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Information on street lights in Northumberland, including how to report faulty street lights and your frequently asked street lighting questions answered.

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Street lighting, illuminated signs and illuminated bollards  

Northumberland County Council is responsible for the maintenance of over 50,000 streetlights, lit signs and traffic bollards.   

Dangerous issues

Any issue deemed to pose an immediate danger to the public will be attended within two hours. If you think a situation fits these criteria, it should be reported to us by calling 0345 600 6400 to ensure that it’s dealt with quickly.    

Some issues which are considered urgent are: 

  • Group outage – 4 or more lights in a row out. 
  • Door off - access panel to lighting unit removed. 
  • Vehicular impact - damage to lighting unit by a vehicle. 
  • Bowl/lantern hanging - anything hanging from a lighting unit. 
  • Cable damage - damage to underground supply network caused by excavation. 
  • Traffic signal failure - any fault with traffic signals. 

Non-dangerous issues

  To report a non-dangerous problem to us for attention, please see below: 


Usually a streetlight or lit sign will be attended within four working days. If we can’t repair the light on our first visit, arrangements will be made for further works to be carried out either by ourselves or the regional electricity company (Northern Powergrid or Scottish Power.   

Where the fault is the responsibility of the regional electricity company, and may take several weeks to repair, updates will be provided on the Northumberland County Council website. 

Lighting improvements 

If you live in an area in which you have concerns about the level of street lighting, please write to Gavin Barlow:   

Via post: 
Gavin Barlow 
Street Lighting Manager 
Street Lighting & Electrical Team 
Northumberland County Council 
Cowley Road 
NE24 5TF   


Your street lighting questions answered

How many lights are there in Northumberland? 

We currently maintain: 

  • 47,157 street lights
  • 2,698 illuminated traffic signs 
  • 1,188 traffic bollards 

What are the benefits of LED lighting? 

LED streetlights typically use around half the amount of energy used. With the new technology lasting longer, there will only be minimal maintenance required.    

My street seems darker since the fitting of the LED lights. Why is this? 

When lighting with white lights, the lighting levels need to be slightly reduced to prevent glare or dazzle. The LED lights are also manufactured and fitted to help reduce light pollution, ensuring footpaths and roads are well lit but avoiding an intrusion of light into people’s homes and gardens.    

The sole function of the street lighting is to light the highway. This ensures that the council meets its duty of care to road and footpath users.    

How will LED lighting affect street safety? 

LED lights will also support methods of better crime detection. LED lights improve images captured at night from CCTV, as well as allowing clothing colours and car registration numbers to be more easily identified. This will make our streets safer and help us to give a more accurate description to police.    

If the council wants to save money, why doesn’t it look at turning the lights down during the night when there are fewer people and vehicles around? 

The new LED lights are equipped with technology that enables the council to ‘dim’ street lighting at certain times. Many local authorities now use this method or even ‘part-night lighting,’ where they turn the lights off on certain roads between midnight and 6am.    

In Northumberland, we want to ensure roads remain lit at all times. However, in order to ensure maximum savings, and to ensure that there is a lesser impact upon the environment, we will be dimming the LED lights between midnight and 6am.    

How can we let the council know our views? 

Contact the street lighting team by email at 

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