Milton Keynes Council/ Ringway Infrastructure Services

Milton Keynes Council selected Zeta’s SmartScape Heritage LED conversion solution to upgrade the street lighting in five villages. Working with Ringway Infrastructure Services, Zeta provided in excess of 90 of its SmartScape Heritage gear trays, enabling the Council to upgrade to LEDs whilst retaining the heritage-style aesthetic within the villages.

Milton Keynes Council/ Ringway Infrastructure Services

The Challenge

Ringway is working on a major works programme with Milton Keynes Council to upgrade all of the street lighting in urban and rural areas. The Council is committed to rolling out LED technology to modernise its entire lighting estate, ensuring it meets the latest standards and is more energy-efficient.

Five villages within the borough – Weston Underwood, Emberton, Sherington, Woburn Sands and Castlethorpe featured heritage lanterns. The Council wanted to ensure that the upgrade was conducted sympathetically, rather than replace the lights with modern variants, it wanted to maintain the same traditional aesthetic in each village – which meant they needed to either install new heritage lanterns or retrofit the existing lights. This was a key criteria in all of the villages, but particularly important in Weston Underwood, which is a conservation area.

The Solution

Zeta had previously supplied its SmartScape Heritage LED conversion solution for another project in the borough, upgrading the lanterns on Grade 1 listed Tickford Bridge, one of the last remaining iron bridges in Britain, which led Milton Keynes Council to specify the solution once again.

Designed, developed and manufactured in Zeta’s Bicester-based production facility, SmartScape Heritage is a truly flexible solution. With its intelligent design, the integrated gear tray can be constructed to fit into a vast range of different heritage lantern shapes and sizes, making it ideal for each village’s differing requirements.

In Weston Underwood, Zeta provided 35 retrofit gear trays enabling the legacy lanterns to be retained. Thanks to Zeta’s flexible solution, Ringway was able to replace the existing lights with new heritage-style lanterns – six in total within Sherington, four were installed in Emberton and a further twelve in Castlethorpe village along with 35 retrofit gear tray and bowl replacement for Woburn Sands.

Key Benefits

In line with other Council’s nationwide, Milton Keynes Council was converting its lighting stock to LED lighting to improve safety, save energy and reduce its carbon footprint. LEDs consume up to 70 per cent less power than conventional technologies and an additional advantage is that they also reduce carbon emissions at the same level.

Milton Keynes Council is proactively striving to reduce its environmental impact. Over and above the carbon savings it will achieve by converting to LED technology, by selecting Zeta – a UK-based manufacturer, it has removed the additional carbon impact associated with ‘shipping’ in products from Europe and further afield. This ‘buy local’ policy also applies to utilising a local workforce to manage the rollout.

Upgrading the legacy aging and energy-hungry lanterns in the five villages will see the Council benefit from a significant reduction in energy bills. Additionally as LEDs boast a long lifetime – typically 100,000 hours, additional savings on maintenance bills are also expected to be significant.

One of the overriding objectives of this initiative was to retain the traditional aesthetics within each village – this was a key requirement of each Parish Council and replacing the lanterns with the modern LED streetlights adopted in other areas, was not an option. Zeta’s retrofit system meant the upgrades could be completed sympathetically with each system developed on a village by village basis.

In Woburn Sands in particular, SmartScape Heritage’s flexible design really came to the fore. The Council had stipulated that the legacy lanterns should be retained. However whilst all 35 lanterns were the same style, they had been produced by many different manufacturers over the years, which mean that each unit was slightly different and one size definitely did not fit all. Zeta stepped up, creating a bespoke retrofit system for each lantern, enabling all to be upgraded and re-installed.


After installing Zeta's SmartScape Heritage at Tickford Bridge, our client (Milton Keynes Council) specified Zeta Specialist Lighting for further installations. Each of the villages featured a mix of conservation-style lanterns and old carriage-type lanterns, and it was key to retain that heritage. The residents and Parish Councils are very happy with the upgrades, since installing them, we haven't had any negative feedback at all.
Gary Thorne, Street Lighting Manager, Ringway Infrastructure Services
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