Attachments to Street Lights
If you have a query about street lighting in
West Sussex, you may find your answer in the frequently asked questions below.
The majority of Street Lighting in the residential areas of West Sussex is controlled by part night photocells. These photocells switch the lights on at dusk and they remain on until the middle of the night. The lights then switch off for five and a half hours before switching back on. The photocells are controlled by daylight hours, rather than a timeclock, this means that when we refer to the middle of the night we mean the midpoint between dusk and dawn, not 12am.
West Sussex has been at the fore front of part night street lighting since the early 70’s and the continued use of it has been set out by the County Councillor’s in a bid to safeguard the County Council against the future predicted large energy price increases, helps sustain our current energy bills, reduces carbon emissions and ultimately uses tax payer’s money efficiently.
As daylight hours change throughout the year the part night photocells monitor the times of dusk and dawn each day to determine when the middle of the night is. The use of daylight to determine the switch on and off times is subject to an annual rhythm that can naturally lead to a 15 to 20 minute variation in timings throughout the year. This can become particularly noticeable during the lead up to the change between British Summer Time (BST) and Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) during the autumn period.
For a short period of time in the autumn, before the clocks change, the lighting will not switch on until about 6.30am. Once the clocks change to GMT the lighting will then revert to switching on at around 5.30am. This is due to the street lights not altering their timings when we change our clocks. The streetlights’ on and off times are controlled by daylight hours, not a time clock. The photo cell timing is industry standard, pre-set, and is not adjustable.
The street lights do not alter their timings when we change our clocks, their on and off times are controlled by daylight hours not a time clock. This means when the UK moves to Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) the one hour clock shift back means that the lights switch off an hour earlier. The photo cells that controls the timing of the street lights is industry standard, pre-set, and is not adjustable.
The use of daylight to determine the switch on and off times of part night photocells is subject to an annual rhythm that can naturally lead to a 15 to 20 minute variation in timings throughout the year. This can become particularly noticeable after the clocks change because we make a large jump in time and the photocells do not. For example, before the change to GMT your light may have been going off around 1am. After the change to GMT happens it will switch off at around midnight. These timings are subject to a 15 to 20 minute variation throughout the year, meaning the lights may be turning off up to 20 mins earlier. This variation will reduce over time bringing the switch off closer to midnight.
If you wish to gain authorisation to make any attachment to a street light you must apply for it. Unauthorised attachments are not permitted and may be removed when discovered.
To start an application to make an attachment to a street light please visit the Third Party Attachments section on this website.
The majority of street lights in West Sussex are owned either by WSCC or a local Parish Council. SSE maintain all to WSCC’s street lights under a PFI contract. This contract also includes some local Parish Councils.
You can report faults on units maintained by the PFI contract using the fault reporting tool here
If your light is not featured on the map then it is likely that the street light belongs to a local Parish Council who are not part of the PFI. It may alternatively be privately owned or belong to a housing association. SSE does not maintain these units, and faults should be reported directly to the local Parish Council or company that manages them.