councils, but it was not included.
As a result, Orange council has voted to pay Essential Energy to switch the top section of the streetlights with LEDs replacements at a cost of $2.5 million.
Mayor Reg Kidd said he was disappointed the project had not received funding.
"I thought this was there with government, to be quite frank, for a whole range of reasons - low energy prices, more efficient, good for the environment, you just wonder what other bells and whistles you have to put onto it," he said.
Streetlight saga in Orange
The council will borrow the funds, but expects to recoup the cost within five years through energy savings.
It paid almost $1.2 million for streetlighting in the past year, with $500,000 to be saved following the rollout.
Cr Kidd said the decision also meant social benefits.
"The lights have the potential to be much brighter than what we have now," he said.
"We can also make brighter areas in the city where there had been concerns for safety."
We didn't want to replace them with the older lights.Acting general manager David Waddell
He said the council would have the control to brighten areas to create a better nighttime atmosphere.
But acting director David Waddell said the opposite was also possible, with residential streets able to be dimmed if necessary.
He said the council would welcome feedback on brightness levels.
"We might have brighter lights 'til 10pm, for example, and back it down 'til 5am," he said.
In future, extra technology could be added to allow real-time fault detections, easier maintenance and CCTV connection.
A report in June said Orange and Bathurst were highest on the priority list.
Mr Waddell said it was because 10 per cent of Orange's lights were either out or at critical maintenance level.
"We didn't want to replace them with the older lights," he said.
He acknowledged Central NSW Joint Organisation executive officer Jenny Bennett's efforts in reaching the milestone.
DO YOU WANT MORE ORANGE NEWS?
- Receive our free newsletters delivered to your inbox, as well as breaking news alerts. Sign up below ...