Smarter streetlights for Oamaru and surrounds

Published on 03 July 2024


Streetlights in Oamaru and the surrounding area are being upgraded in the next few months, with the aim of saving money and expanding their potential uses.

The photocells on the top of the lamps are being replaced with a smart-system control unit – which will allow Waitaki District Council to control the lights directly.

The smart-system will save money, by providing more reliable usage data for billing, reducing total power consumption, and reducing electricity drain at peak times.

It also has additional functions for the future, including dimming lights during low-use times, turning some lights off completely during parts of the night (for dark sky projects, or during Aurora Australis events) or even enable a flashing function for use during Civil Defence alerts.

Work has already begin, and the system should be operational in Oamaru in mid-August. While the smart-system units are being installed, contractors are also cleaning, inspecting and maintaining the lights. The smart-system will cover the streets in Oamaru, but not the State Highway.

While Waitaki District Council usually has delegated power for these lights, that is on hold while NZTA considers a national management plan for State Highway streetlighting – meaning they will not be included in the upgrade at this time.

A result of this may be some flickering in our streetlights when they turn on, due to the lights operating on two different systems. The majority of Oamaru and the surrounding area’s lights will be running on the smart-system, and Council will work with NZTA on a plan to include the highway network should they require it.


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