THE first competitive Somerset fixture under the new floodlights at the Cooper Associates County Ground will take place on April 26.

Essex are the visitors for the day/night Royal London One-Day Cup South Group encounter, which begins at 1pm in Taunton.

It is one of two floodlit 50-over home matches Somerset are to play this summer, with the visit of Surrey on May 7 also to make use of the new lights.

The new start time for T20 home matches on Friday night is 6.30pm, a welcome change for working supporters who may have found it hard to make some of last season's 4.30pm midweek starts.

County Championship matches will continue to start at 11am until September, when the start time moves forward to 10.30am.

The lights will also be used for the day/night Cricket World Cup fixture between Afghanistan and New Zealand on June 8.

Two floodlights are currently in place at the ground, with three more to follow in the coming weeks.

Testing will take place in March.

Somerset matches under lights

Fri, April 26: Somerset v Essex – RLODC (1pm)

Tue, May 7: Somerset v Surrey – RLODC (1pm)

Vitality Blast

Fri, July 26: Somerset v Hampshire (6.30pm)

Fri, Aug 2: Somerset v Surrey (6.30pm)

Sat, Aug 10: Somerset v Kent (7pm) – part of a double header with Western Storm v Lancashire Thunder (3pm)

Fri, Aug 16: Somerset v Gloucestershire (6.30pm)

Sat, Aug 24: Somerset v Glamorgan (7pm)

Fri, Aug 30: Somerset v Middlesex (6.30pm)

To see Somerset's full 2019 fixture list, click here.