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energy best practiceLED Streetlights

Los Angeles, CA


LA LED Streetlights
Photo source:

To replace 140,000 existing streetlight fixtures in Los Angeles with light emitting diode (LED) units, with a goal of reducing energy use by 40%, reducing carbon emissions by 40,500 tons and reducing streetlight maintenance.


As of October 2012, 101,724 units have been converted from high pressure sodium (HPS) lights to LED lights throughout the City. The following numbers reflect averaged totals from the City’s 15 districts:

  • Annual energy savings have increased to 63.2% or 49.84 GWh
  • Annual carbon dioxide reductions equal 29,482 metric tons
  • Average energy use has dropped from 19,319 kW to 7,104 kW after converting to LED lights
  • Annual savings amount to $4,458,607

Background & Summary

Collaboration between the Los Angeles Bureau of Street Lighting, the Department of Water and Power, and the Clinton Foundation produced the Street Lighting Energy Efficiency Program in October 2008.

In order to replace the current street lights, the City created a pilot stage in which light fixtures are submitted for evaluation based on whether or not they meet all of the following requirements:

  1. Must be commercially available – prototypes will not be accepted
  2. Use at least 30% less energy than high pressure sodium fixtures
  3. Production capacity exceeds 1,500 units per month
  4. Must be marked with a full production catalogue number that matches manufacturer documentation
  5. Submittal of a full sheet of product specifications; warranty information must be included
  6. Designed to meet IESNA lighting standards and must be classified as cutoff, with no significant glare (IES Files must be submitted)
  7. Tested by an independent lab in accordance with LM-79 (documentation must be submitted)
  8. Has a standard 3 prong locking photocell receptacle
  9. Easily connects to a standard 2.5” diameter horizontal tenon
  10. Does not have any fans or moving parts
  11. Driver is located inside the housing, but should be easily accessible
  12. Housing must not be constructed of polycarbonate that will change color over time.
  13. Power Factor > .90
  14. LED driving current < 525mA
  15. LED Color Temp. (4000-5000K)
  16. CRI > 70

Through implementation of this program, the City expects to reduce energy use by a minimum of 40% and reduce carbon emissions by an estimated 40,500 tons annually, equivalent to removing 6,700 cars a year off the road. After the transition, streetlight maintenance will also be significantly reduced. Over 7 years, the conversion is projected to save taxpayers $48 million.

Public Outreach & Education:
For the pilot, a letter was sent to homeowners in areas where the City tested new energy efficient streetlight fixtures. A follow-up survey generated 94 generally favorable responses.

Fiscal Impacts

Funds through a loan, energy rebate, and the Street Lighting Maintenance Assessment Fund (generating $42 million dollars annually) will cover all associated costs, including operation and maintenance of the City’s street lighting system, energy, materials, labor, and cost for the support of other City entities.

The loan will be repaid over a period of seven years entirely through savings in energy and maintenance costs with no adverse impact to the General Fund. After the loan is repaid, the City will save $10 million per year through more efficient LED lighting.

As of October 2012, annual energy savings is at $4,458,607.

Contact for This Best Practice

Name: Ed Ebrahimian
Job Title: Director at Bureau of Street Lighting
Jurisdiction: City of Los Angeles
Phone: (213) 847-2020

Last updated November 24, 2012



Energy Efficiency

Renewable Energy

Climate Change