Donegal County Council to borrow €13m to replace all its light bulbs

Declan Magee


Declan Magee


Donegal County Council to borrow €13m to replace all its light bulbs

Donegal County Council is planning to borrow €13m to replace the light bulbs in all of its public lights.

Councillors today approved the loan over a five-year period  for the upgrade of public lighting.

The council is planning to fit all of its  approximately 17,500 bulbs with modern energy-saving LED lights.

A light bulb used in almost more than half of the council's 17,500 public lights is be discontinued. The lightbulb, known as a SOX lamp, will not be available by 2019 after the last company to manufacture it stops production.

The council has sought financial assistance from the government to replacement the SOX lamps  but does not  believe this will be forthcoming.

The SOX lamps, of which there are about 9,000 in the county, are orange-colored lights which are found in towns, along roads and in housing estates.

The council said its immediate priority is the replacement of the 900 SOX lamps, which is expected to cost €5.8m.

The cost will be either €350 or €800 per light for either the replacement with an LED bulb or a fuller solution which would be the replacement of the housing unit and rewiring.

All SOX lamps in towns, villages and on public roads will be fully replaced while the council believes it will need to fully replace about 50 per cent of  lights in housing estates.

About 70 per cent of the SOX lamps are on council-owned steel columns with the rest on ESB-owned wooden columns.

LED lights

Additionally the council is planning to replace all its public lights with modern energy-saving LED lights.

The council says it is expected that Transport Infrastructure Ireland will replace all lights on national routes.

The council approved a €500,000 loan two years ago for this and around 1,800 lights have been replaced to date..

The council plans to replace all the SOX lights in the next two years and borrow a total of €13m for the public lighting upgrade over the next five years.