NIGHT time in Powys is about to get even darker as street lights are dimmed as part of a plan to save just under £28,000 a year.

The move has been approved by Powys County Council, and will see some bulbs replaced with more energy efficient types, and lights re-programmed to dim after a certain time of night to use less electricity.

Under delegated powers, environment portfolio holder Cllr Heulwen Hulme, (Independent – Rhiwcynon) has authorised passing £84,690 from PCC’s Invest to Save reserve fund, to the Highways Transport and Recycling (HTR) Service to fund the move.

This money will be spent on special bulbs and the labour costs of two engineers to go around fitting and reprogramming the lights later this year.

HTR head Adrian Jervis said: “The aim is to reduce the wattage of existing compatible street lighting installed during the last LED phase.

“This will be carried out over the course of six months and will generate a saving of around £27,900 a year.”

Mr Jervis added that over four years the money saved would be paid back into the reserve fund to repay the investment.

The council believes dimming the lights could save it more than £6,000 a year, with the LED bulbs adding another £21,465 to that sum.

In the past switching off street lights in the county has raised health and safety concerns, as well as fears that the crime rate would rise.

A proposal in the 2019/20 budget to save £150,000 by asking town and community councils to pay for street lighting was eventually dropped.

This was because of fears it could increase the problem of "county lines" drug dealers using the cover of darkness in the county.

PCC first took their initial decision to switch off some street lights in 2008.