Essex Highways, Safer, Greener, Healthier

Part-night lighting

About part night lighting (PNL)

Over 70% of the 129,000 council-owned streetlights are operating part night lighting, with certain exceptions that meet the key criteria outlined below.  Part night street lights are switched off between 1am and 5am, Tuesday to Sunday (midnight until 5am on Monday mornings). 

To see which lights we switch off, please view the map below which shows all street lights owned and operated by us and our illuminated signs / bollards.

Exception criteria

Certain locations meeting the exception criteria will continue to be lit through the night, such as:

  • Sites where there are a large number of conflicting traffic movements (eg roundabouts) which are on significant routes (generally those lit by columns greater than 6m high)
  • Sites where street lights are installed as a result of accident remedial measures
  • Town Centre areas where there is one or more of the following features:
    • Publicly maintained CCTV
    • High proportion of high security premises (eg. banks, jewellers)
    • Areas of high crime risk
    • High concentration of people at night such as transport interchanges, nightclubs etc.
  • Main approaches to town centre areas where there is a mix of development between residential and commercial/industrial (eg. not exclusively residential)
  • Sites where the police can demonstrate that there is likely to be an increase in crime if the lights are switched off during part of the night (or that there will be a decrease in crime if the lights are switched back on)
  • Remote footpaths and alleys linking residential streets
  • Where there is a statutory requirement to provide lighting.

Lighting for road signs, traffic bollards etc., are not be affected.

Local agreements

We have local agreements with Basildon, Harlow and Chigwell Parish councils to maintain all night lights in these areas.


Street lights in parts of Epping operate part night lighting between 1am and 5am all week.

Street Lighting Map and Key

This map only displays the layer that shows our street lighting assets, it does not show street lights operated by others or private street lights. Our Highways Information Map includes more information and layers that may be of interest to you. You will need to accept the terms and conditions before using this map.

Questions and answers

Click on the question to reveal/hide the answer:

Can Essex County Council legally turn off lights?
Why can’t you only switch off every other light? (1 in 2)
Why not replace the lighting with new technologies?
Can I pay to keep the street light outside my house on?
Will I get a reduction in my council tax?
Why my street?
What happens if there is an increase in crime/accident levels where part night lighting is in operation?
What about people who are partially sighted, elderly, start work early or finish late?
Can I claim against the Council if I am injured during the hours when street lights are not lit?
What happens if the cost of my car/home insurance increases due to part night lighting?
How can requests be made to turn lights back on?
Have the emergency services been consulted?
In my area, when the street lights go out, how come other lighting is still on at this time?
How much did part night lighting cost to implement?
What are the increasing energy costs?
Who made the decision for the part night lighting project?
What was the consultation process?
Why were residents not consulted?
Will part night lighting be reviewed?
Why can’t you turn the lights off until the trains and buses cease to operate?
Why can’t you turn the lights on earlier to enable commuters’ safe passage to train and bus terminals?
When will the part night lighting start in my area?
What is the Essex County Council going to do to make our streets and homes safe when the lights go off?
What about the increase of road accidents during the period that the lights are switched off?
What about the fear of crime?
What about crime?
Who is going to pay for security lights to my premises now that the Essex County Council is failing to provide adequate security measures?
Which other Counties have introduced part night lighting?
What are the environmental benefits?