FAQ
1.
Why doesn't my street have streetlights?
Until the mid-1950's, the City did not require developers of housing, commercial and industrial property to install street lighting. So in the older areas of the City, most streets did not have streetlights, unless the developer voluntarily installed them, or a neighborhood group or their Council Office started a project to install them at the property owners' expense.

Only those who have street lighting pay for it. Through the purchase of a property which has street lighting, or through an assessment for a street lighting project, property owners pay for installation of street lighting in Los Angeles. Maintenance costs are assessed annually. This is not paid for from the basic property taxes or other taxes. New assessments require a vote of the property owners in compliance with Proposition 218, now part of the California Constitution.

2.
What kinds of streetlights are there?
In Los Angeles, there are lights on wooden power poles (Utilitarian Lights), and lights on steel or concrete poles (Electrolier Streetlights). The following are descriptions of each.

UTILITARIAN LIGHTS (ON WOODEN POWER POLES)

Upon request by nearby residents or businesses, the City may install one light on an existing power pole at an intersection, or on a street or in an alley no closer than every 300 feet, at no cost for installation or maintenance. This lighting is only for minimal traffic safety.  The DWP does the physical installation.  Contact the DWP at 1-800-dial-dwp (1-800-342-5397).

ELECTROLIER STREETLIGHTS (ON STEEL OR CONCRETE POLES)

This type of installation is for complete, uniform lighting on streets. Property owners are responsible for their share of the costs of 1) installation and 2) annual maintenance. City policy is to install electroliers with underground wiring, that meets our standards for lighting level and uniformity.

3.
What type of lighting fixtures is being used, and how does it compare to older types?
High pressure sodium (HPS) lighting is being used in most of the City. It is five times as efficient as incandescent lighting, and twice as efficient as mercury vapor lighting. HPS lights have orange-pink lamp color, and allow you to see all colors of objects. They do not attract flying insects the way other lamps do. HPS lighting is installed to replace incandescent and mercury vapor lighting to save energy and reduce operating cost. Replacement HPS lights are designed to provide more illumination than the previous lights, and use a "cutoff" fixture that is flat on the bottom, to minimize source glare and avoid most light into windows and the sky. For questions about lighting modernization or replacement, call (213) 847-1432.
4.
Who is responsible for the installation of streetlights?
The Bureau of Street Lighting (Department of Public Works) has overall responsibility for design, construction and operation of street lighting in Los Angeles. Most electrolier streetlights are installed by private contractors under contract with the Department of Public Works, or under permits related to private developments. The Bureau of Street Lighting also provides petitions and information for electrolier lighting projects. See the particular telephone numbers for the service wanted below.
5.
Who pays for the installation, maintenance and operation of streetlights?
In general, property owners that will benefit from electrolier streetlights pay the installation cost for new streetlighting. Benefitting property owners are also responsible for paying for the maintenance and electrical energy costs required to operate streetlights on an annual basis.
6.
What are street lighting maintenance assessments?
In Los Angeles the property owners are responsible for the full cost of maintenance of their streetlights. The maintenance cost is billed to property owners as an assessment on their County tax bill. A typical, annual street lighting maintenance assessment for a residential street is approximately $70 for each single family residential property on a lot of .2 acres or less. The City provides electricity, relamping and cleaning, all needed repairs, information, and eventual modernization and replacement of the streetlights from this assessment.
7.
Better lighting is needed on my street. How can I get more lights or upgraded lights?
INSTALLATION OF ELECTROLIER STREETLIGHTS (ON STEEL OR CONCRETE POLES)

If there are only utilitarian lights (on wooden power poles) at each intersection, for instance, and you want complete lighting, an electrolier street lighting system can be designed and installed if first requested by a majority of the property owners on the street. A petition from the Bureau of Street Lighting is needed. (Call (213) 847-1432.) This will give the costs, description of lighting and other information. Current cost for a modern lighting system on most residential streets is about $3,400. Annual maintenance assessments are about $70 for a single family residential property on a lot of .2 acres or less.

UPGRADING EXISTING ELECTROLIER STREETLIGHTS

The Bureau of Street Lighting will investigate the existing streetlighting system to determine what work is needed to upgrade the lighting, upon written request. Property owners are responsible for the cost of upgrading existing streetlights, and there would be some increase in the annual maintenance assessment due to the increased electrical energy required.

8.
How do I get more information on street lighting or make a request?
For utilitarian lighting, call the DWP at 1-800-dial-dwp, (800) 342-5397.

For lighting modernization or replacement call (213) 847-1432.

For new electrolier lighting and questions about assessments, call (213) 847-1432.

For tree trimming needed for street lighting, call (800) 996-2489.

For lights out or in need of other repairs, call 311 or (866) 452-2489.

For questions about street lighting maintenance assessments, call (213) 847-1363.



For general questions regarding street lighting call (213) 847-1432.
For street lighting repairs call (3-1-1).

Requests for services may be sent to: bsl.streetlighting@lacity.org

Bureau of Street Lighting Website: bsl.lacity.org
1149 S. Broadway, Ste. 200
Los Angeles, CA 90015

Bureau of Street Lighting information brochure: