Kerry County Council’s 12,700 plus public lights are costing the authority €2m to run each year, amounting to half of its energy bill. A new lighting policy adopted by councillors will now focus on energy efficient LED lighting, focused on areas where they are needed. In 1998 there were approximately 4,100 public lights in Kerry. Eighteen years later, that number has jumped to over 12,700 (12,737). Director of Services Charlie O’Sullivan says the effects of climate change and rising sea levels have been particularly noticeable in Kerry and highlight the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the carbon footprint. He told the monthly meeting of Kerry County Council it was also an objective to encourage measures to support the Kerry International Dark-Sky Reserve. He said over 580 of the county’s public lights were located within the reserve and where resources allowed, it was intended to replace the public lights throughout Kerry with a dark-sky compliant lighting system. Last year, Kerry councillors received 97 requests for new lights. Fianna Fáil councillor John Francis Flynn warned he didn’t want the Dark-Sky Reserve to be used as an excuse not to install public lighting in an area that needs it.